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Old 01-24-2009, 04:28 PM
 
285 posts, read 975,850 times
Reputation: 141

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I loved living in Missoula. It probably isn't to everyone's taste, but hey, there's somewhere for everyone. And if you are content to just find your kind of people and live and let live in terms of seeing people who are different than yourself, you can be happy in Missoula no matter how you identify politically.

My neighbors were old-time Montanans who were conservative, gun-toting, God-fearing sportsman. Though I probably tended to be more on the liberal, tree-hugging side, they were wonderful neighbors. They always shared their elk and antelope jerky with us, and we would sit outside on nice days and shoot the breeze. Not all Missoulians are of the "tree-hugging", trust fund variety. I tend to be someone who sees beyond the stereotypes, so I had no issue with any of the "types" found in Missoula.

I have to say, though, I used to get a bit of a kick out of seeing some of the Trustafarians wearing expensive Patagonia clothes and driving expensive SUVs with bumper stickers that said "Live simply so that others may simply live". I'm liberal, but I have to work for every penny I have, so after a stint in Bozeman and Yellowstone Park, we moved away to be able to support ourselves. I certainly hope the economy in Missoula has perked up since the early 90's.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:19 PM
 
2 posts, read 24,616 times
Reputation: 19
Default Missoula. . . a MT native's perspective.

It is intersting to hear other people's thoughts regarding the city you grew up in and around. I thought JoeJoe's post was a little harsh and I found the first post to be very flattering. The reality is probably somewhaer in between the two. I will begin by saying that I loved living near Missoula. I grew up in the Bitterroot Valley. The first post said that Missoula is in the Bitterrot Valley. . . it isn't. Missoula is in the Missoula Valley which is more or less the convergence of five of western Montana's valley's. Missoula does have a nice downtown area with a great deal of it's own culture. As JoeJoe stated. . . there are a lot of colorful individuals. There are also a lot of rural and agricultural influences mixed with a fair number of individuals from out of state. It makes for a mix of people I have not found anywhere else that I have lived. I think the most common thread amongst people in Missoula is a love and appreciation of the outdoors, although that passion is expressed in a variety of ways by a variety of people.

I dont agree at all that Missoula is not a family friendly city. This was a great place to grow up and Western Montana offers a lot of great ways to spend time with your family. Camping, Hiking, fishing, rafting, boating, backpacking, climbing, skiing, and countless other outdoor activities are at your finger tips. I have never lived in a place where accessing the outdoors was so conveinient. The Fathead and Swan Valley's have beautiful lakes. The Bitterroot, Blackfoot, and Clarkfork rivers are known for good fishing and the Alberton Gorge is great for whitewater. There are a number of local hot springs. The Mission Mountains are absolutely beautiful. The best part about these types of activities is that they can cost next to nothing to enjoy. Dont get me wrong, some people spend a small fortune on outdoor equipment, but the mountains are free and hopefully always will be.

The economy of the area can be difficult. High paying jobs are harder to come by. Land values are considerably higher that some places. . . considerably lower than others. That discussion depends entirely on your perspective. I would say that an average 3 bedroom home in the city will price at between $200,000 and $350,000 depending on location. This may be less now considering the state of real estate in the country. Montana does have state income tax as well as higher than average property tax rates. I think that is a part of why the salaries can seem slim for a lot of people. My father always said that you get paid an addition $20,000 in scenery and quality of life. I agree with this statement. The cost of most goods and services are lower than most places I have lived.

