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Old 11-20-2007, 11:48 AM
 
1,839 posts, read 4,867,300 times
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In slightly less than one year (Autumn 2008), I will be moving to Montana. I'm a country guy all the way and have had more than my share of big city living. (If I hear one more siren, it might just be for me.) Currently, I live in Minneapolis, MN, (pour on the pity) but I've lived all over the world. I've met so many people from Montana and never met a one I didn't like. Heck, I never met one that didn't ask me to move there!

I want to settle down for good, to put down some roots and be part of the community. I was hoping, if I listed a few things about myself and who I am, you might be able to help me find the best small to mid-sized town in western Montana that fits me the best. Off-hand, I was considering towns like Red Lodge, Lincoln or even Whitefish and Kalispell.

I'm 41, single and a freelance writer. Like my screen name says, I enjoy living simply. I don't watch tv, have a microwave or a dishwasher. Granted, I'm not down at the river, beating my clothes against a rock, but I don't need anymore luxury than indoor plumbing and the internet (for work). I like the mountains, trees, open skies, etc., Anything to do with nature. I'm used to the cold and snow. That's what fireplaces are for. Snakes, spiders and hunters don't bother me either. (Gimmee a drunken hunter over a punk with an attitude and a handgun anyday.)

I'm looking for peace and quiet and a community to get involved in. I'd like to build a small log home on the outskirts of town, plant my own garden and get to know my neighbors. For work, it's nice to have a city relatively nearby, but not too close. 30 minutes or more out of town is great. I like quiet. I want peace and quiet. And stars. We only have three stars in Minneapolis and one of them keeps winking at me. (I'm getting concerned.)

I like the outdoors. Hiking, fishing, camping, walking. I read a LOT so a library would be great. A great library would be phenomenal! Mostly, I like getting together with friends for a night in or out. I'm used to getting together and playing cards, board games, watching movies, etc., I'm a Christian and am active in my church. I like churches that are active in the community. I believe in giving back.

What I don't like are college towns or places that are overly touristy. Some tourism is fine, and natural, but not too much. And noise. I'm so sick of noise. Sirens and drunks walking down the sidewalk at night, especially.

There you have it. Me in a nutshell. Any small or mid-sized towns come to mind? I'm open and will consider every suggestion gratefully. Thanks, folks.

Last edited by Simple Living; 11-20-2007 at 12:52 PM.. Reason: Cuz Hukt on Fonix Werkt Fer Me!
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:48 PM
 
989 posts, read 3,360,506 times
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Red lodge works... Lincoln also fits pretty well. One problem with Lincoln is its a bit further than 30 min from a town. Some folks dont like Lincoln because its kind of an "old school" Montana town-- I really like it there. Its quiet and very laid back. There are also a lot of back-words people there... oops, did I say that?
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:16 PM
 
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Thanks AQHA,

Any other places come to mind? The distance from a city isn't too important. It can be an hour away and that's fine. I just don't want it to be too close! No suburbs.

I really need this move. I just hope my sanity holds out until next fall.

This is your chance to boast and/or warn, folks.
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:33 PM
 
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In case it helps to say "This fits," or "This doesn't fit," here are a list of places I've been reading about on the forums here.

Stevensville
Hamilton
Corvallis
Bitterroot Valley
Kalispel
Gardiner
Livingston
Red Lodge
Lincoln

Where I live is very important to me. I have to love it. I've narrowed where I want to live in the world down to Montana (or possibly northwestern Wyoming). Now, I'm relying on the experts (you folk) to get me looking in the right direction. You're help is seriously appreciated. Feel free to ask me questions if it'll help you.
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Old 11-22-2007, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Lala Land Montana
83 posts, read 305,266 times
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Well Gardiner and Red Lodge are tourist towns, as they are both entrances to Yellowstone Nat'l Park. Plus the only thing for the Locals to do here is drink. The Bitterroot is getting pretty crowded, and Kalispel is tourist ski lodge, Biggest lake Californa transplant town. Hamilton is a rapidly growing town on the southern end of the Bitterroots with few family wage type jobs. It does have some high tech jobs though. Stevensville is a nice slower town with good folks in it.
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Old 11-22-2007, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Lala Land Montana
83 posts, read 305,266 times
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I should say that housing in the Bitterroot is very expensive. Property prices have sky rocketed even though they have a New York size phone book of real estate property listings for sale there. Must be 10,000 places for sale in the Bitterroot.
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Old 11-23-2007, 08:12 AM
 
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Those are the kind of tips I'm looking for, thanks. Sometimes I think that what I'm looking for just doesn't exist anymore. A nice, small town with good folk who know each other and who lead quiet, simple lives, without caring if they should buy an iPhone or not.

Shoot, the only reason I have the internet, or a cell phone, are for my job. I haven't watched tv in years and don't I don't have microwave or a dishwasher. As far as I'm concerned, after they invented indoor plumbing, the world had all it needed.

I hate to hear that about Bitterroot Valley. Greed is evil.
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:53 AM
 
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Have you looked at Bonners Ferry, ID? It sounds like what you are looking for.
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:46 PM
 
297 posts, read 754,513 times
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Are you liberal, moderate, or conservative, if you don't mind my asking? I live in Missoula (I know, you said no college town), am liberal to moderate, and found the Bitterroot Valley to be waaaay too conservative, politically, for me. We lived in Hamilton for three years and I hated it. Kept waiting to "get used to it" and never did, so we moved back to Mizzoo. Kalispell has also gotten very conservative in the last decade or so. However, if you're conservative then that may be just what you want.

Missoula does have a very large community of writers and artists, so being close to that might be nice for you. Have you considered Potomac, about 30 minutes east-northeast of Missoula? It's not an incorporated town but has some really nice people in it. Very country. Lincoln is a nice little town but has a very short growing season; you mentioned gardening. Whitefish has become an enclave of the very rich, IMHO, and is extremely touristy. I haven't been to Red Lodge so have no good advice about it, although it is in a gorgeous setting. Livingston is a nice little town if you can stand the almost-constant wind. It's only about 30 minutes by interstate east of Bozeman, a bigger college town (for your library, nightlife, etc.).

P.S. An iPhone won't even work here in Montana -- no carriers!
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Old 11-27-2007, 11:29 AM
 
1,839 posts, read 4,867,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckingbronco View Post
Have you looked at Bonners Ferry, ID? It sounds like what you are looking for.
No, actually. I think I missed that one. I really like the location (far north). Will definitely check it out. Thanks for the tip.
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