Kyle and Courtney

Courtney’s stories

How we met: We met my freshmen year of high school. I had early dismissal, so I left before other kids did. When I walked to my car, it wouldn’t start. I called one of my friends, my dad, but no one came. Finally, another student roamed into the parking lot. He told me he knew someone who could fix it, and he ran and got Kyle. Kyle jumped my car several other times that year, but we never really held a conversation.

How we started dating: I went to the College of Charleston, and he went to the Citadel. My freshmen year we texted frequently. Kyle would pick me up and buy me groceries, and then he would cook for me. We ended up spending almost every weekend together by the end of second semester. At the end of the year, we began dating.

How he proposed: We love to have adventures. Concerts, camping trips, you name it. On our one year anniversary, he took me hiking to Kings Mountain. We ended up driving a few miles to go hike Crowder’s Mountain, the Pinnacle Point trail. It was blistering hot. I was not about the hike that day, but Kyle insisted we get to the top. Once we were there, we ate lunch like we always do. As I was eating he told me to put the food down, we had to take a picture right then. I didn’t understand that because I was starving after the hike and just wanted to eat my sandwich and chips, but he insisted. He got another couple to take a picture of us with the sky view in the background, and he got down on one knee. He was so nervous he only got to say “Courtney Eliz…” and started stuttering. However, I didn’t even give him the chance to finish because I got down on my knees and kissed him before he was through. Other hikers clapped around us, and it was a perfect moment, perfectly us.

Kyle’s stories

How we met: Our first interaction came while we were in high school. It was a stereotypical case of a broken car and being at the right place at the right time. I often spent a lot of time after school hanging out and talking, so when someone ran inside to find me and asked if I had jumper cables, it was no trouble to help. Courtney was driving a rarely reliable Ford Sport-Trac at the time and was stuck in the school parking lot with a dead battery. I quickly ran over with my jeep, got her truck running, and without much conversation we were both on our own way. This situation did not stop here, I found myself jumping her truck regularly, we now joke that she left her lights on so I’d have to come help. Ironically, the “rescue” was rarely met with extensive conversation, but rather a quick “thanks” and a “drive safe”. It wasn’t until we were both in college that we found our paths reintertwined.

During my second semester of sophomore year at The Citadel, I started picking Courtney up from her College of Charleston dorm on Friday afternoons. Our weekends would then be filled with Wal-Mart trips, cooking together, and laying on the floor of my buddies apartment watching movies. As the season turned warm, we started to go on trips to Edisto and Folly beaches and take in every second we could together. We looked forward to these simple weekend adventures. Quickly, the school year came to a close and it was time for us both to return to our hometown of Florence, South Carolina. Naturally we helped eachother to pack our things and load up our jeeps for the haul home. We had planned to follow eachother home to ensure we both were not alone. This relatively bitter sweet drive was halted with a food stop turned heart to heart conversation. We sat in her jeep and reflected on the semester as tears reflected in her eyes and she begged that we don’t let things change once we were home. We feared that our friendship would fade through the heat of the summer. Much to both of our surprises, I asked her to be my girlfriend later that month in a handwritten letter given to her in the parking lot of our old high school, where it all began. That summer was filled with weekly trips, concerts, and memories that have built our relationship in so many ways. The following year I shared my love of the wilderness with her as we went on camping and hiking trips. We shared our love of adventure.

How I asked: It was late May of 2017 when I had finally gathered the funds to buy an engagement ring that she had her heart set on. I received it while she was back in Charleston for Maymester and I was in Florence attempting to devise the perfect plan to ask her to marry me. My fears, stress, and worry found my pouring my effort into a small popup camper her father had purchased the year earlier. She and I had set a weekend to go camping when she finished her class, so I knew that upcoming weekend was as good a chance as any.

She came home that Friday, I eagerly packed the car and camper. I’m positive that my mannerisms reflected my nervousness and I have no doubt she could tell something was up. The ride to Kings Mountain State park was filled with laughter and music as we took every backroad we could to get there. That night I flipped through the notes and research I conducted regarding the trails in the area. I heavily suggested we hike the Pinnicle Trail at Crowders Mountain as it seemed that if the reputation stood, it would be the perfect place to ask.

The morning of the hike, I quietly threw together a backpack with snacks, water, gear, and most importantly tucked away at the bottom was the ring. The hike up was warm, but my excitement had me taking the trail with leaps and bounds. Courtney on the other hand did not seem to reflect my excitement. Unknown to her, she could be coming down from the hike as the future Mrs. Lewis. When we reached the peak, I was so relieved to see that the view was stunning and the reputation was no lie. We set up our lunch and I watched frequently for the perfect moment to take a picture and ask her. The moment I saw that the crowd cleared the photo spot, I eagerly begged Courtney to put away her lunch and take a photo with me. After being met with some opposition she agreed and got into position while I set up my camera and handed off my phone to another group of folks enjoying the view. I stepped up and stood beside Courtney for a “photo” as she smiled, I dropped to one knee and the speech I had so carefully planned became a stutter. I finally asked and she dropped the ground with me. With absolutely no hesitation she said yes and wrapped around me. The moment was like a dream. I knew hiking down from the mountain that I had become the luckiest man in the world.

Special Thanks