Missoula is a very safe place to live. Crime rates are not particularly high and it my understanding that the local police work extremely hard to prevent gang influences from encroaching on the area. The schools are sort of hot and cold. I think they tend to be underfunded, but the quality of a school often depends more on the culture of the students and staff. People in Montana tend to be very proud of their state. There are a few people who cant wait to get away, but those people are everywhere (JoeJoe). People in Missoula are very friendly for the most part. I do not agree with JoeJoe at all regarding this being the result of so many out of state folks. I will offer my perspective on this for what it is worth. These are my thoughts so take them or leave them. People in Montana are very friendly and supportive, but being independent and self sufficient is an important cultural value for Montana as a whole. I think most people are happy to support and help out their neighbor but they know how to stay out of each others business. I have also live in Minnesota and North Dakota, two states known for being friendly, almost to a fault. Missoula is not quite that friendly. . . which in my opinion is about perfect. Missoula is a very liberal community when copared to other parts of the state without a doubt, but that is a part of the culture that most people enjoy. The city tends to embrace local business much more than other places I have been. I suppose to some this can be mis-interpreted as snobbery, but I think it is just the local community looking out for itself. Missoula has a great sense of community. Missoula is a fun place to shop for local color, but it not a shopping Mecca by any means. People in Missoula do LOVE the University of Montana (and I do mean LOVE). It is a fine school, but it tends to excell primarily in a few areas. The Law school is understood to be a good school. The Forestry program is one of the best in the country from what I know. The Biology and allied health sciences programs are also very good as is the social work department. Ther community really gets behind the athletic programs which is kinda fun. This is nice considering there are no major local sports teams.

I realize this is just one person's perspective and it is probably a bit biased. I think most people have special place in their heart for the backdrop of their childhood. I am glad to have spent mine in the Bitterroot Valley (I grew up in Florence MT, a doorstep community about 16 miles south of Missoula.) If you are considering a move to Missoula, I hope this helps you with your decision. Missoula isn't perfect for everyone but it has a lot of great things to offer the right person.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:37 PM
 
2 posts, read 24,616 times
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I Have not looked at the NGS maps lately, but I can tell you this. If you tell someone living in Thompson Falls that they live in the Bitterroot valley you might get shot at. Just kidding. I honestly dont know what the maps show, but if you survey 100 people who live in Western Montana, 99 of them will tell you that Missoula is at the very Northern end of the Bitterroot valley. The Bitterrot River flows into the Clarkfork which continues north toward St. Regis and then up toward Thompson Falls which is according to local convention in the Clark Fork Valley.
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:32 PM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 12,593,357 times
Reputation: 3535
Quote:
Originally Posted by montanahogrider View Post
The Bitterroot Valley does not end with Missoula. It runs all the way up to Thompson Falls which places Missoula right in the middle of the Bitterroot. Consult your US Geological survey map for specifics. And surprise, maybe even an old dog can learn new tricks.
You are so full of misinformation. You need to learn how to read a map Hogrider. The Bitterroot river and the Bitterroot Valley ends at the confluence with the Clark Fork. Just west of Missoula. Paradise, Plains and Thompson Falls are on the Clark Fork River and have nothing to do with the Bitterroot river or the Bitterroot Valley. The notion that the Bitterroot Valley extends all the way to Thompson Falls is idiotic to say the least. Some people say Missoula is in the Missoula Valley but that is really a nick name. It is also called Grass Valley on some maps. Missoula is in a junction of smaller drainages that converge in the Missoula area but the dominant Valley is the Clark Fork Valley. I'll bet all my property against yours that I am right on this point, "The Bitterroot Valley ends at the point at which the Bitterroot River ends and that is the point at which the Bitterroot rivers enters the Clark Fork River."
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Missoula
24 posts, read 59,179 times
Reputation: 16
Default What's Msla like?

[quote=vulcanda;8109929]It is intersting to hear other people's thoughts regarding the city you grew up in and around.

Isn't it? I grew up here when Missoula was still a town. Pretended my little Schwinn was a pony and rode it all over town-safely. Pestered my dad for ice cream at Hansons, went to the fox theater for a nickle and an Eddy's Bread wrapper, put on my old metal skates and skated in a parking lot or played down at the tracks by the river-my girlfriend and I had a fort down there. We were both rockhounds too, so I was always coming home with pockets filled with neat rocks I found. Still am, actually. Sorry, I know you asked about Msla today but I couldn't help that little bit of nostalgia!


I thought JoeJoe's post was a little harsh and I found the first post to be very flattering. The reality is probably somewhere in between the two.

