Bracing for the migration.

The Californians are coming and you are unfortunately going to need to prepare for it. It’s actually in some ways your own fault. The people in Montana are way too nice and helpful. There is breathtaking beauty everywhere, and folks are more than happy to share it. The ski slopes are spectacular and your management of trout fishing waters is both logical and efficient, something Californians know little of. Yep, the Californiacs are on their way, and there are a few surefire ways to spot the ones that could be particularly troublesome. Here’s what to look out for:

Drives a Range Rover.
Most folks have no idea how to use any of the vehicle’s features, but they do know how to get one detailed weekly. Really, who would buy something that’s value drops to that of a 2005 Toyota Tacoma after two years? Also, why are they all black? Never thought that was the best color for an off-road vehicle.  

Rides a High-End Electric Bike.
This trend has a unique origin. In California, if you get a first-offense DUI, the penalty is a loss of driving privileges for a year. The makers of these high-end electric bikes and DUI class instructors formed a consortium to market these bikes as the most efficient way to get around. Rich folks saw them and thought they were cool. Now they are everywhere, racing past you every time there is a wisp of a headwind or worse yet, a grade of greater than two percent. 

Has an Incessant Focus on Paddleboarding.
This activity is a good source of core fitness and a great way to spend some time outdoors. It is not a lifestyle! This has become an absolute infatuation where it is the only thing some California folks talk or care about. Make sure not to ask about the $3,000 racing boards on top of the Range Rover. They will try to make you their paddling buddy for life. 

Meets at Least Two of the Following Criteria.
Has never had a fishing or hunting license, keeps ski racks on all summer long, owns cats, wears a fur coat, drives to the mailbox, orders skinny soy half-caf macchiatos, and asks for the email address of the local dog-walker.

With any luck, your new neighbor from the West Coast will be a retired fireman who is handy, has tons of expensive toys in his garage for you to borrow, and does not have any of the above traits. For everyone else, including my future neighbors, good luck.

Chuck Camps is an operations and finance consultant / crisis manager who migrated himself to Bozeman in 2017.