Some towns just have a way to draw you in and keep you wishing you had more time there. Missoula is definitely one of those towns for me. Even when I am leaving, knowing that I have to move on, I am thinking to myself “I’ll be seeing you again soon, but not soon enough.” In case you’re just joining the discussion here, I just came home from a wonderful ten days in Montana centered around the opening of a show titled Day 231 at the gallery of my alma mater, Rocky Mountain School of Photography. You can read about the show in the preceding posts and/or check out the video at the end of the current post for some details on what went (and is still going) down in Missoula in regards to the show. This post is about all the things that happened around Day 231.
Steve and I got into town on Monday the 1st and after some brief delays, checked into the hotel, got some food, ran some errands and rested up from the four day marathon drive from SC/FL. Monday night was dinner and beers and getting reacquainted with the locals. Tuesday we started installing the show in the gallery and stayed and worked until they turned out the lights and locked the doors. Then we enjoyed some sushi and the company of great friends just down the street. Wednesday we continued the installation process and picked up friend Kim from the airport. Kim was the first of 6 friends to arrive from out of town for a mini-reunion based around the opening on Friday. Thursday was finishing touches and Friday was the opening with reception. Celebratory drinks followed with dinner, of course, and fun times consisting of recalling old memories and making new ones lasted well into the early morning Hey, when you work on something for six months you’re allowed to party a little when it’s done, right? On Saturday, Steve and I talked to the 2009 RMSP class and answered questions about our show, what its like going through the course, being an RMSP graduate, and spending time in Montana. Sunday was farewell brunch for almost everyone, then a great afternoon of snacks and drinks on the deck at the Post with Steve and Jenny (Donna Dangerous from GTG) who is beautiful and awesome and seems to have tons in common with friend Steve. And then by seven o’clock that night I was the only non-local left from the weekend. Luckily, I was saved from my solitude by Kerri, her visiting mother Jeanne, and Tom through an invite to dinner. Oddly enough I spent at least some part of each of the next three days with this group, as I was staying at an extra room at Tom’s villa (yes, an actual villa!) and Kerri and Jeanne are just irresistible : )
Monday I started venturing out on my own a little; meeting with Marcy James, lunch with Bob McGowan, chatted about future projects with a local couple who showed some interest in my work during the opening reception, intended to drive out of town and shoot but the rain kept me in and working on what would become the video below; that and playing rummy with Kerri and Jeanne before enjoying a home cooked meal for four. Tuesday I managed to get out of town and drive up the west side of the Mission Mountains to continue shooting for a long term project I started last summer during school. I ended up driving back the east side of the mountain range to check out Swan Lake and The Mission’s eastern face. Stopped and made some images along the way and decided I need to revisit the area during the winter, hopefully sooner than later. Wednesday I stopped by the Missoula Museum of Art to experience Kerri Rosenstein‘s installation with a few less people than had been crowding in there over the weekend. Then, after some lunch, I headed South down the Bitterroot Valley on what I thought would be just a sightseeing/reconnaissance trip for future projects when I inevitably return to Montana, but I actually ended up stopping and shooting quite a bit. I really love the green version of Montana in the late spring and early summer and between the friends and the scenery I contemplated moving to Missoula many times during this trip.
After some goodbyes Thursday morning, I began the somber trip home, which will be covered in another post, because that part of the trip has somethings in it which needs more time to put together. I did stop a few places on the way out to make some images though, including the Wyoming/Montana border on I-90. I’ll leave you with this video of the installation process of Day 231 and a few images of Montana from the trip. If you’re still reading this far into this post, then thanks : )