Heraclitus must have had Montana in mind when he wrote, "everything changes and nothing remains still; and you cannot step twice into the same stream." Sounds about right, especially if you've lived in and around Bozeman for at least 20 years.

As with anywhere, the longer you've been in Bozeman, the more memories you have of how things 'used to be'. Makes perfect sense. How could you not? What's interesting about Montana in general is that so much stuff has changed in so little amount of time, that is doesn't take someone a lifetime of living here to notice things disappearing - it takes about 4 or 5 years, I'd guess. That's terrifying.

Reminiscing can be a bit of a bummer in my opinion, especially about the place that you live. Chatting about cheesy haircuts you and your friends used to have is one thing - pining away for how things used to be in the place you live can be incredibly depressing, and not particularly pleasant.

So what are we getting at, here? If the only constant in life is change, these are a few things that have definitely changed in Bozeman - and will likely never return. Oddly, the 'change' I think about most often on this list is the first one.

Michelle Wolfe
Michelle Wolfe
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You hardly know anyone on your flight in or out of Bozeman. This change was a slow crawl, I think. Waiting at the gate before a flight used to be a guaranteed social gathering - could be a neighbors from down the street or friends you haven't seen in forever. Even just 10 or 15 years ago, it would be a VERY rare flight without you knowing (or recognizing) at least a dozen people. It was fun. But it's not like that anymore. Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is now the busiest in the state.

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Good luck renting a place to live if you have any animals. The already tight and expensive rental market in the Bozeman area is even harder for those looking to rent a house or apartment with a dog or cat. (Especially the cat, but that's always been the case.) It seems that property owners have the upper hand in this weird battle since inventory is so low. Why allow for the possibility of pet damage if you don't have to?

They no longer need "dog people" who are willing to pay a bit more for a fenced yard - there are plenty of pet-free applicants to fill the properties. That's a shame. (Yes, I understand property owners wanting to minimize any risk - but I don't have to like renters being forced between having a pet or a place to live.)

photo - Michelle Wolfe
photo - Michelle Wolfe
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You need to wake up at 5am on powder days to make the lot. This doesn't apply to every ski area, but our most local option has it's parking lot space limits. It's as simple as that. Over the last several years (and especially since the COVID invasion), powder day traffic heading up Bridger Canyon can be backed up for miles at 7am. It's super frustrating and there's no quick fix. It sort of 'is what it is' for the foreseeable future.

photo - Michelle Wolfe
photo - Michelle Wolfe
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Parking anywhere on the MSU Campus is sort of a nightmare. It's not only difficult to find a place to park, but it's confusing as hell. Parking just shouldn't be rocket science. In MSU's defense, they know it's a nightmare and have been trying all sorts of things to alleviate the problem.

25 years ago, the biggest problem was getting tickets near campus because you parked in a neighborhood that required a permit. It was very simple and you knew you were rolling the dice. As a resident of South Hedges, not once did I ever have a problem finding a space in Lot 2. Betcha can't say that these days.

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