There are so many positives about the town as well. First off, Justin got a full time bike shop job right in the heart of the downtown area. Owenhouse Bicycling and Fitness is an awesome local business that has been run by the same family for along time. They carry Giant, Haro and the one we are most excited about Rocky Mountain. The family also owns two Ace Hardware's in town as well, and that means one thing: DISCOUNTS!! Seriously, we get everything at the Ace at cost. Therefore the Kitchen Aid mixers they sell (yes, I said Kitchen Aid mixers) we can buy at cost....that's like a super big deal to me (squeal!). Bozeman also offers thousands of miles of trails, which is a dream to mountain bikers, runners and cross country skiers. When we were visiting we could see trails everywhere!
There is also an awesome ski resort in town as well. Bridger Bowl, is located exactly 16 miles from downtown (which is like 17 miles from our apartment). There is 2,000 miles of ski able acreage, and it tops out at 8,800 feet. For those who don't know, Justin is practically a pro snowboarder. For those who don't know, I really really suck at it. I will say in my defense that I have really only had experience with fake snow (ICE), so I am willing to give it another try. However, I do believe that cross country skis and snowshoes are on my MUST NEED list!
Another thing that may rock your socks off is that fact that we are located a mere one hour drive from the North Entrance to Yellowstone.....yep the Yogi and Bo Bo park! The park doesn't open till late April or early May for cars (just snowmobiles, and in case you didn't know I don't own one of those!). I can bet money though that as soon as it is open our vehicle will be the first in line to get in.
Another great National Park within six hours from us is Glacier National Park. Now call me crazy, but I had no idea that was in Montana. I really and truly thought it was in Alaska, but I also still cant tell you all the states in the North East other.........At some point we hope to visit this park as well.
Bozeman also offers a huge University. Montana State University is exactly what I would want in a school. Although I cant take classes full time until I have residency, which takes a year, I do plan on taking some classes in the fall. I also applied for a job there that I am really excited about. It has great benefits, a free gym and is right down the road from where we will be living. While working at the University, they will pay for 6 credits per semester which will come in handy while waiting to be a resident. So please cross your fingers that I get the job!
When we visited Montana a few weeks ago we were delighted to see that everything was oriented around small businesses. There are quite a few chain stores and restaurants as well, but everyone seems to shop or hang out at the local shops. Our favorite place to eat was Montana Ale Works, the bar was stocked with all local micro brews which averaged $3 a pint. The meals were all local meats and veggies, and were completely mouth watering. So when you come visit us you can be sure that your first meal will be served here.
The downtown area of Bozeman is extremely hip and vibrant. Full of art museums, knitting stores, outdoor stores, coffee houses and people walking or riding their bikes (even in blizzards). At this point in the blog I am going to overwhelm you with pictures I took while visiting there, but I think some people really need to see it to believe just great Bozeman is. So prepare to pee yourself.
I hope this clears up some of the questions of WHY????? We cant wait to get to Bozeman. There is lots left to do on our checklist, but as it gets closer we grow more and more anxious......and a final YES Ridley IS COMING!