My wife Jean and I chose to live in Montana to raise our family in a cleaner environment with less population, traffic and crime. If it wasn’t for the Internet, we would have needed to move back to a larger metropolitan area long ago.
I grew up in Los Angeles where I met my wife Jean. While growing up, I always wanted to live in the mountains or by the ocean. These were two of my favorite places. The oceans turned out to be too expensive and crowded for my budget and disposition. So we now live a short drive to the mountains and forests in the small community of Livingston, Montana. Livingston has a population of 7,500 and is fifty miles due north of world famous Yellowstone National Park.
The Yellowstone River flows out of the Park and travels north through Paradise Valley and then along the east side of Livingston. After running through Livingston the mighty Yellowstone makes a turn east and then northeast through the entire state of Montana to connect with the Missouri River after crossing into North Dakota, not too far from Williston. Williston happens to be the area where there are huge oils reserves called the Balkin. The Yellowstone River is the longest undammed river in the United States, mainly due to the intervention of avid fly fishermen from around the world.
In 1806, on the return trip of Lewis and Clark, the party split up, with Lewis traveling through northern Montana and Clark through southern Montana. William Clark camped on the Yellowstone near Livingston in July of that year. In Clark's journal, he records and abundance of wildlife, fish and clean air. We are happy some things never change.
Livingston is nestled twenty-five miles east of Bozeman, Montana at the northeast edge of the Northern Rocky Mountain where the Rockies gives way to the central plains. For a century Livingston’s economy was dominated by the railroad. A huge rail yard and switching station for repairs, combined with our town being the original gateway to Yellowstone Park, provided the economic engine (pun intended) for Livingston.
In the mid 80’s the railroad moved and the economy crashed. For the past thirty years the economy has slowly recovered mainly fueled by tourism and professionals, having the ability to work remotely, relocating to the area. Also in the early 90’s Montana was discovered by the rich and famous—movie stars, millionaires and billionaires, and captains of industry. All purchased large ranches and acres that were under priced at the time.
At times you can walk the streets of Livingston and see well-known stars just sitting enjoying the sunshine and drinking a cup of coffee. Here they can just be themselves without the nuisance of photographers and onlookers.
Montana boasts two National Parks—Yellowstone and Glacier, prime hunting and fishing, and most types of outdoors sports. Our tourism, agriculture and natural resources are our primary economic base. Within the last thirty years Montana has also seen a large rise in the technology sector.
Our family enjoys camping, hiking, the quality of life and the beauty of the great outdoors. Jean and I have been married for twenty-eight years and have three children—Abigail, John and Matthew. Abigail is married to Josh Hernandez and has a newborn. We are now grandparents. John works as a graphic designer and a cook. Matthew is still in high school and home schools and is discovering his life interests.
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