A few years ago, I started a hobby called "Highpointing." Highpointing is where you go to the highest point in all 50 states. There is a club, a newsletter, guide books, and even a website (.) I started with a friend and have introduced many other friends to the sport since I began. When I met my fiancée Wendy, we shared the love for the outdoors and I knew she would soon be completing her own highpoints along side me.
In September 2003, we took a road trip and Wendy got her first (Wisconsin) and second (Michigan) highpoints. On the top of all highpoints, I take a photo of myself holding a sign, which has the name of the state, highpoint, and elevation on it. She had a small inclination that I might propose to her on her first highpoint, but when I didn’t, it left her unsuspecting for what was to come.
In October 2003, while I was on a business trip in New York, I planned a long weekend up in northern Minnesota, hiking, camping, and mountain biking along the north shore of Lake Superior. I had made the highpoint sign for Minnesota, which I showed to Wendy. Showing her the sign would turn out to be an important part of the plan, as you will soon see. When I returned from New York, we headed out of our home in St. Paul, MN, and headed to the Temperance River State Park where we shared a bottle of wine over a campfire that night. The next morning (Saturday, October 11th,) we headed to the Eagle Mountain trailhead, the highest point in Minnesota (2,301 feet.) While Wendy put her boots on in the parking lot, I was able to slip the ring in my pocket for the hike up. On the hike up, we passed several other couples which I was worried might spoil my plan on the top.
When I got nearer to the summit, my pace quickened in an effort to make sure we were alone on the top. I reached the summit marker first and started to set up the digital camera and tripod, which I attached to a hiking pole stuck into the ground. When Wendy arrived, she was standing next to the marker reading it. I had the camera set up and told her to stand next to the marker and I would push the timer button and run over and hold up the sign. This all sounded like the normal routine to her. I pushed the button, ran over and help up the sign. I then asked Wendy to go over and see if the picture turned out, as she always likes to do. She looked at the digital camera and I said, "well, how does it look?" She said, "fine." I then asked, "can you read the sign?" She replied, "I think so." I then said, "zoom in on it." When she finally was able to see what the sign actually said, she looked down at me in surprise with her mouth wide open. I had switched the "MINNESOTA, Eagle Mountain, 2,301," sign for one that read, "Will You Marry Me?" When she realized this, I was down on one knee next to her and asked her to marry me. She said "Of coarse," and after further clarification, the answer was "Yes!"
Proposal Story By:
St. Paul, MN