There are tons of things we can talk about that used to be very "Bozeman" that aren't around anymore. What I absolutely miss the most about just a few years ago isn't a store, a restaurant, or even reasonable housing prices.

Bozeman's explosive growth in recent years is certainly no secret, and is visible everywhere. Sprawling subdivisions, more people on the trails, an abundance of chain restaurants, and higher costs of living.

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What I miss most about Bozeman are the quiet, empty streets in the early morning hours. Driving to work at 5am was always my favorite time of day because for the most part, I had the town to myself. A few random delivery trucks and maybe City of Bozeman employees getting an early start were my neighbors on my commute. Not anymore.

My commute to work in the morning is my personal time to sort of bond with the town, but also see what the day will hold for the rest of the town. How's the weather? How much snow is covering the roads? How is the air quality? Is the highway traffic quiet? Any new road construction or detours pop up overnight?

Now, there are dozens of people on the road at 5am. It's to be expected and it's not the end of the world. But it IS the end of my early morning quiet time with downtown Bozeman. More people living here means more people needing to get places...at all hours.

It's still a nice time of day to be driving in town. Nobody is tailgating, honking, or in a particular rush. But the quiet of just you and the empty streets isn't quite as peaceful as it used to be.

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