Kellie and Alex

How We Met

Alex and I met five years ago on a sunny Friday afternoon while floating down the Clark Fork River in martin wheel inner-tubes. After a week of texting, he finally asked me out on a lunch date at the deli on campus. I was so nervous that I lost my appetite, so I just ordered a latte. I then asked him to be my date to a friend’s birthday party that weekend, and he crashed his car coming out of the parking lot because he was so anxious to see me again. Eventually we grew to be much more comfortable around each other.

How He Asked

Earlier this year we began planning a trip to Idaho to experience the full solar eclipse. Little did I know, Alex was planning a surprise as well. On Saturday morning we made the 5 hour drive from Missoula to Rexburg, and then we spent another hour climbing up the bumpy road to Relay Ridge. We spent the first two nights camping below the grassy hillside of the ridge with Alex’s parents. On the morning of the eclipse, we grabbed our jackets and started hiking along the ridge until we felt sufficiently secluded from the rest of the world. To our left we could see the Tetons, and to our right were the sprawling Big Hole mountains; the view was absolutely breathtaking.

While we waited for the moon to overtake the sun, Alex tried to start talking to me about something called Bailey’s Beads. I, however, was preoccupied by feeding little bits of carrot to the chipmunk playing below are chairs. As I would later come to find out, Bailey’s Beads is a phenomenon where the position of the moon in front of the sun allows for choice beads of sunlight to shine through in some places but not in others. The concentration of lights combined with the ring of totality creates an image reminiscent of a diamond ring, which is why it is also known as the diamond ring effect. At the exact moment the Bailey’s Beads were shining, indicating that we were entering into totality, Alex toppled over in his chair. I looked down to see what in the world he was doing, and I found him down on one knee holding a box with a glistening diamond ring in his hand.