Friday, November 03, 2006

Why Montana?

A question I get from friends all over the country is... "what ever possessed you to move to Montana?

A clarification is needed here. We didn't move to "Montana", we moved to NW Montana. Our state is as large as a dozen smaller states and the terrain ranges from dry praries to 10,000 ft. mountains and deep clear lakes. NW Montana is the jewell (IMHO). Before I give you my stock answer, understand that Montana is NOT for everyone, especially the less populated areas of Montana. We happen to live in the northwestern part of the state, which is not what one might call 'over populated'. If you were to consider moving here and your lifestyle demands:
  • To dine out at diverse restaurants
  • To frequent nightclubs
  • To browse large shopping malls
  • The convenience of a convenience store
  • Attending pro sports games
  • Earning a big salary
  • Warm weather most of the year...
If any of these things are important to you, Montana should not be on your list of potential relocation choices. If on the other hand, you are weary of the big metro scene, hate traffic, concrete and rude people, love fishing, hunting and beautiful scenery... you could fall in love with Montana. We did.

Years ago, my bride and I visited the Flathead valley while on vacation. I remember my first drive up Rt. 93 on a beautiful summer day with magnificent views of Flathead Lake on our right as we followed the road over mountains and weaved our way through incredible scenery. I remarked to my wife, "can you believe people actually live here year-round, not just on vacation?"

I won't bore you with the twists of fate that resulted in our moving to this valley, but suffice it to say, we have never looked back. We cannot conceive of the thought of living anywhere else. Neither I, nor my bride are native Montanans, but we got here as fast as we could. And as I like to say, I'm leaving here boots first (to the uninitiated, that means I'll be carried out of here).

We share our homestead with dozens of deer that migrate through our property every day foraging for food. We've had bears in the front yard and even an occasional mountain lion will drop by to check us out. Bald Eagles and a variety of other birds are common sights, and pine squirrels and other woodland creatures are constant reminders that this isn't really our land.

We live "out". Translated that means we live far enough from town to be considered rural, but close enough that we drive to town 3-5 times per week for shopping, or to eat out, or to enjoy a cocktail at one of our favorite saloons. The taverns around here have colorful names such as the Sitting Duck, the Deer Lick, the Bull Dog and the Stillwater Saloon. The people you'll meet here become your friends quickly, and for the most part they're not looking for anything from you except maybe a smile and a kind word.

I began this post with a question as to why I moved here. Harley-Davidson riders have a saying that goes...

"If I have to explain -
you wouldn't understand."

And that pretty much answers that question.

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