Missoulian photographers work to preserve Missoula's memories and the moments that mean the most to the people of Western Montana. On Instagram, followers showed their love of their city and state throughout 2017 by liking their favorite photos. Look back at the year as it was captured on camera in these most-loved moments.
A tearful reunion
photo by @kurtdwilson Missoula nurses Shane, left, and Michelle Cole, far right, are greeted by their daughters Hayley and Micayla in an emotional homecoming at the Missoula International Airport Monday afternoon after arriving home on a flight from Las Vegas. Shane, Michelle and their son, Kolter, were attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival when a gunman opened fire killing at least 58 people. After getting Kolter to safety, the Coles helped provide medical care to some of the hundreds of others injured in the shooting. #missoula #montana #route91harvest #nurses #homecoming #homesweethome
Hands on hearts
photo by @kurtdwilson The Missoula Big Sky High School football team stands under the lights and the falling snow Friday night during the playing of the national anthem before their first-round State AA playoff game against their crosstown rival Sentinel Spartans. The underdog Spartans won the game 26-6. #missoula #prepfootball #montana #snowgame #fridaynightlights #snowfall #nationalanthem
Path of totality
In with the new
photos by @kurtdwilson Nick Checota, owner of the new KettleHouse Amphitheater on the Blackfoot River in Bonner, is silhouetted against the amphitheater seating Friday morning as he stands on the stage talking about the 4,000-seat concert venue. "I think it's going to be one of the coolest venues in the country," he says. Lyle Lovett and His Large Band is scheduled to play the first concert in the amphitheater on Thursday, July 13. #missoula #montana #musicvenue #blackfootriver #stage #amphitheater
A show of gratitude
photo by @kurtdwilson A sign at a Lolo Creek residence expresses graditude to firefighters working the nearby Lolo Peak fire. Brent M. Witham, a Hotshot firefighter from Mentone, California, was killed in a tree-felling accident while working the Lolo Peak fire on August 2. It was the second death on Montana wildfires this season. On July 19, Trenton Johnson of Missoula was killed when he was struck by a falling tree on a fire near Seeley Lake. #montana #montanawildfires #forestfire #firefighter #wildlandfire #godbless
Big sky, big clouds
photo by @t.martinophoto a pumpkin was speared to the top of Main Hall on the University of Montana campus on Sunday night. The pumpkin is traditionally placed atop the clock tower in celebration of fall and Halloween. Last year the climber Peter Breigenzer was arrested for climbing the building, but still managed to stick the pumkin atop the spire. The culprit of the climb has remained anonymous this year.
photo by @kurtdwilson Missoula's Dick Moore, whose Air Force career spanned 25 years and three wars, stands for a portrait in the uniform he wore when he retired in 1968. Moore, 93, who joined the military to fly bombers in World War II, says he fell in love with flying as a young boy, inspired by a barnstormer he saw at the Western Montana Fair in the 1930s. #missoula #montana #veteransday #veteran #proudveteran #montanalife #airforce #ww2
photo by @kurtdwilson Motorists on U.S. Highway 93 South pass through a plume of smoke Thursday evening from the Lolo Peak fire as flames from the fire, and from backfiring operations, pushed toward the valley floor between Lolo and Florence. #montana #wildfire #forestfire #smoke #highway93 #bitterrootvalley #lolopeakfire
A hard day's work
photo by @t.martinophoto a wildland firefighter takes a break amid thick smoke on the stump of tree that was felled near the Bass Creek Recreation Area south of the Lolo Peak fire on Monday. The Lolo Peak fire has burned 37,844 acres, killed one firefighter and injured three as of Monday afternoon. #wildfire #montanamoment #photography #firefighter #🔥
photo by @t.martinophoto Henry Becker, 8, reacts to his new tree house built for him by the Make-A-Wish Montana in his backyard after his mother Polly took his blindfold off. Becker was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital defect where one half of the heart doesn’t develop properly while a baby is developing, affecting blood flow. After being flown to Seattle shortly after his birth, Becker has since had three open-heart surgeries to help his condition, and has been doing great since, his mother Polly said.
...where the buffalo roam...
photo by @t.martinophoto the wind blows and the trees bend at one of the entrances to Greenough Park on Tuesday afternoon. It's been a beautiful fall week in Missoula, keep an eye out this Sunday for some of our favorite fall scenes from around town from the ground and the air in the Territory section.
photo by @kurtdwilson Flames shoot hundreds of feet into the night sky late Wednesday on the Lolo Peak fire as seen from the town of Lolo. The fire made a run late Wednesday night forcing evacuations of homes west of Highway 93 between Lolo and Florence. #montana #wildfire #forestfire #bitterroot #fireseason #outwest
photo by @kurtdwilson Elton John, who will celebrate his 70th birthday later this month, gestures to the sold-out crowd Wednesday night at Adams Center in Missoula after the first song during a stop on his “Wonderful, Crazy Night,” tour. #missoula #montana #eltonjohn #eltonjohnconcert #sireltonjohn #wonderfulcrazynight #70yearsyoung #rockstar #piano
September in smoke
photo by @kurtdwilson Firefighters on the Rice Ridge fire near Seeley Lake walk through camp early Tuesday morning in the air thick with smoke. The fire more than doubled in size over the Labor Day weekend to nearly 110,000 acres, driven by erratic winds and hot dry weather. #montana #montanafires #wildlandfire #firecamp #riceridgefire #sunrise #badair #wildlandfirefighter