White Canyon Proposal
Trip Start Feb 28, 2009
47Trip End Ongoing
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So our trip to Natural Bridges (a MONTH ago!) turned out to be VERY eventful. I think most of you already know what happened, but I'm just going to tell the story as if you don't, so bear with me! Ever since our first trip to Natural Bridges when we first moved to Monticello, we've been wanting to go back and do the 8 mile loop hike in the canyon that goes through all the bridges. What we really wanted to do was to get there really early in the morning and HOPEFULLY secure a campsite, then do the hike and just be able to go back to our campsite and relax. The only possible problem with this plan is that there are only about 13 sites at the campground and no reservations, so it was just up to chance if we'd get one or not.
We left Monticello at 7:45am or so and got there just before 9am and there were 2 campsites left. Right after we pulled in to one of them, about 3-4 more cars came through looking for sites, so we were just in time! I think we started our hike at 10:30 or so, and it was already pretty warm, but it wasn't too bad once we got into the canyon. We were about halfway through the hike and we stopped for lunch near some pictographs that were on the cliff wall. It was a big, shady, sandy spot, so we just sat down in the sand to eat.
Silas was very distracted with some people that we could hear hiking through the canyon. We were off the trail and nobody could see where we were sitting unless they came looking for the pictographs. At the time I didn't really understand why he seemed to care so much if the people came to look at the pictographs while were there...soon after it made sense to me! As we were finishing up our lunches Silas got a card our of his backpack and handed it to me. I was surprised, but our 2 year anniversary was coming up in a couple days (that was kind of what we were celebrating that weekend) so I thought that's what it was for. It was a very sweet card, and while I was reading it I was holding one of Silas' hands. *Another thing that should have been a signal that something was going on* I noticed that Silas' hand was very cold and clammy- I remember thinking that that was kind of weird since it was so hot outside, but I didn't put much more thought into it. And after I got done reading the card Silas proposed!!! I was so surprised- I didn't see it coming at all! In fact, in my state of surprise I forgot that I actually had to answer! I had thrown myself on him and hugged him, but I hadn't said anything besides, 'oh my God, Silas!'. Of course I said yes! And at this point Silas says I was 'rolling around in the sand' but I don't think I actually was, although I remember having the urge to lay down and make sand angels!! For the rest of the hike all I could think was 'I CANNOT BELIEVE I'M ENGAGED!!!' I really don't think it completely soaked in for the rest of the weekend. Maybe not until we got back and called our families and told them- THEN it really seemed real.
So we finished our hike and headed back to the campground and played frisbee and tossed the football for a while before starting dinner. After we ate we headed over to the visitor center for the ranger program. Natural Bridges claims to have one of the darkest night skies in the US, and a couple nights each week they have a ranger program where they talk about stars and have some telescopes that you can look through. Unfortunately we were there either the day of, or the day after a full moon, so it wasn't very dark while we were there. But we were still able to look at Saturn and the moon through the telescopes. I've never really been into stars and stuff- space has always kind of freaked me out a little, but I was really in awe of seeing Saturn like that. It was so big and clear- you could see the ring around it and everything. It was the perfect end to the day.
While Allison was in Alaska I thought hard about how I was going to propose. I decided it would be best to keep it simple, and to just do it while we were out doing something we love. So I planned a weekend of camping and hiking at Natural Bridges when she got back. I was nervous and distracted for the first half of the hike, waiting for the right time and place. When we got to the pictographs, I knew I had found the spot. There was a large sandy beach, surrounded by cottonwoods, and a sheer canyon wall. Very nice. I suggested we stop there to eat lunch. It was perfect! And then some other hikers came along, and I thought they were gonna ruin my moment, but they slowly passed without noticing us or the pictographs. Phew! When we finished our lunch I gave Allison a card. I wrote the card so I could express how I felt about her and lead into my proposal. I knew I would be too nervous and stumble over my words and forget to tell her everything I wanted to say if I didn't write it down. So when she finished the card, I asked her to marry me. I don't think she believed me at first. But when she figured out I was serious, she gave me a big hug. And I don't know if she "rolled around" in the sand, but she somehow got herself covered in sand. All in all, the proposal went exactly as I had hoped. It was a simple but beautiful moment shared by the two of us on in a peaceful little corner of White Canyon. The second half of the hike was much more relaxing. Instead of worrying about how I was going to propose, I enjoyed the sun, and the canyon, and Allison and I talked excitedly about the future.