Recently, I took some time off and went out west to see my brother. We met in Bozeman, Montana where he was spending a few weeks. After an uneventful flight to Bozeman, we spent a couple of days seeing the town.
Since it was my first time in Bozeman, but not my first time visiting the west, I was pretty disappointed in the “New” Bozeman. Maybe it is my previous experiences in small mountain towns, but Bozeman has been “Californized.” I guess I thought the town would have the old western feel with modern touches. What it is now, is a busy tourist area, crowded with SUV’s with California, Oregon and Texas license plates. The price of real estate is through the roof and finding a simple, cold beer is hard. You have to weed through the Agave bars, the tea and bagel shops and all the women’s high end clothing stores. In between, you might find a T-shirt shop, a gift store and even a gallery or two. If you like that stuff, it is the town for you. I prefer the older, quaint towns, with a good beer available beside the outdoor gear shop.
While I was there, I didn’t see a cowboy hat or a pair or boots. I did run into a local who directed me to the Ted Turner Ranch a few miles from town. After a great jeep ride, we found the ranch and it’s thousans of buffalo.
Bozeman is a great town, just not for me. So, we packed up and headed to Whitefish Montana, near the Canadian border. Maybe there we will find a cold beer, a friendly local, and great scenery.
Watch your six.