Great news on the personal front: My girlfriend Catherine and I got engaged last week! We took a spontaneous (as far as she knew) Halloween hiking trip to the top of Hawksbill Mountain, the highest peak in Shenandoah National Park, VA and that’s where I popped the question. Luckily for me, she said “yes”. After an early two hour drive from Bethesda, MD, we had arrived at Skyline Drive. If you’ve never been there, I highly recommend it, especially during the fall. There are tons of parking overlooks and trail heads every few miles.
We brought our dogs with us and stopped a few times along the drive to admire the view, ultimately reaching the trail head for Hawksbill Mountain. We picked the shorter of the trails up, but that also meant it was the steepest. The hike, although only a mile up, was definitely a wake-up call. Time to start running again – yikes, were we out of shape. At the summit, I started to get a bit light-headed. I said it was the hike/dehydration/out-of-shape, etc, but really my nerves were firing on all ends. The ring in my pocket was always at the forefront of my mind. There were more people at the summit than I had expected (maybe 15-20), but screw it, that wasn’t going to stop me. After taking some regular shots of the scenery and portraits with the dogs, it was time to ask the big question. At this point, another hiker with more dogs came up, so instead of risking it on the rocky edge with our dogs, I had a stranger hold their leashes for me. It took telling the guy that I was going to propose to get him to agree. All the while, the camera was shooting Cat’s reactions, which weren’t the happiest that I was giving our dogs to a stranger. I ran back to Cat, stuttered a bit, then got on one knee, changing our lives forever.
A few people have asked who took the photo; I actually had the camera on a tripod while being hooked up to an intervalometer, which has been the most useful accessory I have ever purchased for my camera. I just set the intervalometer to take a photo every 2 seconds and went from there. This naturally leads to the next question: “Wasn’t she suspicious of you setting the camera up?” Luckily, this isn’t anything out of the ordinary for me to do. When shooting pics on trips like this, I find it easier to have the intervalometer take a whole bunch of photos nonstop rather than taking individual pics with a wireless remote.
We’ve heard from a ton of family, friends, and followers about the engagement and just want to say “Thank You” to everyone out there that sent their congratulations. Thanks!