How We Met
Jess and I first met in August of 2016. At that point, both of us were living in Utah thanks to the United States Air Force. Her dad had been stationed there and I was finishing up my first assignment, soon to be moving somewhere new. Jess was busy working two jobs and I was constantly finding new adventures after work, so neither of us spent a lot of time focused on dating. However, as time progressed we both ventured to the world of online dating.
After we both swiped right, it took a few weeks before we managed to arrange a date in our busy schedules. So I picked a nice restaurant to go have dinner and some drinks and spent the rest of the night talking, getting fro-yo, and wandering around Target with the only intention of not letting the conversation end. Eventually we went our separate ways and traveled home, each wondering when the next time was we would see each other.
Luckily for me, she was supposed to go hiking with a friend the next day and those plans fell through, so we went to watch the sunset along the Shoreline trail. That hike was the first of many we would share over the next few months, until I proposed we go camping in the mountains to see the Milky Way. By this point in time she was all in and immediately said yes. After this fun, although cold adventure, we both knew we had found the one we wanted to love for the rest of our lives. And that’s when the planning started…
how they asked
After a very snowy winter in Utah, we finally began taking road trips in May to visit all the National Parks in the area. During those long drives, we began talking about our future together, engagement, weddings, and the impending move to Ohio in August. This was all part of my plan to keep her guessing on when I might propose, and it worked. I had already designed her ring with the help of our friend Lisa and was just waiting for it to be finished. Each trip we took helped solidify the “where” and “who” would be there to help, but always left the “when” without an answer. I wanted the moment to feel right, to be completely unexpected, and to leave a lasting memory. Finally, in June the ring was ready and I quickly went to pick it up with Lisa. At that moment, everything I had been planning came together. It was a surreal feeling, that the ring I was holding would serve as a symbol of my commitment to her for the rest of our lives.
And so the weekend of the 4th of July came around and since I had some extra days off, I asked Ryan and Lisa if they wanted to go on another adventure. They obliged as they always did and we set off for Logan Canyon to camp and climb Naomi Peak the next day. For Jess this was just another trip like the countless ones we had gone on before, another destination I had previously mentioned we should do before our move. But for me this trip was different, this time I had the ring just in case.
Sunday morning we started our hike from Tony Grove Lake toward Naomi Peak, encountering packs of snow feet thick in some places. Did I mention it was a snowy winter? As we hiked I spent a lot of time thinking if this was the day, the peak, the hour I would ask her to marry me. The closer to the top, the more difficult the hiking became and the more tired we all became. During the last climb before the peak Jess struggled a little with the steep snow, but in that moment her determination, her drive, her beauty, her true personality, I could see it all… I knew it was this day. After a nice lunch at the peak I began taking pictures, scouting for the spot where I would ask her to be my wife. It didn’t take long to find the perfect spot and I asked Ryan if he could take some pictures of Jess and I on the adjacent high point. As we walked over, I hoped he was ready because I hadn’t actually told him I was doing it! Fortunately Lisa and I shared a connecting moment and she realized my plans because she knew I had the ring with me.
As we walked, I knew she didn’t suspect a thing and that I had the element of surprise. So after a few normal pictures I turned to her as I reached in my pocket, pulled out the ring, and dropped to one knee. It was at that moment I forgot the small speech I had thought of before, my memory going blank, overcome by everything that she meant to me, the love we shared, and simply I asked her… “Will you be my adventure buddy for life?”
Her immediate reaction was of disbelief that it was actually happening at that moment, in that place. Then, a “Yes!” Pure joy, love, so many emotions, all happening in that moment. I would be lying if I didn’t include that I teared up and she didn’t, at least not yet! After putting the ring on her finger I stood up and we both embraced, staring at each other, knowing the words the other was thinking without speaking.
After a moment that felt like an eternity, we walked back to rejoin Ryan and Lisa who were both gleaming with happiness to have shared that moment with us. I couldn’t have asked for two better people to share it with. Then we took a few more pictures, had hugs full of celebration and congratulations and we began our journey back to the parking lot, this time as two people full of love and a commitment to soon be one.