As seen in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle: https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/opinions/letters_to_editor/letter-to-the-editor-cooke-citys-isolation-is-an-asset-not-a-detriment/article_afc264ec-b2d1-11ed-af86-8327a7dcefa7.html
The news about plowing the Plug in Cooke City (“End of the Road” Feb. 19) brought to mind sage advice from a 99-year-old friend. When I asked how to age wisely she replied, “Stay true to who you are and be grateful for that.” I also thought about parallels between Cooke City and Bozeman, even though they may seem worlds apart.
The fact that Cooke City is located at the end of the road and is very remote is an asset, not a detriment to its economy. There is an inherent value in the isolation, lack of cell service, and the ability to easily access the snowiest mountains in Montana. Visitors from big cities say they love the remoteness and come back year after year for that experience. If the plug is plowed Cooke City will become a pass through for regional locals looking to shorten their drive from Cody to Bozeman, and tourists who want the “luxuries” a bigger city can offer. Cooke City will lose who and what it is as the residents wave good-bye to the RVs thundering down Main Street. It will become just another little town.
And what about Bozeman? Are we losing touch with who we are by building houses that our teachers, firefighters, and young families can’t afford to live in? Are we forgetting all we have to be grateful for and giving it up for an unsustainable and temporary prosperity? Will we become just another Aspen or heaven forbid, Big Sky?
My friend also advised me to accept that change happens. It does, and we can be grateful for that, too, if we stay true to who we are.
Ken Mundt -Bozeman