Ashley and Dennis
How We Met
We actually met online – Tinder, to be exact! I noticed this guy had “super liked” me and the first thing I saw when his profile popped up we’re his eyes. He has these incredible blue-green eyes. We started talking and we would send each other these long messages, we just felt so comfortable right off the bat. Our first date was lunch at an On The Border and traffic on the highway made him 45 minutes late! I wasn’t worried at all, despite the many waitresses that came over to me with sad eyes asking if I was okay. I knew less than two weeks into dating Dennis that he was the one.
How They Asked
We were in Colorado for a wedding but had decided to take the next week for vacation. The wedding was beautiful! It was at this precious little barn nestled in the mountains surrounding Granby, Colorado. Unfortunately, the state was hit with record snowfall in late June. The bride walked out to the snow, sleet, and small bits of hail! That same storm dropped several feet of snow on the surrounding mountains and brought the temperature down quite a bit to where it couldn’t melt. This is important to the story, I promise!
After the wedding, we left for our campsite in Carbondale. It was perfect. We camped on a riverbank in the shadow of Mount Sopris. The first couple of days were uneventful, but the third…
We had purchased passes to see the Maroon Bells, a stunning mountain landscape with pristine snow-melt lakes. We happened upon a trail that was 1.4 miles each way, which we figured would be easy. We. Were. Wrong. It wound up being more like two miles each way over boulder fields, ancient rockslides, and a fairly steep incline. I, in my infinite wisdom, was wearing Chacos. By the time we made it back down, we had missed the last bus off the mountain and wound up having to hitchhike eight miles back to our car. I proclaimed that I was DONE hiking for that trip. Sweet Dennis had a plan, though and after some light convincing, I agreed.
We were heading out to Long Lake, in the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. Driving out to the area and we were met with serious traffic. The snowstorm had caused rock slides onto the road heading through Boulder Canyon and only one direction of traffic could get through at a time. Dennis was becoming increasingly stressed with each passing minute.
We made it to the recreation area to find the road leading to the trailhead was covered in snow; we would have to hike it. No problem. He got me to agree to this hike by telling me how easy it was! We get to the trail and see a massive sign letting us know about the mountain lions in the area. I was a little worried! As we head down the trail, we’re met with MOUNDS, almost seven feet tall, of snow. We would climb up and slide down in some areas! We couldn’t find the trail… My feet kept falling into the snow and I was trapped several times. Dennis got rather good at digging me out. We were soaked, muddy, and freezing. I had cried from panic after being trapped so many times and I just wasn’t sure WHAT could be so amazing about this lake or why I had agreed to this!
We find a clearing after walking aimlessly and lost through the snow and Dennis decides we can’t go any further. He calls out for Joe. Joe? Who’s Joe?! I thought he was calling out to make noise for bears or mountain lions. He tells me that he had hired a photographer to meet us out there but we were too late. But, why? I was really confused! He had told me a proposal was months away! He began digging in his bag, and that’s when it hit me.
At that moment, this unbelievably kind, compassionate, and selfless man knelt in the snow and mud and asked me to marry him with a stunning sapphire ring.
I said YES!
We missed out on our photographer, but in the end, two amazing things happened that day… I became engaged to the love of my life, and we didn’t get eaten by mountain lions or bears! The red snow we encountered on the way back made us think something else may not have been so lucky! We were able to meet up with our amazing (and patient) photographer before heading home for some incredible mountain engagement shots.