It is a small city now, and yes, very liberal. I'd been away for years but our family moved back about 12 years ago. It had changed quite a bit, but there were still ways in which it felt like coming home. Not so sure I feel that way now-it continues to change (morph) at a frantic pace. Feels crowded. Not happy with the school system. I still like that there is always something going on (that doesn't cost an arm and a leg) -as elliottmew said. Shakespeare in the park, city band concerts, first friday.... I think the carousel is awesome. I love the library redesign-even though I remember fondly the lovely bookish smell walking down the stairs to the childrens section of the old brick building that is now the Msla Art Museum. But more and more these days I feel elbowed out by the new people coming in. Msla's downtown association is doing a lot to attract them with its "hip strip" revival.

I dont agree at all that Missoula is not a family friendly city.

I would say it is not as family friendly. There are still scouts and 4-H, the Y and other after school groups, but you need to be aware of where your kids are and who they are with.

The economy of the area can be difficult.

You bet. We rent, and are paying the same rate we paid in California. And this is average for Msla.

Missoula is a very safe place to live. Crime rates are not particularly high and it my understanding that the local police work extremely hard to prevent gang influences from encroaching on the area.

Theft and vandalism are biggies. Bikes especially.
Right from your porch. Locked.

Had to put my two cents in. Hoped we helped you out some.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:10 PM
 
Location: West Lenoir
171 posts, read 245,147 times
Reputation: 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by minievil39 View Post
I agree with JoJoMan. Missoula is a dirty town. Now if you drive through town with a dead deer you get nasty snarls and glares. Even flipped off. The liberals have taken over our town! We can no longer ride our dirtbikes, snowmobiling is almost out of the question. They have closed all of our trails. If you want to walk through a store smelling B.O, seeing dirty people with bare feet, dreadlocks, nasty beat up housing (or now townhouses), you want to go to gay bars, then this place is for you. Unfortunately my entire family is here so it is hard to leave. But please. You've already ruined our wonderful town so continue to move here. Maybe eventually people will realize how horrible this place and start to take over another city and we can have our town back!
Sounds like a keen place . If the housing looks beat-up, no problem. It just needs a few bright and lively colors painted over. Anyway, I love going to gay bars. They are usually so much more fun and exciting than regular bars. The more, the better.

And no I don't want to see you parading around with a dead animal on top of your truck. Forget the finger - for a cruel stunt like that you could be run off the road, or worse. I am just waiting to sell my place and hopefully soon enough I can move there with my partner. In the meantime, you should probably consider leaving because you sound miserable there.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Franklin
4 posts, read 20,237 times
Reputation: 14
Raised three sons and we lived all across the USA. All THREE chose Missoula, MT and have lived there happily for 12 years. I have two adorable grandsons and my experiences there have all been terrific. Children affirmed and loved. Looking to find a perfect summer retreat home nearby.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,820 posts, read 13,426,923 times
Reputation: 3339
Quote:
Originally Posted by maulotaur View Post
And no I don't want to see you parading around with a dead animal on top of your truck. Forget the finger - for a cruel stunt like that you could be run off the road, or worse.
That isn't a "cruel stunt". It's someone bringing home their family's dinner for the next couple months, and there's some folks who couldn't afford meat for their kids without it.

But if you don't like it, hey, I'm sure you'd be fine with buying them a couple months worth of groceries instead, right??
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Old 09-19-2009, 03:20 AM
 
Location: Southwest Washington
2,317 posts, read 7,190,107 times
Reputation: 1727
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
That isn't a "cruel stunt". It's someone bringing home their family's dinner for the next couple months, and there's some folks who couldn't afford meat for their kids without it.

But if you don't like it, hey, I'm sure you'd be fine with buying them a couple months worth of groceries instead, right??
You can pay for those groceries. You already do actually! It's called "food stamps."
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Old 09-19-2009, 04:28 AM
 
1,645 posts, read 4,135,317 times
Reputation: 1699
Great great town. Conservative types seem to despise the place. Which, I don't really get why... plenty of super conservative people (I even saw some neo-nazis walking around Shopko one day) in the countyside mixed with liberal people within the city. Personally, I think it's a healthy, and unique mix of people. Plenty of things to do, if you like skiing, hunting, the arts, fishing, activism, or whatever...there is something for everybody in Missoula. And, it seemed like everyone had an interesting hobby.
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