Guest Blogger: Jill
We have an artistic print of that phrase hanging above our dinner table and have really begun to take that to heart as we’ve gotten into some high adventure over the last few years.
This was a big summer for Colin and I. We started with a lot of training hikes to work ourselves up to summit Mount St. Helens, which we did on one of the hottest days of the year at the end of July. An amazing accomplishment, and one of our most difficult (and most rewarding) hikes so far. But that wasn’t actually even the best moment in our summer of Western Washington hiking. A couple weeks later we got engaged on the Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park.
Now, because we are the detail-oriented folks we are, I’d like to add to the record that we have not completed the whole 100 mile Wonderland Trail looping around Mount Rainier (yet anyway!). This was just an overnight weekend away, actually our first this summer with just the two of us. It was really such a fabulous hiking experience! We were blessed with wonderful weather: not too hot but also not raining. Also, since this was mid-August the wildflowers were out in full bloom. We marveled at all of the unique alpine plants and came to understand why they call this the Wonderland Trail.
We hiked about 9 miles in to stay the night at Mystic Camp, a small collection of backcountry camps tucked between Winthrop Glacier and Carbon Glacier. We crossed the Winthrop Glacier run-off along our trail and it was quite an experience to walk across so much ice-cold water supported by just one log bridge. The other neat part about this area was witnessing the glacier melting. If you sat quietly, you could hear small rocks tumbling every so often. As the glacier receded it was dislodging rocks settled on top and they’d fall down to settle somewhere new. A very surreal experience.
We had a lovely evening exploring Mystic Lake and eating our freeze-dried backpacking food (clearly not the best food you’ve ever tasted, but everything tastes good after a whole day on your feet!). Colin proposed as we sat on a log, quietly watching the lake steam into the quickly cooling evening air. It was perfect.
Colin did get down on one knee, but we reenacted this photo afterward. Below you can see our outtake reenactment which I personally almost like better! Sure makes me giggle anyway. We had fun with the photos this evening and on our hike back out the next day. As we kept saying to ourselves, we are only doing this once so we are going to take our time and have fun with it.
One of the first questions people have asked when we tell this story was “were you surprised?!”, to which I have to say “no, but in the best way possible”. Personally, we both believe this should not be something somebody is surprised about. It’s a big commitment. Secondly, I’m kind of picky, so we actually did our research picked out the ring back in July. (Because we didn’t tell anybody we were working on this, I even took extra measures to make sure I turned off my phone’s GPS the couple times we went to the jewelry store to make sure nobody would decide to explore Find My Friends on the family group text right at that moment.) But no, I knew this was coming I just didn’t know when. Secretly, I was hoping he would choose this weekend though because it was just a perfect hiking weekend. We got so lucky!
Then came the process of telling all of the family, which was honestly some of the most perfectly-imperfect moments of the whole experience. These reactions brought that much more joy and laughter to the story and we need to make sure they are documented to continue to laugh about for the years to come.
Telling the Marquis involved a speakerphone call on the way home where we had to wait for Trevor to get out of the lake and got a play-by-play of him drying himself off before sharing our news.
It was a big weekend for the Enebos, dropping Kate off at WSU only the day before we stopped by Issaquah on our way home from Rainier. We were greeted with cheers and
hugs from Mom and Dad, and stayed for dinner while we video called Ellie and Kate to share with them. Ellie answered immediately. We waited for Kate to join for a few minutes, before Dad started texting her separately to emphasize she wouldn’t want to miss this and it would only take a couple minutes. Turns out her new roommate’s parents were visiting at that moment, but she logged onto the call anyway and Ellie and Kate yelled and cheered as we shared the news and I held my hand up to the camera. The roommate and parents shared their congratulations as well. Ha!
Sharing with extended family led to some great memories also. Some of the highlights are: 1) An aunt calling to share her enthusiasm as soon as she received the photo, then sharing the news with her husband saying “Colin’s engaged!” He responded with “to who?” after I’ve been over to his house three times in just the last year. 2) A grandma responding to the news that Colin proposed to Jill with “Did she say no or maybe?”. 3) An uncle thinking the photo sent in the group chat was showing off Rainier and not the ring, then getting excited about snow and skiing before his daughter pointed out he was looking at the wrong part of the photo. (To be clear, he was over-the-moon excited once he realized what the intended message of the photo was!)
I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a lot of quality time with them all over the years, and I am so excited to expand the group who I get to call family. Ellie and Kate have long referred to Colin as an “honorary Enebo”, in fact Kate had even started referring to him as her brother-in-law already because it had just gotten too hard to explain. I’m glad they’ll be able to use that title with all sincerity soon.
Colin, thanks for being such a great partner and adventuring buddy over the years so far. I look forward to many more.