How We Met
Rachel and I met on April 19, 2018. Our first date was at Lake Monster Brewery in Saint Paul. She showed up in a buffalo plaid flannel and a t-shirt from Montana. I knew we were off to a good start. We spent a few hours talking over beers – trading camping and adventure stories – all while trying to help her re-learn the game of cribbage. We never finished that first game of cribbage. We couldn’t stop talking. The night ended with a kiss, and a cute text saying that she made it home safely.
Our second date was an adventure in itself. It was Earth Day, and we were only a few days removed from a freak April snowstorm that dumped 15+ inches on the Twin Cities. We met at Lebanon Hills in Eagan, and spent the day hiking around on trails that were covered in packed, treacherous snow. We trudged through mud and slop and spent a good amount of time laughing at me as I slipped on all the snow-covered boardwalks. Our feet hurt from walking so much, but neither of us cared; we were just enthralled with being together.
After that, we had no doubts. We started booking camping trips, concerts, vacations, all without a second thought. We couldn’t get enough of each other. The positive attitudes, genuine feelings, made it easy to fall for each other. Within 5 months we had several matching shirts, hats, and flannels – even a matching Smokey Bear tattoo! We felt so genuinely connected.
How They Asked
Fast forward to Memorial Day, 2019. Rachel and I were bouncing around in the back of a friend’s pickup truck on the 15-mile, single lane dirt road to Kintla Lake – in the very northwest corner of Glacier National Park. Little did she know that hiding in my camera bag was an engagement ring. She knew I was in contact with a custom jewelry maker in Duluth to talk about and design a ring, but she was 100% certain that I didn’t have it yet. I knew I was going to propose this day, but that’s where my plan ended. I didn’t have anything planned out. I didn’t know what I was going to say. I didn’t know where exactly this was all going to play out.
Once we got to Kintla Lake, it all came together. We hopped out of the truck and started wandering around. There was a stunning view of snow-capped peaks across the lake, and a lovely little bridge that spanned a stream that came flowing out of the lake. I knew this was the spot. We took off and hiked along the lake for a few miles. Upon our return, we milled around for a bit and tried to concoct a plan for the afternoon. Rachel wandered out onto the bridge by herself. I seized on this opportunity and grabbed the ring box from my backpack and walked out to her on the bridge. I told her I loved her, gave her a kiss, and then asked her to be my hiking partner for life. She said yes!