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Another Note about the Missions map

I can’t write an announcement about the Missions map without talking about our dear friend Kyra Jean Wiliams. Last spring when we first pulled the whole map together Kyra was probably the only person more excited about it than me. She was living in Saint Ignatius at the base of the Mission Range and spent much of her free time exploring the mountains out her back door. She called or stopped by almost every weekend to check on the progress of the map or to look at our draft to plan her weekend outing. As some of you may know Kyra passed away in a car accident last August. This map is dedicated to her and to the spirit of adventure and the willingness to forge her own path that she embodied.

Kyra and I went to college together in Maine and we both ended up in Missoula after we graduated. Kyra was one of those people I always wanted to see more of. She was so vibrant and such a kind and colorful spirit. So grounded and so at peace with who she was and what she knew to be important in life. Unlike most of my female friends we didn’t spend a lot of time talking about relationship drama or life in a broad metaphorical terms. We talked about business plans and ways to create fulfilling careers doing what we loved in a way that we could avoid burning out. We talked about our Bates peers who were living in bigger cities following more traditional paths and how we felt drawn to this mountain town where you can touch the wilderness with one hand and gourmet coffee with the other. We both fell in love with Missoula because the culture here encourages a certain kind of dreaming- about how life doesn’t have to be either a successful career climbing the ladder or full of adventure; it’s possible to have both at the same time. It was always such a comfort to talk with someone who came from the same background and could appreciate differences between Missoula and Bates from the same perspective as me. I miss her dearly and I continue to be inspired by her passion for living life to the fullest.

-Amelia

Kyra in her little home at the base of the Missions photo credit: Grant Haynes

6 thoughts on “Another Note about the Missions map

  1. Beautifully written Amelia…it speaks to me in volumes. I didn’t know Kyra, but I know that she would be SO proud of you! xo

  2. So wonderful, Amelia. I look forward to visiting Missoula again, sipping coffee with you, hiking and talking about Kyra. Stay well, Amelia!

  3. I am Rachel Salloway’s mother and I love what you, Amila wrote about your dear friend Kyra. The world is certainly a better place because of Kyra thank you for sharing your thoughts so eloquently. Kim

  4. Amelia,
    I am Kyra’s mom and I am so grateful that Kyra had such loving and amazing friends. I had a reading from an incredible medium from Colorado last night.
    She asked me if Kyra was into maps, I told her I would have to think on that. Just now I saw your note on her facebook page, and this was the map she was talking about. She is with all of us in spirit and is so honored by what you have created.
    Love Lynn

  5. We were waiting along with Kyra, on the completion of this map, and we are so excited! It feels good to read your words of affection for Kyra. No doubt we will think of her every time we use the map and on every Mission adventure. All of us at Foothill Farm are lonely for her. Thanks for sharing your sweet words.

  6. Finally getting around to approving and posting comments! Sorry to take so long and Thank You everyone for your kind words! Kyra has been on my mind a lot as our growing season gains momentum and summer plans start to take shape. Lots of Love!

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