Our family is picking up here in Lakewood, Colorado next month, and moving to Missoula, Montana! So we are excitedly and busily planning our future, making our counter-clockwise rounds in the states surrounding Utah (Arizona to Colorado and now to Montana).
Jed was offered a job as a research historian for a company called HRA (Historical Research Associates). HRA is hired by outside companies and the government to research litigation issues and write official reports, mostly about water, land, and environmental issues, right up Jed's alley. Jed will be traveling a lot around the country. He will still be working on his dissertation and will likely finish it next year.
We are super excited about this and know that it is a perfect move for our family. Missoula is about an 8-hour drive north of Salt Lake and is located on the western edge of the state (close to the Idaho border). It is gorgeous country surrounded by rivers and mountains and wilderness galore (think: "A River Runs Through It"). The University of Montana is also located there, called the Harvard of the West. The population is around 70,000 (not too big, not too small) and it has a great community atmosphere. The city has received numerous awards, including an award for one of the top 100 great US cities to raise a family, Tree City award, and recognition for being a very bike-friendly city. They have a thriving music and arts scene and place a lot of emphasis on historical preservation. Missoula is close to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, Idaho, Canada, Oregon, Washington. It's not as cold as other areas of Montana (elevation is only 3,000 feet as it's closer to the coast) and gets about as much snow as Salt Lake City. When I talked to one prospective landlord, he told me that people go to Missoula to visit and they never want to leave.
We will pack up the moving truck here around December 18, drive to Utah and spend the holidays with family, then head up to our new home at the end of December. Wish us well!