I know this happened about 2 1/2 years ago- but time has a funny way of altering memories. So before I forget all of those small, precious details of that beautiful day, here it is– the proposal.



Totally not expecting to come out of the woods as an engaged woman. maybe with (lots) more muscles, but not with a ring on my finger.

So it was about halfway through our first day backpacking through Yosemite-
I was a mess. I was so weak that I could barely carry my pack. Thankfully James was (and is) such a manly, strong man and was able to take the majority of my weight. From the beginning I knew this was going to be rough. We had planned our route, gotten the permit, told the rangers, the whole thing, but I just couldn’t handle the pain. Then it also started raining, and my clothes got soaking wet, and where we planned to camp was way high up on top of the mountain and it was cold and I was freezing. positively freezing. James took care of me though, like the best man.

But after that day I was miserable. My whole body hurt and we still had so many many many miles to go. We reached a fork in the road and had to make the decision if we were either going to continue our planned route (with the tons of miles and tons of elevation), or go on this side trail and camp out by a lake for a couple days.

If you know me at all you know I am such an easy-going, don’t want to change the plan and make a problem, kinda person. But I felt so horrible that I was just like – ‘I can’t do it, I won’t be able to make it.’ SO off to the lake we went.

I can’t tell you how beautiful and perfect this lake was. I mean it was so ideal. It was surrounded by huge boulders and trees, plus a little lake not to far from it. The reflection was unbelievable. img_2116img_2112

We set up our tents in this small partial tree enclosure, pumped our water from the lake, ate tons of cliff bars, tuna packs, and freeze-dried meals– it was so good. The days were sunny and breezy, it hailed once out of nowhere but that’s about it.

On our last day we figured out our route, which only took a day because we had hiked straight upwards our first day so the hike back was downhill (!!!!!! so so happy about this.)

So we were hiking hiking hiking, then looked over and saw this amazing area with THREE waterfalls and a crystal clear pond. It was down and away from the trail and of course we had to take a break and enjoy it. We ate a bit and then james said he would be right back ( I assumed to, you know, go answer that call from nature.) So I sat, took my shoes off, dipped them in the water, and then saw how disgusting my feet were! So many blisters all over both feet.

James finally came back, I was still sitting on the ground examining my feet and was like “look! look at how many blisters I have!” no shame. but maybe some shame in my no shame approach (?)

So he sat next down next to me– but he had his hand kind of behind him in this weird angle that wasn’t natural. So I had a tiny feeling that something was about to happen.

I wish I wish I wish I could remember exactly what he said, but it is such a blur and it happened so fast. From what i can remember it went something like “Joanna……You know I love you so much… and I want to spend the rest of my life with you………Will you marry me?”

Of course I said yes and started sobbing and threw my arms around him.

And he pulls out, in that weirdly placed hand, a small flower he had woven together to make a ring. It was so perfect for me.


And there you have it. Not the beginning and not the end, but the continuation of something beautiful.


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