On Friday, August 14, we had planned to climb a fourteener (mountain over 14,000 feet in elevation), but when we looked outside and saw thick clouds hovering at the mountain peaks, we made different plans. It happened to be our friend Geoff's birthday, so we drove to Leadville to give him a card and a gift and to say hello. I had never been over Independence Pass, a beautiful road that connects Leadville to Aspen. It is only open in the summer, so we decided to make the drive. It was such a gorgeous stretch of winding, twisty, steep road! We got out at the top of the pass, which is on the Continental Divide. (Just two nights before we were on the Continental Divide on the top of Loveland Pass, watching the meteor shower.) We walked out to the observation area and took our standard self-portrait shot. The view was beautiful, but the clouds were still hovering just above treeline, cutting off some of the panoramic vista. It was a little chilly, so we went back to the car and drove the rest of the way down into Aspen.
When we started dating, Kyle introduced me to John Denver's music and I turned into a big fan. I'd have to say that Annie's Song is "our song". So, when Kyle suggested the idea of going to the John Denver Sanctuary, a rock garden and park along the river in Aspen, I was just as excited as he was. We strolled around the park, where some of John Denver's song lyrics are etched into large rocks. We took our picture by Annie's Song and we sat on one of the rocks that are placed in an ampitheater formation for seating. It was fun to watch couples walking around, listen to kids playing in the river, and see dogs playing fetch with their owners. It was so relaxing and I felt incredibly content.
While I stayed seated on the rock, Kyle got up to take more pictures and his camera bag caught my eye. I had purchased it for his birthday last September and it made me realize that his birthday was soon approaching again. I said, "Hmm, I have no idea what to get you for your birthday this year. What do you want?" He said, "I don't want anything," to which I replied, "You've got to want something. I'm going to need some ideas, you know." He crouched down in front of me and said, "Well there is one thing I want." Oblivious to what he was preparing to do, I said, "Well, then tell me. Or at least give me hints. I can't read your mind, so you'll have to tell me something."
At this point, he got really quiet and started fumbling with his hands in front of me. He said, as he started slipping a ring on my left hand, "There is one thing I want. I love you and I would be honored if you would marry me."
I couldn't stop smiling and giggling, and through misty eyes, I said, "I would love to, of course!" It was a wonderful moment. It felt like we were suspended in time and I honestly couldn't tell you if anyone else was in that park right then. All that mattered was that he and I were there together. The center stone of the ring is a sapphire and he told me, "You know that's my birthstone, right? I picked it because I was born to marry you." (Awww...)
We called family and friends, ate a late lunch/early dinner, and drove back through Glenwood Canyon, my favorite stretch of I-70. Once we got back in the county, we bought some champagne to celebrate and continued letting people know about our news. It was such a wonderful day!