the engagement – part 2

As much as we love Blood Mountain…we don’t go there very often.  I mean, it’s not like down the street or anything.  Its north.  Far north.  From where we are, North Pole north.

Actually, it’s really not THAT far. Its near Vogel State Park, which is about….an hour and a half away….but when you have to drive THROUGH ATLANTA, you’re pretty much driving to California because by the time you actually make it to the north Georgia mountains, your car has three dents, a cracked windshield, two loose bumpers and you’ve already filled up with gas seven times due to all of the stop-and-go traffic and you’re so frustrated IT TOOK YOU SO LONG JUST TO GO 100 MILES!

So, where was I…yes…back to camping: 

Tim and I had this brilliant idea a few years back and decided to actually plan our camping trip so we could GO BACK TO A CAMPGROUND WE LOVED.

Lake Powhatan.

Lake Powhatan was the same place we did the whole what-was-supposed-to-be-a-one-hour-turned-into-a-five-hour hike.  Why we wanted to relive those memories…I have no idea…but the campground was gorgeous and the first time we were there, we envied a site next to ours SO BADLY…we decided on the spot that we had to go back and stay there. At that very site.  It was set back from the road, secluded by lots of trees and down a small hill.  IT WAS PERFECT.

And thanks to our foresight, we were able to book said campsite in like…June… for the following Labor Day weekend.

Labor Day comes…and we set off on our trip to Lake Powhatan…which is in North Carolina.  We had the whole weekend planned.  Friday we’d set up camp, Saturday we were going to hike Blood Mountain – our most favorite hike in the whole world and Sunday would be for local exploring…WITH A MAP.

Let’s revisit two very important tidbits: Blood Mountain is in GEORGIA.  The campground is in NORTH CAROLINA.

Anyhow, we got to the campsite, pull up to our primo location and set up our tent and chairs and all-that-goes-with-camping before the sun went down like we were old pros.  This allowed me time to just… sit…which Tim managed to capture in such a way I look like I’m staring at the trees thinking, “I-dare-you-to-move-so-help-me-god-if-you-so-much-as-RUSTLE-A-LEAF-I’ll-light-a-match.”

Lake Powhatan campsite

Friday passed without me blowing anything up or either of us getting lost.  So all in all, a good day.

Saturday morning comes…it’s overcast…and there isn’t just a chance of rain. Rain is imminent. It’s just a matter of WHEN the sky is going to unleash its fury. 

We, however, decide to go on to Blood Mountain anyway because, as Tim kept saying, “WE HAVE TO GO!  IT’S OUR MOUNTAIN!”

So we put the address into the GPS system in the car.

And it pops up a few seconds later with the destination.



I looked at Tim all, “We don’t HAVE to go…we can find somewhere closer.”

Tim turned on the car, put it in drive and said, “We’ve got nothing better to do.  So why not?”

I really couldn’t argue with that.  It beat sitting in the tent all day.

The drive was LONG and BORING and RAINY.  And I don’t much care for mountain roads…I only put up with them because I l-o-v-e the views from the top.  If I had it my way they’d just make a road straight up the side to avoid all that hairpin turn, curvy crap.  Tim’s already told me this isn’t feasible…

When we arrived at the trail head parking lot – 150 miles and two emergency bathroom stops later – the rain had finally let up. As we walked over to the start of the trail, we passed a few guys coming down who were DRENCHED.  Apparently they got stuck in the middle of a downpour.

Tim and I started up…hoping to stay dry.  He took another REALLY FLATTERING picture of me at the beginning of the hike, squatting on this massive mushroom that sprouted out of nowhere.

me and the mushroom


Don’t ask why I brought fuel belt filled with water.  It wasn’t like we were in the middle of a drought or anything…and I have no logical answer…and in times such as these, I’ve learned silence is GOLDEN.

As for the weather throughout the trek, Tim and I must have done more than a few good deeds that culminated for just a few hours…because we made it all the way to the top without a single rain drop. 

As we got closer and closer to the end of the hike, Tim started pointing out things like, “this is where we froze our ass off under the stars” or “this is where we stopped the first time we came up here, thinking it was the top.”

I nodded and smiled…looking at the things he pointed out…very upset that we couldn’t see five feet past the edge of the mountain…and at the same time trying to make it to the end of the hike…because once I start something like this…there is no stopping.  I MUST FINISH.

We make it to the summit, which is basically this HUGE BOULDER behind a log cabin looking shelter.  On a clear day, you can see for MILES from this boulder.

This is the shelter from the top of the boulder:

big boulder


And this is what you get to look at when you turn around and look away from the shelter.

 me on the boulder


Today, unlike these pictures, there was no endless view.  Today all we could see were clouds.  Lots and lots of clouds.  Clouds so low they were literally swirling around us.

After we got onto said boulder, I took off my fuel belt and set it down…tired of carrying four full, heavy bottles of water.  And Tim, creature of habit he is, asked me to go sit at the edge where I normally do so he can take a picture. 

He’s taken pictures like this of me since… forever.  Every place we go there’s at least one picture of me looking out at SOMETHING with a contemplative face.

I look at him all, “You’re kidding, right?  Take a picture of WHAT?!” 

As he’s sitting on the boulder, fumbling around with the camera bag, he goes, “IT’S TRADITION!”

