Saturday, October 16, 2010

Don't Ask for the Truth -- You Might Not Like It

Today I was asked about winters in Montana.  The person who asked me was from a southern state and was asking me if the winters were really that bad.  You see, she was going to move up here next spring.

This person is one of those who have come to Montana during the summer and was charmed by its splendor.  There's a lot of wonderful things here, but the weather -- well, that's a major subject.  You see, I gave her the links to the temperature graphs on NOAA to the area she was planning on moving to.  Furthermore, I noticed that NOAA has a Montana Winter Awareness Week, which gave lots of good, if scary, information about the weather in Montana.

It's not that the weather is nasty all the time.  It's just that if you're unprepared for it, it will hit you in a major way.  In 2009, some folks from Oklahoma discovered this.  This wasn't really that far from me, but they were off the grid, and yes, unprepared. 

I guess this person thought I was intentionally being negative about Montana, but honestly, visiting during summer does not give you a good feeling as to how this place really is.  We get subzero weather for a few weeks at a time.  We get snow.  We commonly get 24 to 30 winter storms, of which at least 2 are blizzards.  We get nasty ice storms too. 

People who have never experienced this kind of cold or snow need to first come here in the winter to decide whether or not this is something they can deal with.  Not everyone can -- nor should they.  I have friends who are still suffering for serious injuries due to car crashes on icy roads.  I looked at my land in the wintertime.  That was a good thing because I got a good feel for how bad the road would be and whether or not the weather was an issue.  (It wasn't for me). 

If you do decide to "rough it" out here in Montana, be aware that being off the grid is very brutal as well.  I am not off the grid -- for good reason.  I like living with 21st century conveniences like plumbing, hot showers and internet.  Even living on the grid has its challenges, but it's something I prefer over the city.

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