This past weekend, I was lucky enough to have the girl of my dreams agree to marry me. This is a girl who has ridden her bike across the country twice – once from the West Coast to the East Coast and once from New Mexico up the Rocky Mountains to Montana. A girl who lived out of my truck with me for weeks at a time on multiple occasions as we traveled back from Alaska and then again as we explored the Desert Southwest. A girl who has gone on an 18-mile day hike with me to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite, and who has rappelled into caves with me to places where the light from the sun no longer reaches. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life.
You can see the full story with pictures posted on my blog.
That being said, I knew that the only way to properly propose to such an amazing woman would be from the top of a mountain or at the end of a long day trekking to an incredible destination (with beer included, of course!).
I had been scheming for months, looking for the right opportunity, and even took the time to hand-craft an engagement ring from a fallen Manzanita tree.
When the opportunity finally arrived for the two of us to go on an adventure together, the plan was to backpack 10 miles, deep into the Ventana Wilderness near Big Sur, and lounge in the refreshing waters of Sykes Hot Springs. This was going to be perfect! So, of course, when the day arrived for us to leave on our adventure… we were both hopelessly sick. Luckily that didn’t stop us completely. At the last minute, we changed plans to go on a shorter backpacking trip in Henry W. Coe State Park instead.
Alright, not quite as perfect, but still beautiful with some grand vistas. Maybe I could still find the right place to propose. I was a bit nervous and on edge throughout our entire hike, constantly thinking, “Is this the right place? Maybe I should do it now?” But as the day wore on, so did the opportunities for the perfect proposal. Not only did our runny noses continue running all day, but it also started to rain. It continued raining for the last 3 miles of the hike. By the time we got to our destination – Kelly Lake – it was freezing, we were soaked, and we were sick. The only respite we could find from the weather was in the alcove of a bathroom constructed on the edge of the lake.
It was in this absolutely miserable situation that, against all odds, Sarah and I found ourselves singing and dancing and laughing without a care in the world. I was having such a good time that the little voice in my head said, “This is it.” Freezing rain, mountain vistas, and illnesses be damned – this was the girl that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with! So, in the alcove of a bathroom with no view to speak of whatsoever, I asked Sarah to marry me. Sick, cold, wet, and happy she said, “yes”!