Experimental music, photography, and adventures

She said yes!!!

Monday, February 4th, 2008

The weather was gorgeous here all weekend, with mostly sunny skies and highs in the mid-40s. Yesterday, Sarah and I headed down to Jackson-Washington State Forest to do some hiking. We have gone camping there before and wanted to go hiking, but didn’t have time. With some help from my friend Dave, we decided to hike up Mount Baldy, which apparently has been renamed to the more-redundant “Pinnacle Peak.”

This was a difficult hike, but very beautiful.  It started with a long climb up to where an old observation tower used to be. The trails were quite muddy, so traction was poor and we were slipping and sliding much of the time. I felt like we were doing some damage to the trails but it was too late by the time we figured out how muddy everything was. The climbs were pretty steep and difficult, mostly going straight up the side of the hills rather than winding up gradually like many trails do.

Steep climb


Sarah and Rob standing where the old observation tower once was

Support from the old observation tower

Another observation tower support

Sarah photographing Rob

There was a pretty good view from the observation tower, as it was on top of a big hill. The view was obscured by trees somewhat but you could still see quite a distance.

The observation tower’s remains look almost like a cemetery from below

After reaching the old observation tower, the trail goes steeply downhill and follows a valley for a little bit before beginning and even bigger climb up to Mount Baldy. It was quite challenging, and the mud got worse. We ran into two other groups hikers during this portion of the hike, the only other people we would see all afternoon. It was great to have the whole place basically to ourselves.

Eventually, we reached the top of Mount Baldy. True to its name, it had a rocky surface with few plants growing on it — as well as a fantastic view.

View from Mount Baldy

Another shot of the view

Before Sarah could catch her breath, I hugged and kissed her for a few minutes, then on bended knee, pulled a ring from my pocket and asked “Sarah … will you marry me?” She had no idea this was coming whatsoever — I could see from the look on her face it took a moment for her to process what was going on and realize what I was asking. She was smiling but crying and hugging me and muttered some things, prompting me to ask, “Is that a yes?” She responded with an emphatic “YES!” My heart very nearly jumped from my chest. I knew this would be a great moment, but it was even better than I had envisioned.

The ring I chose has three round-cut stones, the middle one bigger than the other two. It looks even better on Sarah’s finger than it did by itself. The light was perfect for the occasion, the winter sun low in the sky and casting long, beautiful shadows despite being mid-afternoon, and wrapping everything in a warm glow.

The ring


Does she look happy or what?

The trees below us

We spent a long time on Mount Baldy talking about everything and enjoying the scenery and each other’s company. It was amazing to have this beautiful land all to ourselves. The dog got to feeling a big neglected, but he got over it. Eventually we headed back. It was a long trip down the side of this huge hill, but it didn’t take as long as it did on the way up. In part our exuberance made it go by faster.

Sarah and Rob

Looking into the valley below

Another great smile

The trail

Beautiful light

Back at the observation tower

We thought about hiking some more on a trail that connects to this one at the observation tower, but it was getting a bit late in the day and we were tired enough already. We’ll just have to go back soon to hike more of these trails.

Muddy trail
The road back

Our trip back was excellent. We sure have a lot of new things to discuss now. By the end of the day, my face hurt from smiling so much, my ankles hurt from the hiking, and more importantly, Sarah and I felt closer than ever. A great way to feel after a perfect day.

17 Responses to “She said yes!!!”

  1. i, squub Says:

    Congratulations, to both of you! That is great news. And fantastic pictures, too. This’ll be nice to look back on down the road, I think.

  2. furiousball Says:

    Awesome Michael. Congratulations. Love the pics of that observation tower, but Sarah’s smiley face was the best shot easily.

  3. Ian Says:

    Great news! You chose a beautiful day and a wonderful place to start a new chapter in your life. I admire the fact that your shots before the proposal weren’t shaky and out of focus, I doubt few people can have a steady hand just before they ask for someones hand in marriage.
    Congratulations to the both of you.

  4. Jon Says:

    Hey, congratulations! All my good wishes to you both!

  5. Dan Says:

    Wow! Congratulations! You are a lucky guy.

    I popped the question to my wife during a hiking day at Turkey Run. Luckily, she said yes as well.

  6. Dave Says:

    Congratulations to the both of you!

  7. Marty Says:

    Congratulations – and a great way to surprise her.

  8. Pete Says:

    Hey, that’s great news! Congratulations!

  9. Noah, Interrupted. Says:

    Sorry for the belated comment. I really wanted to jump in here as soon as I saw it, but I’ve been tied up lately. Big congrats to you both. I knew it had to be coming soon!

  10. Robert Says:

    Hey congrats to you two!

  11. Doug Says:

    What a great moment in your lives together. I’m so happy for the two of you! (Don’t tell anyone, while reading this I got a little misty eyed.)

  12. Jett Says:

    I’ve been getting to know you two over the past year through this blog and had wondered when I was going to be reading a post like this. It seemed pretty clear to me — whether you two knew it or not — that this blog post was coming.

    Congratulations! and thanks for the great photos and story. This makes me want to propose to my wife again (after more than 20 years).

  13. Tim Says:

    I love the huge grin on Sarah’s face. Looks like a great day. Felicitaciones y que lo paseis todo bien

  14. Ear to the Breeze » Blog Archive » Memorial Day weekend camping, canoing, hiking Says:

    […] On Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, we went camping at Jackson-Washington State Forest. We’ve been camping there before and in fact, is where we got engaged. […]

  15. Ear to the Breeze » Blog Archive » Time to get married Says:

    […] and I are getting married this weekend. It’s hard to believe it’s happening so soon. We got engaged back in February, and at that time it seemed like we had to wait forever to get married. But the […]

  16. Conichece Says:

    There was this guy see.
    He wasn’t very bright and he reached his adult life without ever having learned “the facts”.
    Somehow, it gets to be his wedding day.
    While he is walking down the isle, his father tugs his sleeve and says,

    “Son, when you get to the hotel room…Call me”

    Hours later he gets to the hotel room with his beautiful blushing bride and he calls his father,

    “Dad, we are the hotel, what do I do?”

    “O.K. Son, listen up, take off your clothes and get in the bed, then she should take off her clothes and get in the bed, if not help her. Then either way, ah, call me”

    A few moments later…

    “Dad we took off our clothes and we are in the bed, what do I do?”

    O.K. Son, listen up. Move real close to her and she should move real close to you, and then… Ah, call me.”

    A few moments later…


    “O.K. Son, Listen up, this is the most important part. Stick the long part of your body into the place where she goes to the bathroom.”

    A few moments later…

    “Dad, I’ve got my foot in the toilet, what do I do?”

  17. Ear to the Breeze » Blog Archive » Camping at Jackson-Washington State Forest Says:

    […] Baldy (aka Pinnacle Peak). Longtime readers of this blog may recognize this as the place where I proposed to Sarah back in February of 2008. It’s an out-and-back trail, one mile each way, but it’s very rugged and feels a lot […]

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