December has officially begun, and with the cold season set to arrive, I can’t help but think how crazy it was to spend my last two winters in Montana. My feet actually not being completely buried in snow, or not feeling the freezing, numbness in my toes – as well as my bones this time of the year – is actually bizarre to me.

First time in the snow

I remember it like it was yesterday: it was the first week of October, and it was snowing.

“Snow?!”, “Dad you gotta be f—king kidding me!”, I shouted to my dad as I am struggling, nearly falling on my ass on the thick, sleek black ice, trying to regain my balance.

I was just in complete awe; how is it this cold and how is the weather this intense in just October? Literally just one week after I arrive in Montana, and I am already contemplating on what a mistake it was to make the move out here.

“Don’t give up now son, you just got here,” my dad gave me a few encouraging words while he was mildly chuckling. He certainly gave me a fair warning ahead of time about what I would be getting myself into.

Lot of snow in early fall of 2019

Living in Southern California for my entire life, I have never really seen very much snow and just shocked me that it would come as early as October. I quickly learned that I was actually in one of the colder spots in the midwest.

LA to Butte was a real culture shock

I was definitely in for a culture shock on so many levels when I had arrived in Butte, Montana.

Uptown area in Butte right near Granite Street

Honestly it really felt like my life was a movie two years ago when I left California, a place that I called home all my life, and then moved to a state where I was completely foreign too. Little did I know, this was almost like an actual movie for the entire world for that matter, in regards to those following months in 2019.

We all knew what happened when 2019 was over, the crazy year that was 2020 had begun, and the world that we knew had changed forever. But before we go into that, we’ll talk about how hard, yet exciting it was for me to make this transition.

Now, looking back at it, I wish I could simply hit the rewind button and do this whole move all over again! There is no better, exciting and exhilarating feeling than starting a new life!

First time at a radio station, was excited to try something new.

Wether you have had struggles in the past, or were even in a great situation, making a move like I did, truly builds character.

There were times where I cried on many occasions, finding myself actually sitting on my knees and praying to the lord and asking for help, or answers. Little did I know, those early struggles I had in Montana were actually some of the best times in my life,and I wouldn’t ever trade that experience for anything in the world!

Moving to Montana was like living in a real-life movie

As am I writing this I can feel myself become more emotional, for I was in such a dark place initially…starting over… having no one there by my side, except just one member of my family – my father.

My father is a huge inspiration for me in my life, no matter our differences or his mistakes in the past. Family is family, and my father and I, became the closest we have been since we were separated when I was a teenager.

My father sometime around the 80’s

After not seeing my dad for almost nine years, it was a special feeling seeing him the first time since then when I arrived in Montana. I was completely shell-shocked to actually see my father, could just feel the weight of that moment hugging him.

I obviously wouldn’t have made that move to Montana if my father wasn’t living out there, but I just was grateful to have had him there.

October was on and off in regards to the snow, and by the time it was November, it was pretty much snowfall all day, everyday. I found myself writing more and more at this local coffee shop called “Oro Fino”.

There was something about this dark winter weather, and snow that made me feel ‘poetic’.

Walking over to Oro Fino from Granite Street

The lack of sun and the intense winter weather started to somewhat dawn on me at times, affecting my mood into a depression. People out in Montana during winter season become Vitamin-D deficient from the lack of sunlight, and started to realize that this was an actual thing.

During these chilly times, I luckily found my therapy, and it was to continue writing and working out.

I really enjoyed the gym that was nearly across the street from my father’s apartment, I could walk and be there within just minutes. This gym was an old school, sort of run down facility, called the “Knights of Columbus”, a fraternal organization that is widely known around the country.

Butte is one interesting town

Before I had started working and meeting friends through that aspect, I started to go out as much as possible in order to interact with people in this city called Butte. What better way to meet some of the locals at the nearby bars?

Butte is one interesting place to say the least, for it has a lot of history and interesting characters.

Butte’s history and culture dates all the way back to the 1800’s as a gold and silver mining camp. According to City County of Butte-Silver Bow, the development of electricity and industrialization of America resulted in a massive copper boom, and Butte flourished.

Circa 1910 stereograph view of the Miners’ Union Day festivities in Butte, by N.A. Forsyth. (Montana Historical Society Photograph Archives) Scenario Journal.com

I quickly learned also Butte was very much an Irish, but also drinking township. The area i lived in was called “up-town”, pretty much a small downtown area in Butte, but it was up on a hill — so that’s what they called it uptown.

Living in uptown was great for me, especially in the beginning because I didn’t have a car, and the bars, restaurants, plus my work were very accessible through walking. If I was living on the other side of Butte then getting around would be much more difficult.

Living in uptown also gave me the chance to become more aquatinted with people, seeing familiar faces in that area and eventually meeting neighbors and friends.

Montana is beautiful

When you get a chance to see all of the green and beautiful landscape Montana has to offer, you might fall in love.

Delmoe Lake, about 15 mins away from Butte

When I landed in Helena Airport, I drove through the beautiful state capital on my way to Butte and it was a very nice scenic drive. I probably haven’t seen this much green, trees, wild life ever since my trip to Spokane, Washington.

The gorgeous scenery passing through Helena was a nice get away from all the burnt hills in LA.

The beer scene is awesome

Speaking of gorgeous scenery, you’ll find several breathtaking atmospheres at some of the awesome breweries in Helena, Missoula, and Bozeman.

A gorgeous view at MAP Brewing in Bozeman

I posted last summer about Imagination Brewing and some of the great Missoula breweries, and it just keeps reminding me how cool it was to have that scenic view, overlooking the mountain side. It’s an incredible breath of fresh air and you just take that first sip, and take it all in…”ahh this is nice.”

Just like Missoula, Bozeman also has some of the best breweries in Montana. MAP Brewing, in Bozeman, is a highly recommended brewery if you come out to this awesome city.

MAP had a gorgeous patio overlook right over the lake, and of course with mountains. It is almost like being in unison with nature after having a nice buzz…looking at the trees, lakes, mountains, etc, breweries like MAP just add perspective while looking at the beautiful scenery.

Mountains Walking is another well known brewery in Bozeman that’s just only two miles adjacent to MAP, literally just a 5 minute drive. “Mountains Walking adds a most pleasing new dimension to the Bozeman brewery scene”, just like the website states, it has a bright, cozy, and welcoming atmosphere.

Mountains Walking has a nice, sophisticated sort of vibe at night

Not only is the architecture Mountains Walking high quality, but so is there beer. This brewery also has some of the best hazy IPA’s I’ve tried in the state.

I actually had a couple beers recently from Tavour, that were featured from Mountains Walking! “Oni”, has the reputation as one of the best triple IPA’s from Montana.

From their incredible IPA’s to pastry stouts, Mountains Walking is another must try in the Bozeman area, for they also have a great food as well. I fell in love with the “totchos” at this brewery, the nacho-tater tots just have my whole heart.

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