How We Met
Alex and I met what feels like forever ago; in 2012 a mutual friend introduced us. Alex, persistent as ever, won me after asking me out only a few times, but it didn’t take long for him to win me over with his quick wit and charm. We’ve been dating for over 6 years and I have to admit this isn’t the first time he asked, but this was the first time he was serious. What did I say: he is persistent. Alex is still as charming as ever. If you’re lucky enough to know Alex you know he’s a romantic, so no doubt this was a grand gesture.
how they asked
Alex had planned a weekend away and alluded that we’d be hiking. Alex woke me up gently, but eager to start the day early Saturday morning and of course it started with a road trip. We were headed towards Tennessee, what had become a beloved hiking spot for us and our pup, Hunter. We did some moderate hiking that day seeing some beautiful sites, and once we arrived back to the car Alex informed me that he forgot the tent at home.
Considering we were in the middle of rural Tennessee and hiking I was a bit concerned, but Alex assured me he had a plan. With unwavering confidence, Alex drove us to an unknown location. We soon pulled up to the whimsical house with an octagon guest house that was my favorite shade of green. The house was tiny with cute string lights and artwork out front, it looked perfect. At this point Alex was all smiles, this was his plan all along.
Sunday morning came and the plan for the day was a bit of a heavier hike. We enjoyed breakfast and headed out to the sight, still unknown to me at this point. It didn’t take long for me to recognize the trail we were walking, it was the first trail we’d ever hiked on. We remembered it as our first adventure together. This trail had been a symbol of the beginning of us, everything new, and it had left us exhausted. It is 10 miles with a 1496 feet climb. We were novice hikers back then, but by this point, we had likely hiked over 500+ miles together and made a hobby of it.
The trail was beautiful and just as I’d remembered it. Alex and I spent the majority of the trail reminiscing about our first there and recalling the sights to come. Before I knew it we were wading a freezing river with two more to come. The water was freezing was, but Alex’s excitement to continue sustained. Hunter led the hike a bit too intuitively I think now. We had reached the cliff sight with beautiful waterfalls to view, a place where we had carved our initials in a pine 6 years ago. Alex hung back for a bit and let me lead to the familiar cave. As I approached I noticed Alex’s metal work, I was greeted with a pedestal sign that claimed to be Historical Marker, but I was doubtful that was claimed by the state. The read: On September 3rd, 2012, A young couple went on their first adventure together here. On April 22nd, 2018, they returned and Alexander Heide chose this same spot to propose to Kendra Reece. Alex graciously got down on one knee and Hunter sat right next to him. Of course, my answer was yes!
The sign was permanently bolted into the granite of the cave, which is very Alex thing to do. He apparently came up 2 months ago in February with the sign, tools, and Hunter to help. Alex packed some heavy Hilti tools and he said Hunter carried the concrete.
This had been a familiar site for us from the start and now it’s historically marked forever.