Cynthia and Joshua

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How We Met

On Friday, March 18, 2011, I met Joshua, the man who has stolen my heart. I remember the night as if it were yesterday. We were both in college at Virginia Tech and we met at a mutual friend’s birthday party. His politeness and charm really captivated me that night. The next morning, I couldn’t stop thinking of him and probably checked my phone a few too many times. Luckily, I didn’t have to anxiously wait for too long! I was just about to begin hiking at McAfee’s knob with friends when I received the much anticipated text from Joshua about how he had enjoyed meeting me the night before. Needless to say, I was one happy girl. Reading that sure made the four mile hike to the top of the mountain feel quick and easy!

At the times, we were both juniors at VT and our Ring Dance was actually just one week away. After a few days of talking back and forth, he smoothly hinted at going to the dance together. I showed him the dress I was planning to wear and once the night of the dance came, he showed up at my door with a matching color tie. He told me had gone to the mall earlier that day to look for a matching tie and surprise me. I was truly in shock. He went shopping on his own just for a matching tie? He wanted to match my dress? My heart was full. We had only known each other for one week, but I was already falling for him. The rest is history!

How He Asked

Several weeks prior to Saturday, September 24, 2016, Joshua brought up the idea of going on a sunrise hike at McAfee’s Knob while we would be in town for the Virginia Tech football game that day. I absolutely love seeing the sunrise and sunset, so I was immediately excited with the plan. Whenever we go on trips, I always search for “best spots to see the sunrise or sunset,” so Joshua knew I would not turn down the idea of a sunrise hike on the most photographed spot on the Appalachian trail.

During our senior year at Virginia Tech, we went on a sunset hike to McAfee’s Knob so why not add the sunrise to our McAfee’s Knob adventures?! He did know that I would need a little extra convincing though to wake up at a ridiculous hour to hike 4 miles to the top of mountain when we already had a full day of football planned as we had tickets to the 12pm Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina University football game in Blacksburg. We had recently lost our precious and beloved pup, Luna Bear. She was a tremendous part of our lives and our little pride and joy. It all happened very suddenly and we had always talked about how we wanted to take her hiking near Blacksburg. We decided to dedicate our sunrise hike at McAfee’s Knob to our angel, Luna. There was certainly no way I was going to back out from our plan.

Four o’clock in the morning on September 24, 2016, sure came quick! We arrived to the trailhead at 4:55am with our headlights and ready to go attitude. To our surprise, we came across several people along the trail, including our photographer! Little did I know I had just spoken with the person who would be photographing such a magical moment for us a few hours later. Joshua and I arrived to the top at about 6:15am which was almost one hour before the sunrise. I was thoroughly enjoying the beautiful stars and the peace and quiet of being at the top of a mountain as the sky was starting to paint with bright orange.

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Joshua was being silly and kept asking, “what time is the sunrise again?” or “how many minutes are left?” I can’t tell you how many times I replied, “the sun will rise at 7:10.” The view was absolutely phenomenal as there was not any fog and there weren’t any clouds blocking the beauty of the bright red sun peaking out between the mountain ridges.

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Just as the sun was popping out, Joshua asked me to stand up so that he could get a picture of me with the sunrise. He took the picture and we talked about how much we wished Luna was there with us. What Joshua said after that is honestly a blur in my mind as next thing I knew, the love of my life got down on one knee and popped the big question.

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Everything truly could not have been more perfect. The gorgeous sunrise, the breathtaking mountains, and the man of my dreams asking me to marry him.

There was quite a crowd at the top of the mountain, so we received a wonderful applause and cheers from fellow hikers as we hugged and kissed after what had been the best sunrise hike I could’ve ever imagined.

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This is also when I noticed our photographer capturing our unforgettable moment which she has now told us is practically famous in the Roanoke area! Our photographer, Anna Bowser, did an amazing job and we are extremely glad to have these photos to forever cherish such a glorious morning. As if my diamond ring wasn’t enough, Joshua had another surprise hiding in his backpack. He took out two Virginia Tech jerseys customized with the initials “L.B.” on the sleeve for our Luna Bear and with his last name on the back. I was overcome with emotion with this sweet and priceless addition.

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McAfee’s Knob, a place that holds a very special spot in our hearts.

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After this unforgettable hike, we went on to celebrate with a Hokie victory that afternoon!

Special Thanks