Also known as:
- How to test your very new engagement 101
- Do you really want to spend your life with that person?
- You should actually like backpacking before attempting an epic 7 day backpack trip
- The true meaning of “soaked to the bone”
- When “they” say you can get evacuated, it isn’t what you pictured.
As I wrote about in Dana and I’s long-winded romantic tale, we’ve been together pretty much our whole lives for about 10 years. Dana, being a geologist, has always had a soft spot for mountains, hiking, and adventure. Someone had told Dana about the epic West Coast Trail (my sources tell me this person was none other than Ron Clarke) and he was dying to go hike it.
In spring 2010, Dana had completed his geology degree and started his first legit adult job. This naturally means a lot of things, but the important thing is that he now had disposable income since he was still somehow technically living at home.
For me, his then-girlfriend of four years, that meant an engagement ring and a proposal. I had the ring picked out and everything. For Dana, disposable income meant buying all the backpacking gear a man could possibly ever want (okay, and maybe a secret ring too) and planning his dream West Coast Trail trip.
(After writing about all of our hiking adventures over the past couple summers, the next portion of my story seems funny, but I’ll tell it anyways.)
Since people who care about each other at least try out each other’s hobbies (in theory), I went on a few introductory hikes with Dana. One was Yamnuska, a K-Country classic.
Another one that I always chuckle about was the Ink Pots hike , as I recall being immensely sweaty, wearing my Ropers (horseback riding boots) as hiking boots, and thinking a checkered button-up was suitable hiking apparel. I hated every minute.
We also attempted a lovely backpacking trip, Lake of the Hanging Glacier, as WCT practice. It’s 18 km round trip, 700 m elevation gain, which in 2016 seems like a normal day’s hike for us. However, it was a beastly hot day, we got a late start, and the mosquitos were the worst I’ve seen in all my life. As soon as the tent was set up, I hid inside (naked) with a pounding headache in the blazing heat and (again) resented Dana for making me go hiking. The next morning, we hightailed it out of there as fast as we could.
I’m really selling myself, aren’t I?
So this brings us to the end of the summer in 2010 and our infamous West Coast Trail trip. I was a chunkier person then and had hired a trainer three weeks before our departure, praying it would be enough to get me strong enough for the hike.
I did some stair climbing at the gym and some cable pulls, and called it a day. I was ready to get engaged – er -I mean hike the WCT.
Finally, the day arrived to fly down to Victoria with our overstuffed hiking backpacks. When we arrived, we dropped off our luggage at Ocean Island Inn and set out to explore. I wasn’t certain if Dana had The Ring, but I was certainly praying he did. Why else was I on this godforsaken trip?
To my massive enjoyment (and relief), Dana proposed in the rose gardens behind the Legislative buildings and we were ecstatically happy. I momentarily forgot about the WCT and was just excited and in love.
Tomorrow we leave for our 2016 WCT trip – tune in for another post and read about our infamous 2010 adventure!