Alright, I might have come up with a brilliant idea.

This is right up there with the time that I had the idea to combine an ATM and DVD's, sadly right after that, Redbox came into our lives.  I also had the idea of taking two quarter pound patties and replacing the smaller patties on the Big Mac and calling it "The Real Big Mac", instead McDonalds sent me a politely worded email telling me they were going to pass.

This time, however, I think I'm onto something.

Not being a native of Montana or Bozeman, I've certainly received my share of "go back to where you came from" comments.  I understand the locals love of this state and the way of life here.  Heck, I love this state and the way of life here, that's why I'm here.  So, what if we could come up with some sort of...test,  that the people had to pass before they could move to Montana?  Think of it as kind of a Montana Citizenship Test or the MCT and if you don't pass, you can't come here.

Wild Goose Island, St. Marys Lake, Glacier National Park

First, what type of questions would we want on the MCT? We would certainly need to require some Montana history.  Specific dates and what not, things that happened here that every good Montanan should know.

When did Montana become a state? (November 8th, 1889)

Where do we rank when it comes to the sizes of the states? (4th largest)

What is the State Tree and Flower? (Ponderosa Pine and Bitterroot)

Montana holds the record for the biggest snowflake ever, how big was it? (15 inches)

What Governor wore a bolo tie and took his dog everywhere? (Brian Schwietzer)

Who's better, the Bobcats or the Griz? (like we even have to answer that)

Fabric texture of the Montana Flag background - Flags from the USA

Second, what is your purpose in moving to Montana?  This would be an essay question, of course.  If at any point we see any red flags, then you would be denied.  Red flags would include, but not limited to:

  • Coming from California
  • Wanting to change the way things are here
  • Any sort of new tax
  • Not loving the outdoors
  • Never living in a place that actually had winter
  • Thinking approaching wildlife to 'try and get a better picture' or 'pet them' is a good idea

Third, what do you bring to Montana?  Do you have any useful skills? How long have you wanted to live here?  Does your reason for moving here have anything to do with watching some show on HGTV?  Do you have plans to wear a cowboy hat and boots? By all means, please buy those things here, but know that a poser can be spotted a mile away.

The truth is, some places are better to visit.


Years ago, I accepted a job that took me to Florida.  This is what I found out, Florida is a great place to go on vacation, but for me, a horrible place to live.  It's hot, it's humid, it's full of alligators and snakes, no thank you.

Montana is a wonderful place to visit, and we welcome you to come and spend your money, dine in our fine restaurants, and lodge in our wonderful cabins and hotels.  However, it might not be the place for you to live and that's ok.

Things are a certain way here and unless you have no desire to change those things, but rather embrace and adapt to them, you should probably just stay a few days and then go home.

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