The Place - or how we got engaged

In short, I asked Sharon to marry me. She said yes.

I'm a little old-fashioned so I also asked her Dad for her hand in marriage. He thought that was pretty funny and since he seems to like me, he said, as long as Shar has no problem with it, that he was quite happy for us.

It's been rather wild and I am so very, very happy.

The day on which I proposed started with a drive on the Burr Trail through the Escalante Region in South Central Utah. The drive looks somewhat like this. A rather steep switchbacked road descends the Capitol Reef's waterpocket fold.

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The view from the other side – after descending the Waterpocket fold looks somewhat like this.

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This is the Utah with which Sharon and I have fallen in love. The classic "rocks on drugs" in all its schizophrenic wild chiaruosco beauty. I'd been plotting the proposal for a long time and I knew this 3 weeks away, in one of the most wildly beautiful places on earth, would be a good place to pop the question.

The key for me was to keep this quiet and to utterly surprise Sharon. The second key was to find a nice quiet place to propose. We had left many many campgrounds which were surprisingly crowded and DID NOT want to stay at a place like this:

Anyone who doubts that the economy is doing well (at least for some!) has to take a look at this neverending lineup of SUVs and motorboats to think twice. Fine for the boaters. Not so good for a romantic campspot.

However, Utah is big and after driving through the Burr Trail and crossing Lake Powell via ferry we turned off the main road and found a really nice spot. Secluded, away from the maddening crowd. It was quiet, a gorgeous night and quite nice for what I planned.

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It got dark around 6:30 and we had dinner. We read for a bit and, not wanting to break habit, I lulled Sharon into a (false) sense of security by suggesting we go for a walk. Earlier I had palmed the engagement rock in my pocket and we went for a stroll toward the slickrock knoll you can see in the top right of this picture. It was a warm night. Stars were out; moon was low; there were thunder storms over Arizona to the south of us and the light show made the night sky alternately glimmer and glow in reflected flashes. We got to the top of the knoll and there, on one knee, I asked her to marry me. She said yes … and insteadly made me the happiest man on earth.

How is this biking related? Well, we did go for a ride the next day. I just want to say that it is a joy to not only have a life partner who rides – but also to have one who cares for you and loves you. No matter how busy it gets at work; no matter how much it may PO me off to crack my knees up on a missed pedal kick; no matter how frustrated I may get with increasing responsibility in life, or the state of poverty in Africa, or changing disc brake standards – I know that she is there for me. And I for her.

I close with the requisite bike –ride related content. These are some pictures of our short spin the next day. Our very special spot in Utah.

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