On June 13th, 2009, T and I left Gardiner, MT where we had stayed for the night and drove back to Jackson, WY through Yellowstone National Park. It took forever. Four hours to travel about 100 miles. We were antsy and annoyed, but we were still joking about it. When we passed through Teton National Park, we managed to take one wrong turn, adding another half hour to the journey but caught it and headed back. Aaaarrrrgh again. Then, as planned, we stopped at Jenny Lake where, at T's insistence, we took the ferry across the lake in order to hike up to Inspiration point. There were only two other people on the ferry with us as the weather was rainy and looked to be getting worse. But, when we got to the other side, the trail was filled, nay, milling with hikers. They were everywhere, but we forged ahead and visited a nice waterfall.
Then we hiked up to Inspiration Point where we sat for a while and enjoyed a snack of crackers, cheese and apples-- our traditional hiking snack. We looked up as saw a rather huge storm crossing the lake and just as we started to pack up, the rain started falling on us.
Neither of us was really ready to just turn around there, and T definitely wanted to go up a little more to see around the corner at least. So we hiked up a bit more. The trail was deserted. It was only us, the tall lodge pole pines and the craggly peaks of the Tetons around us.
And then it thundered. Loudly. I turned around back to T and asked if he wanted to turn back. He agreed that we probably should, but that we should enjoy this place for a moment. We did, silently. And then he said, "I had a surprise planned for this trip." I asked him what it was. And he said, "I want to get married." And I asked, smiling, rain drops and tears beginning to drip down my face, "To me?" "Of course to you!" He said, somewhat frustratedly. I kissed him, and said of course I would. But, I was shaking inside. Excitement. Anticipation. Hyperventilation. Love. A little fear. "I have a ring," he said. "It's not much, but I wanted to give you something for today." He reached into his bag and pulled out a silver ring with a green stone. He said, "I wanted to get you green because it reminds me of you, and I thought green would symbolize growth."
We put the ring on my finger and it didn't fit, but who cares. We joined hands and after another thunder clap started walking down the mountain. We stopped at Inspiration Point again and decided we should probably take a picture to mark the event.
We walked the rest of the way down, holding hands and talking about how he'd planned this, and how much he didn't like keeping it a secret from me. How he'd consulted his friends about what to do, and how they were all excited about it. We stopped at a bridge to catch our breath. I was sort of freaking out a little bit. I wasn't expecting to feel such a rush of emotion but I did. I felt so taken aback, surprised, pleased, happy, joyful, relieved, and scared too. Marriage is a big deal and it feels like something grown-ups do. But I also felt so excited for the future, to join with T into our own new two person family.