Re: Mark, how was the transition?

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Posted by Mark Kuipers on 2014-06-16 13:23:12 in reply to Mark, how was the transition? posted by Craig on 2014-06-16 12:22:19

Yes, we live and work here full time. My wife is a professor at the University of Montana, which is what brought us here. I am an independent marketing consultant so I can work from anywhere. It is best to bring your own job to Missoula as the upper end employment opportunities are a bit scarce.

The winter weather is not too bad, but then I grew up in Michigan, not California. Missoula does have an inversion problem but we live up Rattlesnake Creek (no rattlesnakes, but the creek is shaped like a snake) and are above it so so we much more sun than people who live right in town. (We are 3 miles from downtown. I fish all year round, although December and January are a bit dark and cold. Springs are a disappointment--cool, cold, nice and then more cool cold nice. We are about 15 to 20 degrees warmer than east of the continental divide and don't have the wind problem either. We lived in Los Altos Hills and I have to say I loved the weather there.

I don't miss a thing about the Bay Area, except maybe Trade Joe's and I can work around that. That is not a slam on the Bar Area either as we had a great 15 years there, our kids had wonderful public school educations and it is a very dynamic place. In Montana, people are very friendly and welcoming and Missoula is a fantastic involved, engaged community. It is very easy to get involved. We have a very strong TU club and it is easy to participate in lots of political activities if inclined. Missoula is a Democratic stronghold.

Missoula has more music, art, literature and cultural events than you can imagine. And it is all so accessible. You can just do it with very little hassle.

Probably the biggest downside is the cost of air travel. I travel for business quite a bit and my airfares are at least 50% higher and sometimes simply crazy expensive. I think Bozeman has more competitive fares, although we have good flight prices on Alaska if heading west or to California.

We have excellent downhill and cross country skiing close by, lots of mountain biking and all the fishing and hunting you can imagine. We are also just about 4 hours from steelheading on the Clearwater. Since moving here I've taken up big game hunting and bow hunt for elk, deer, etc. I've shot 7 elk in 7 years, 4 of them within 12 miles of our home.

My wife likes it here as well, probably not as much as me, but that is true of about everything.

We will stay in Missoula for ever, but when retirement comes we will probably want to get out of town for at least a few months in the winter.

Just in case I wasn't clear: I love living in Missoula and in Montana. I can't believe how lucky I am to be here.

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