Why We Live Here
Joanie Christian
“Priest Lake Boat Launch”

Why We Live Here
For the past 14 years, we've filled the pages of the Inlander's Annual Manual with the people and places that make the Inland Northwest unique. We've documented trends from the Farm Chick revolution to cupcakes and cold brew. We've written about running clubs with a love of craft beer and "random acts of debauchery" and rabble-rousers challenging the status quo. And this year is no different. Once again we've pulled together lists of hiking clubs and art galleries, urban wineries and ziplines. We hope that our shopping section will introduce you to your new favorite local boutique, and our list of romantic restaurants helps you plan your next anniversary.

This year, we also asked you a question: We asked you why you live here, and asked you to answer with photos. Hundreds of images were submitted, and here's what you said: You love the four seasons of the Inland Northwest — seeing the larch trees turn a brilliant gold amidst a sea of green conifers in the fall and witnessing a rosy alpenglow after a fresh snowfall. You appreciate the diversity of our region — the wheat fields of the Palouse, the wetlands, the mountain peaks and our urban skyline. Our lakes — Loon, Coeur d'Alene, Priest — clearly you enjoy them all (preferably on a kayak, it would seem) and relish the opportunity to spy moose taking muddy baths, eagles catching their prey, and beavers, osprey and deer in their natural habitats. You love vintage cars and Spokane institutions like the Garland Theater, and the fact that a river cuts through the heart of downtown.

We're so glad we asked.

Cover Contest Winner: Megan Kennedy

A native Californian, Megan Kennedy's love for the Inland Northwest took root as a student at WSU. Since then, her appreciation for this region has only deepened as she's traveled the Northwest capturing the stories of local entrepreneurs, clients and couples as a professional photographer and videographer. "We try to live with an adventurous spirit and tend to connect with people who share that love of nature," explains Kennedy, who co-founded Rogue Heart Media with her husband, Rob. "On a lot of our shoots, we find ourselves in really beautiful spaces. From our perspective, the diversity of the terrain is amazing — that we can go out on an engagement shoot and be in an urban setting, and in 10 minutes drive to find high grasses, or be on the river, makes this area truly like no place else." This winning image was captured at Spokane's High Bridge Park, as part of an engagement shoot for Khalid and Sara Beznaigvia.

To see more of the submitted images for the Annual Manual cover photo contest, turn the pages or visit Inlander.com/slideshows.

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