Ever since the moment I met Jenn, I knew she was the one. We?d been dating for little over a year, and everyday we saw each other was still just like the first. We’d do just about everything together. I certainly considered myself a lucky man to have found not only my soon-to-be wife but best friend as well.
We live in Colorado and love to play up in the mountains anytime we get the chance. That summer, we’d been trying to plan a weekend camping trip. I have many favorite places to camp where few people dare to travel. After some thinking I decided that 13,050 feet or "On Top of the World" would be a great place to ask Jenn to marry me.
The place I had in mind was an old abandoned gold mining town surrounded by magnificent mountains in every direction. What a great place to get on my knee and ask her to marry me! I wanted it be unique, fun, memorable, and done with sincerity. I decided that the best way to accomplish this would be to make the proposal a hunt for a miner’s treasure.
For weeks I had planned out the entire scenario in every detail and with the help of my own creative writing skills, some clever antiques, and friends, I started to put my plan into action.
I started off by creating a letter from a miner. I used a font that would look like old calligraphy. I then crumbled the letter several hundred times to give it that old parchment look. Then I soaked the letter in dark tea. I finished the letter by tying it up in hemp. It truly looked and felt like a letter dated from the 1800’s. Below is the letter I created:
October 21, 1872
My Dearest Margaret,
If you are reading this, you must have received my last letter and were willing to make the trip up here. I wish I were able to have made the trip with you. Again, as I mentioned in my last letter, I am deeply sorry to not have written more often while away working this mine. After several years of working hard, being exposed to harsh conditions, being struck with illness, it has all started to take a toll on me. I know I will not last another winter. I write this letter to you Margaret knowing it could very well be my last, as I grow weaker and weaker. I sit here, on top of this mine, wishing I could have one more kiss, I look at the surroundings and see nothing more than beauty. I think of you when I look out over these incredible mountains. I think of you when I see blue skies and sunshine as it engulfs the mountains around me. I love you Margaret and all the wonderful times we spent together. I’ll still be thinking of you when I have passed on. Please do not cry my love, as I will always be with you. Love is eternal and does last forever. Every time you feel a warm summer’s breeze, the sunshine hitting your face, a whistle in the wind, you can be certain Margaret, it will be me kissing and loving you. Stay healthy and tell our children I love them dearly. I know they will grow to be as wonderful and as caring as you. Along with this letter I have included a map to some of my personal items. It is all I have and they remind me of our times together. When you have found them, please find a comfortable place among these beautiful mountains and enjoy the contents. Remember my love, I will continue in your heart forever as you will continue in mine.
I love you,
(This happens to be the name of the man for which one of the nearby mountain peaks is named, which also really got Jenn at the time!)
Enclosed with the letter was a map to the miner?s belongings left behind for his wife. The map (made the same way as the letter) was clearly marked out in paces from where the original letter was found. I then shopped several local antique stores in Denver to find anything that looked like it belonged to a miner. I found pictures, a calligraphy pen, ink bottle, a miner’s gold pan (which, without me even realizing it at the time, had the name JOHN etched in it), a blanket, lantern, wine glasses, linen, and an old suitcase that were all from the turn of the 19th century. I purchased our favorite bottle of wine and removed all labels so it also looked to be from the 1800’s. I wrapped the wine glasses in the linen, arranged all the items in the old suitcase, then covered the belongings with a second letter entitled "Mining for Love." Below is a copy of the letter: