Katie and Jake
How We Met
A little over four years ago I completely stepped out of my comfort zone, packed my bags, and moved to a job two hours away from home – in the middle of the mountains, literally. I’m talking no cell service kinda mountains. I began working for a utility company that, long story short, uses the water pumped between it’s two reservoirs to create energy for much of the central valley. Awesome. And so began my passion for the outdoors. Oh, where does he come in? Well, you see, just as I so randomly had taken a leap to work in such a remote location he had been placed there through work too. Jake is a crazy intelligent engineer, making me an incredibly lucky girl. And so it goes, two people, completely different hometowns, plopped in cabins next door to each other. Yes, next door! Cabins is also a very generous description. Being so remote, we quickly grew to be friends. To be honest the moment we became friends we both knew there was something more. This mountain “town” was for lack of a better term….a cult. Fine, fine, not really – but the few people that lived there all ate together, worked together, congregated together, *sigh. So wait, hmm, this all makes sense now! No wonder we fell in love! *wink wink.
Meant to be. Fate. Circumstance. Luck. Serendipity. More than anything my biggest blessing.
Since that fateful beginning, my life has forever changed. Our love for the outdoors and travel has propelled us to experience some pretty amazing things and places together, and right from the get-go! Together we have zip-lined and surfed our way through Costa Rica, hiked Volcanos in Nicaragua, ate Tapas and drank sangria through Spain, eaten on the top of the Eiffel Tower and explored in France, absorbed all the history in Italy, and scuba dived in Thailand. Oh, can’t forget the time we rented and crashed a yacht in Croatia. Oops.
I can’t even tell you how excited I am for this next adventure.
How He Asked
I need to preface this proposal (which by the way I had NO CLUE was happening) Do they all say that? Well, this time it’s beyond true. So I begin the preface…
When Jake and I first met we both shared a love for the outdoors and began hiking regularly together. Okay, so I loved the outdoors and looking at mountains – climbing them was much harder for me. Jake however, is as close as you can get to Superman – an impatient superman. Over the last three years or so as we hiked more often and grew in our love together we both became stronger on our hikes. Me, physically, him, mentally. As I became stronger and needed less stops, he grew to have patience asking for more stops, to enjoy the views with me. To have special moments. Memories.
End preface. Fast forward to this March, 2018.
We won! We got lottery assigned permits! Our biggest hike yet. The infamous Mount Whitney, highest point at 14,508 ft, making it the highest peak in the Lower 48 states. This was one we would have to train for. Together. For the next three months I worked my butt off, literally. I can’t tell you how many squats, lunges, core exercises, and yoga classes I did. I was going to do this strong.
The week finally came, we headed to Lone Pine, CA to start acclimating to the high altitude we would soon be enduring (there is almost half the amount of oxygen at the top of Mount Whitney that is available if you’re at sea level, yikes). Then, the day finally came to start our ascent which we would accomplish over the next two days. Jake, me, and three of our close friends started the difficult trek up to base camp. After spending a sleepless night in our tents, we awoke at 3:00am to begin the final summit. This was the most difficult thing I had ever done. Mentally, emotionally, physically. Every single step of the way I was encouraged by Jake. I can do this, you can do this, you have trained for this.
I made it to the top. By myself. Jake and a friend had already reached the summit, and we awaited two more. When I saw the cabin at the top of the summit I wept to myself, so incredibly proud, exhausted but proud. Once everyone summited most of us cried. (and I just cried again while writing this)
We sat there, soaking it all in. Then Jake asked his cousin, one of the people with us, if she would take a picture of the two of us at the summit. As she did, he pulled out a box with a ring. *cue blackout* If we weren’t all crying before, we all were now, even some sobs. I wish I could tell you what he said, I wish he could tell you what he said. Nobody remembers. The happiness, the joy, and quite frankly the shock alludes us all to any of the words that were exchanged at that moment. The best moment of my life.
We did it. Together. Something we built up for. Worked hard for. Something we will never forget. Good thing I sacrificed two pounds in my pack to surprise everyone with Moonshine at the top. #celebrations