Dave and I are avid campers/hikers. We planned to spend four days at Lassen Volcanic Nat’l Park in northern California. On our drive to the park I asked him which hike he wanted to do tomorrow and he said, "Oh I don’t know," I responded, "Do you want to do Lassen Peak?" and he said, "Sure, we can do that." So the next morning we started our hike to Lassen Peak – the highest point in the park. Along the trail he points out some of the wildflowers we see, and I think, "That’s weeeeiiiirrrrrd," but justify his weirdness by him trying to distract me from the pain of hiking up the steep mountain (it didn’t work).
We (finally) made it to the top and he said, "Oh! let’s go sit over here" and points to the very top/edge of the peak/cliff. We’re sitting with our feet resting on a boulder in front of us (the very last boulder on the cliff) and he asks "What was the elevation of Lassen again?" and I say 10,000 feet. He hands me a park map and says, "No, the exact elevation" and I look down and the elevation is 10,457′ (the exact same mysterious number that he had engraved on the key he gave me a month ago and said I had to wear every time I’m with him)! So now my heart’s racing and he reaches down into the crevice under our knees and says "Oh look what I found!" and starts pulling up a heavy-duty chain! He seems to be pulling it up for forever and something is clanking on the other end of the chain. It’s a metal lunchbox (that had been hanging off the side of the mountain) secured by a padlock and on the padlock are the same exact engravings that are on the key. He looks up at me and says "Do you have a key!?" And I say, "YES! YES!" and I start scrambling to take the key off my neck and I finally get it off and try to put it in the keyhole but my hands are shaking so bad. I finally get it in and it unlocks, he takes the lock off and sets the lunchbox on my lap. I open it up and I see two things – I see all the wildflowers that were on the trail to the peak and I see a hand-sewn jean and cotton pocket. I asked him if that was from the same jeans he was wearing when I got back from Turkey (a year ago!) and he said Yes! (i still have no idea how the hell I recognized that patch of jean as being from the same pair he picked me up from the airport with) I ripped open the pocket and in it was a ‘card’ (the ‘card’ was 16 pages and folded open to be the size of a posterboard) that said "I, David, would like to take you to be my wife" on the first page and the following pages were vows (some funny, some serious) he had written with pictures on each page. It was AMAZING!! The last page of the card read "and now I present to you this ring" and right then he opens up the ring box and my jaw drops and all I see is sparkle. Sparkle sparkle sparkle. And asks me to marry him.
Turns out that while I thought he was hiking in San Diego with my brother Mark the weekend before, he, in actuality, got up early that Saturday morning and started the 10-hour drive north to Lassen. When he told Mark of the master plan the night before, Mark responded "Road trip!" and the two of them drove up together, hiked the trek up Lassen Peak (carrying that heavy chain & holding the wildflowers the entire way up), planted the box by roping the chain around the boulder, hiked back down & drove back down to Southern CA. C-R-A-Z-Y!! And just so sneaky too!
He also mailed my mom a handwritten letter detailing every step and meaning of the proposal – right down to the time he planned to propose, so that she would receive the letter the day that he proposed and be the first to know in my family (aside from my brother). I had NO idea all of this was going on…let alone that my own brother would be helping in the proposal! It’s all so amazing. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him!
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