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Old 09-10-2010, 12:12 PM
 
8 posts, read 21,036 times
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Hey all, my sister and I are in our mid-20's, single, and grew up in the country outside of Hastings MN. Surrounded by fields and farms is normal to us, as well as extreme cold winters, and humid summers so the weather is not really an issue.

We figured now would be the time to spread our wings and try to find a place that has almost everything we like that is decently close to the parents. We love the country, and hate the big city feel; however, I will be graduating with a degree in graphic design which is more possible in a bigger city. We don't want to compromise on our happiness, so we are trying to find a decent size city with some opportunity that still has the country living feel.

We are religious, very conservative, can't stand the city motto of only looking out for number 1 and we enjoy the personality trait of common courtesy. We have looked at Fort Worth, TX, and are now looking onto Montana. Fort Worth seems pretty awesome, but us northerners like our snow and the change of seasons. So we are trying to find the best of both worlds.

I was just wondering what Billings was like (any kind of info is helpful) or if I should be looking at other locations in Montana. I've never been there so anything is helpful. Nightlife doesn't really matter, we're very low maintenance, cheap beer at a bar sounds just fine. And we like fishing, camping, four-wheeling, snowmobiling, snowboarding, BBQ'ing and John Wayne.

Thanks for anyone who takes the time to read this, I greatly appreciate it, and for the people who only skim it looking for key words, I appreciate that too. Have a good one!!!

Last edited by imiss24; 09-10-2010 at 01:17 PM..
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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From what you said, the Billings area sounds like a good target for you if you try Montana. If you happen to want to live in another smaller town right next to "the big city" on a river, kinda like Hastings to Minneapolis but on a much smaller scale, you might look into Laurel just west of Billings. Past threads on Billings which can be found be scanning or using the search tool have some info on Billings neighborhoods if you decide to live right in town, the issue to some of the smell of the refineries and a bit more. I think one of them notes that Laurel has a pretty good variety of churches and it is probably quieter than some parts of Billings. Billings has several dozen city parks and it is easy to get in the countryside with a short drive. You can get into the mountains in an hour or a bit more. Red Lodge (to the southwest) would give you snowboarding opportunities. There are plenty of bars when you want one with some live music and they recently had a street dance downtown. The indoor arena which offers concerts and other events got hit with a tornado but they want to fix it. Billings is the regional business hub but it is modest sized. There are a couple of colleges. If you wanted other options in Montana for employment opportunities you might look at Helena or Great Falls.

If you wanted to check out other possibilities I'd throw out Coeur d'Alene or Idaho Falls Idaho. Or maybe Cheyenne Wyoming or Castle Rock Colorado.

Last edited by NW Crow; 09-10-2010 at 01:37 PM..
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:57 PM
 
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
13,742 posts, read 27,164,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
Castle Rock Colorado.
Really?
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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I said maybe. The original poster started with considering Fort Worth. Along with the other choices in Montana, which she asked for, I thought there might possibly be some value to her in mentioning choices in other states, so I added a few in Idaho and Wyoming. I thought I might also one in Colorado as well. Some might say Colorado is "in between" Texas and Montana is more than the geographic sense, so I somewhat casually but still consciously picked Castle Rock for being something of an in between example. It may not appeal for being too close to a big metro, but I see no real harm in offering it as one choice among many. If it doesn't appeal to her, the mention still could have some value to one or more of the hundreds or thousands of others looking around who will read the thread eventually.

Castle Rock is one of the smaller Colorado front range cities and somewhat separated from the bigger metros. Unemployment is listed at around half the national average, income is above national average with a fair number of tech and other newer companies who might employ a graphic designer. You can do the activities she listed there or nearby even if they aren't as dominant the choices available as they would be in Billings. Yeah I mentioned it as a possibility, knowing that it is was different from Billings in important ways including because of the surrounding region (though it is smaller when considered by itself), in case she wanted an option that moved back somewhat from a Billings type choice out there by itself. There would be job prospects in Castle Rock or within reach by commuting north or south.

Last edited by NW Crow; 09-10-2010 at 07:47 PM..
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:57 PM
 
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
13,742 posts, read 27,164,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
I said maybe. The original poster started with considering Fort Worth. Castle Rock is one of the smaller Colorado front range cities and somewhat separated from the bigger metros. Unemployment is listed at around half the national average, income is above national average with a fair number of tech and other newer companies who might employ a graphic designer. You can do the activities she listed there even if they aren't as dominant the choices available as they would be in Billings. Yeah I mentioned it as a possibility, knowing that it is was different from Billings in important ways because of the surrounding region (though it is smaller when considered by itself), in case she wanted an option that moved back somewhat from a Billings type choice. There would be job prospects in Castle Rock or within reach by commuting north or south.

