Desa and Zack

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How We Met

Zack and I met the second week of my freshman year of high school. One of my first friends, Alysa, was a year ahead of me and she asked me if I thought any of the boys were cute. You know, like girls do. I obviously said, “That really tall guy…with the brown hair!” She knew exactly who I was talking about; it was a small school. Alysa and I were walking around outside before class and decided to go hang out with some of her friends at a food truck on campus. I thought it would be a fun opportunity to meet some new friends. She had other plans. As we approached the food truck I saw him- the tall guy with the brown hair.

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As I began to piece together her devious plan, Alysa ditched me & I was left standing beside the tall guy with the brown hair. Our first interaction went a little, exactly, like this: Me: “Hi I’m Desa!” Tall guy, brown hair: “Hey I’m Zack. You have really pretty eyes.” Me: “Thanks! You’re really tall. I like mashed potatoes..” I know how to dish the pick up lines, am I right? Zack and I talked until class started and a few days later he stopped me in the hall to ask for my number. A couple of weeks later, Zack asked me to be his girlfriend. After the third time, I said yes and didn’t let him go.

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how they asked

Zack and I went to Appalachian State University and spent as much free time as possible hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Linville Gorge, and any other Western NC mountain trail we could find. We stocked up four years of hikes filled with beautiful mountain ranges, silly talks, getting lost, going off the trail because Zack wanted to climb something or “explore,” laughing with groups of friends, and attempting to foresee & plan our future. Hiking is our jam. Of the four years, the day we spent climbing through the Linville Gorge with friends was, by far, my favorite. The views from the Gorge and Table Rock were like nothing I had seen before; the day was pure adventure and joy. Four years later, the view is still my favorite.

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Zack and I planned the perfect day in Boone, NC for the last weekend of my Master’s program: breakfast at Melanie’s, hike at Table Rock, wine at Linville Winery & Appalachian Mountain Brewery with friends. I invited my friends Cassie and Josh to spend the day with us and Cassie suggested a trip to Wisemans View, which overlooks Linville Gorge, after the winery. I relayed the message to Zack and he loved the idea. I thought I was doing a great job planning the whole thing when, in reality, Zack and Cassie had been planning the day for months. When we got to the overlook I heard Zack give his jacket to Cassie and I turned around to see tears in his eyes. As he began to talk I could hear Cassie’s camera. This was it! After eight and a half years of adventurous, sweet, and simple love, Zack proposed at my favorite view in NC with a ring he so thoughtfully designed. Here’s to a lifetime of adventure and simple love!

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Special Thanks

Cassie Mumford
 | Photographer