I sighed…thinking, “the RANDOM THINGS I DO….” and walked over to the edge…having no idea why this “picture” was so important…decided at the last minute to grab some water, figuring I could at least lighten the load a little….

And when I turned around…

Tim was on one knee.

Ring in hand.

I looked down at him, at the ring, back at him…utterly, completely, totally shocked.  I think my words were, “ohhh…honey…”

Then I clasped my hands over my mouth to shut myself up…because whatever he was about to say was WAY MORE IMPORTANT than my babbling.

And out of his ENTIRE SPEECH all I can remember is him saying my full name…and “will you marry me?”

Of course,  I said yes.

post engagement

(do you SEE all the clouds?)

After the blubbering and hugging and staring at the incredible ring sitting on my finger, Tim looked at me and said, “We were coming to this mountain.  It didn’t matter if it was 500 miles away.”

Now I understood.  Now it made sense.  Because had it been ANY OTHER REASON he would NEVER DRIVE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILES FOR A HIKE.

But he drove 150 miles because this was the one place we most connected.  The one place we had already shared memories that will last a lifetime.

Plus one, added on this cold, cloudy day.  Who knew a mountain could be so beautiful, even in the rain and mist.

I floated down the mountain and relished in my newly-engaged haze all the way back to our campsite.

The rain held off…the entire engagement hike.

We get back to the campsite…and the good karma dissapates.  It begins raining BUCKETS.  I’m talking torrential downpour.  Cooking is out of the question, so we go out to eat in town…hoping the rain would let up…just a little bit….

But no, the day you’re engaged cannot end in perfect harmony with angels singing and little birds lightly placing a flower-wreath around your head.

If that’s your engagement day…it’s raining or snowing or the weather will go all out disastrous on you during your wedding day.

We got our bad weather punishment on the front end in the form of a pond inside our tent and small rivers forming throughout our campsite.

So we made a snap decision.



See, 10:00pm is the rangers bedtime…so they lock you in and there is no leaving until morning.

We drove out at like, 9:58, with Tim telling the ranger that our campsite flooded and they might want to look into fixing it because this was just…unacceptable.

I just sat there in the passengers seat, bouncing around like a giddy little school girl…holding up my left hand for the ranger as if to say, “LOOK!  DIDN’T YOU NOTICE? I’M ENGAGED! SEE?!?”

We drove into the tiny town and found a hotel to stay in overnight, got up early the next morning and drove home in a car packed to the gills with a half-folded tent, muddy chairs, a hammock full of water and “kitchen” supplies thrown haphazardly all over the place that would make this jingly sound whenever we turned a corner.

It smelled like warm, rotting mildew.

But I wouldn’t even have noticed a dead skunk tucked inside a dirty baby diaper wrapped around my head.


And yes, I wore that pink long-sleeved shirt ALL WEEKEND.

I didn’t expect it to be THAT COLD.


18 Responses to “the engagement – part 2”

  1. 1 mrssoup August 13, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    That is just beautiful!! I love having my engagement pictures as well! Such a special moment.

    You have a great keeper there. 😉

  2. 3 Shannon August 13, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    OH GOD! That was great! Such a beautiful story. Same goes for the priceless photos. Thank you for sharing. Of course, the rain and downpour makes the story complete.

  3. 5 Breeza August 13, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Awww–great story! How romantic he is! And it’s so beautiful there–I’m jealous!

    • 6 Jessica August 13, 2009 at 7:17 pm

      Breeza: Thank you!…though we’d trade the West coast over the Georgia mountains any day…. 🙂

      and Tim does have the romantic thing going for him…definitely cannot complain.

  4. 7 Debbie August 14, 2009 at 9:16 am

    How utterly sweet! The mountain view – amazing – and what an incredible way to propose. Congratulations!

    • 8 Jessica August 14, 2009 at 3:03 pm

      Debbie: I KNOW! It was so perfect!….I cannot believe it was already THREE YEARS AGO he did that….

      Thanks for stopping by – hope to see you back from time to time!

  5. 9 Breeza August 14, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    The West Coast is the best 🙂 You guys should move out here! Lots of hiking… just sayin!

    • 10 Jessica August 14, 2009 at 3:22 pm

      Breeza: WE’RE TRYING. We’ve been trying. FOR YEARS. Damn Tim’s job….has to be in such a TINY LITTLE NICHE! I could come sleep on your couch?…………….

  6. 11 Lori August 14, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I got engaged on top of a mountain too (Cadillac Mountain in Maine) 4 years ago on Thursday!

    -Lori at I Can Grow People

  7. 13 bevchen August 15, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Oooh, this is such a lovely story. You have a great guy 🙂

  8. 15 ladiesofmight August 18, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Aww! I loved this post! Your husband is so sweet! This was such an adorable story!

    • 16 Jessica August 18, 2009 at 5:08 pm

      ladiesofmight: thank you! It was incredible, I must admit. A day I’ll never forget…one that always makes me smile. Glad to see you stopped by – hope to see you around from time to time. 🙂

  9. 17 dirtclustit December 1, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    damn! I bet getting stuck on the hill all night it got cold!

    Plus in georgia I’ve been told they have chupacabra. EL CHUPACABRA that HAACYYYSSSSS! a hissing but more weezing sound when they are forced to retreat

    *I think I’m gonna puke*

  1. 1 four years. of marriage. it’s a record. « booshy Trackback on September 10, 2011 at 9:40 am

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