Along with the other choices in Montana, which she asked for, I thought there might possibly be some value to her in mentioning choices in other states; so I added a few in Idaho and Wyoming. I thought I might add one in Colorado as well. Some might say Colorado is in between Texas and Montana is more than the geographic sense, so I somewhat casually but still consciously choose Castle Rock for being something of an in between example. It may not appeal, for being too close to a big metro, but I see no harm in offering it as one choice among many. If it doesn't appeal to her, the mention still could have some value to one or more of the hundreds or thousands of others looking around who will read the thread eventually. Where would you suggest as an alternative option to Billings?
When I read the OP's post, I wasn't thinking tract-homes and soccer moms.

Maybe Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Casper (WY), Logan (UT), maybe Longmont or Greeley to a lesser extent, and perhaps Butte or Helena.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:49 PM
 
Location: montana
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We live in columbus montana and are moving to minnesota... montana is nice but its not the montana it used to be...
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:52 PM
 
6,129 posts, read 6,031,498 times
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More choices for consideration, if the original poster wishes.

Not seeing Fort Collins and Colorado Springs as closer to the OP's criteria than Castle Rock though. They have plenty of tract homes and more urbanized neighborhoods too and are overall much bigger and they seemed too big. Fort Collins is not as conservative as Castle Rock. Castle Rock is not all one style of development either; there are more rural pockets in the area.

Longmont and Greeley are worthwhile options to name. Greeley could be considered fairly similar to Billings in a number of ways. Living in Longmont would have some of the same logic as living in Castle Rock with regard to commuting possibilities, but Longmont is almost 3 times as dense and votes far more Democratic than Castle Rock.

I thought about of mentioning Grand Junction but passed because the economy is weaker. Just went with one from Colorado to start that line of thought. Casper WY and Logan UT are certainly decent names to mention too. Neither though exactly jumps out as hotbeds for a graphic designer and the mention of Castle Rock was fairly heavily driven by nearby job possibilities. Logan is also twice as dense as Castle Rock and there are questions of fit / feel with any community. Up to the OP if she wants to pursue any of the cities.

Last edited by NW Crow; 09-10-2010 at 10:06 PM..
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:45 PM
 
8 posts, read 21,036 times
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Thanks so much guys, I really appreciate it. I don't know how you guys know so much about random places lol, I envy your knowledge.

It may sound stupid, but we don't want to live in a state that fell for Obama's charades lol, so in order for Colorado to work I think the city/town would have to be extremely amazing. I have taken a look at Wyoming, including Cheyenne and it's really beautiful, but I worry about the opportunities for a graphic designer, but considering the kind of place we want to live, I may have to just make it work. I haven't thought of Casper until now, and it looks pretty nice. I haven't looked toooo far into casper yet because I just saw it mentioned so I thought I would check it out quick to have an idea, and I think It's worth looking more closely.
Idaho is also an option, I haven't really looked at it much, but I will definitely have to take a gander. You guys definitely are going to keep me busy tonight looking at all this cities/towns you have listed. Once I look more closely, I will post a more in depth analysis. Thanks again.
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:55 AM
 
6,422 posts, read 10,757,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imiss24 View Post
Thanks so much guys, I really appreciate it. I don't know how you guys know so much about random places lol, I envy your knowledge.

It may sound stupid, but we don't want to live in a state that fell for Obama's charades lol, so in order for Colorado to work I think the city/town would have to be extremely amazing. I have taken a look at Wyoming, including Cheyenne and it's really beautiful, but I worry about the opportunities for a graphic designer, but considering the kind of place we want to live, I may have to just make it work. I haven't thought of Casper until now, and it looks pretty nice. I haven't looked toooo far into casper yet because I just saw it mentioned so I thought I would check it out quick to have an idea, and I think It's worth looking more closely.
Idaho is also an option, I haven't really looked at it much, but I will definitely have to take a gander. You guys definitely are going to keep me busy tonight looking at all this cities/towns you have listed. Once I look more closely, I will post a more in depth analysis. Thanks again.
If you're not in any hurry, use the fall and winter to plan a road trip next summer. If you have 2-3 weeks, you can hit a bunch of places in Montana, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming, going west on I-90 (with side trips) and going back through northern WY. That'll give you a great impression of what's there--because you'll be taking an awfully big chance, deciding on a town without having visited first. And you'll see some of the most breathtaking signts in the entire nation. As you can read on other threads, you should also include North Idaho not just because of its beauty, but also its proximity to Spokane, WA (for work) which is a small big city, or a big mid-sized town! Also, drop in on the Idaho and Wyoming forums--lots of threads that might interest you.
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,914 posts, read 13,767,979 times
Reputation: 3431
Haha, if there was a wall around Colorado so I couldn't escape, and a ball and chain attached to my ankle so I couldn't climb the wall, Greeley is about the only town I could stand to be in

Rural Colorado along the Interstate is about the most peculiarly un-rural place I've ever seen.
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