Sunday, August 6, 2023

A few things to know about Bozeman, Montana

I’m going to need to shift gears pretty quickly. After a long weekend of no physical activity with my oldest friends at our annual Ozarks getaway, I had a seven-hour wait for my plane in St. Louis to then get through Denver and on to today’s final destination of Bozeman, Montana.

Bozeman, after I get in at my scheduled time of around midnight local time (2 a.m. Eastern on Monday), is where I’m going to get our rental vehicle for the week - a Subaru Forester with a tent on the top and kitchen supplies in the back. Then I’ll sleep for a handful of hours in a hotel before heading out on a 4 1/2-hour drive south to meet Rachel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Since I’m going to head right out of Bozeman, a city I’ve never seen, here’s a little bit of what I should see if I ever have more time to go back.

Montana State University is apparently pretty nice to take a look at. But the real draw is the recreational activities that surround the city of nearly 60,000 in population, including stunning mountains ideal for hiking, skiing, fly fishing, and mountain biking.

Bozeman’s nickname is the "Silicon Valley of the Rockies,” and that tech and entrepreneur scene has provided strong economic growth. Its other nickname is “Boz Angeles,” due to an influx of Californians and celebrities.

Bozeman’s surrounding region has been a hotspot for dinosaur discoveries, with several paleontological sites and museums throughout the area for fossil lovers. Much of that area is called the Gallatin Valley, which was named by Lewis and Clark after Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin.

Hilarious comedy/history writer Sarah Vowell is one of its most famous residents, and she wrote in 2021 in The New York Times that the town is simply booming and that median single family homes have blasted up from $485,000 to $704,000 in almost no time. Those numbers are also pricing out many of the people working to ensure excellent outdoor recreational activities can continue.

Also of note are a few other Bozeman celebrities:

  • John Mayer, whose last album was a yacht-rock masterpiece, is also pretty darn great in Dead and Company.
  • Actor Bill Pullman, who was in Independence Day and Spaceballs.
  • Actor J.K. Simmons spent part of his childhood in the city and is known for Whiplash and Spider-Man.

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