One thing I only touched upon a few months ago, during our final search for a new and hopefully permanent home, was weather and climate. At the time the human components loomed larger, prioritization whose efficacy has been born out in the ease with which we’ve strollered around Helena’s convoluted streets over the last four weeks. My thesis that the sparser places of the western world tend to be more courteous has for the short term been born out.
But weather and climate have a huge impact on daily life. I don’t dislike the heat of the southwest, but I’ve always found it more difficult to manage than even the coldest winter. If anything, Missoula and especially the Flathead were never quite cold enough, with too much rain during the coldest half of the year. Another 2000 feet of elevation would have made Kalispell just about perfect, but the world has to maintain some sort of balance.
As the maps show, Montana is a windy state, thanks to the eastern plains and more close to home the aftermath of orographic lifting. Our little cactus valley is an island in the storm, but to my delight the hills immediately above town are more thoroughly strafed. And when things get too calm the Rock Mountain Front is not far north, the place where the high wind warning threshold had to be upgraded from 58 to 75 mph because the former was just too common.
Life is good.