My favorite engagement story is… Ours..

We got engaged 3 years ago today! I can’t believe it’s been that long! We are almost coming up on our 1st wedding anniversary. I figured I would tell our story, because I love our story, and love hearing other engagement stories! (Share away..)

Ever since we started dating and took a quick road trip out west a few years ago, we knew we wanted to visit Glacier National Park again. Not just to visit the tourists stuff, but do the back country, be one and one with nature and the mountains.

(Our engagement was a long time coming we had been dating since 2007, and I was becoming that crazy girl friend, stressing if we weren’t engaged soon, wondering if we would ever be.)

So we planned, and planned, and planned…

We started planning about a year in advance, talking about what trails, and places were important to each of us. What we wanted to see and do…How long we were going to go, ect. To camp in the back country we had to put in for  a lottery to get our schedule and campsites to sleep at. We had every body part crossed to get the Triple Divide Pass hike through, and we got it! (We had to connect a couple trails, but made it work)

I trained my butt off, I was at the gym 3-4 times a week, eating clean, knowing that I had miles upon miles to hike and extreme elevation change to deal with, something we are not used to in Michigan.. Don’t worry Ryan continued to eat and just stay active enough… Seriously, what is with men and being able to eat/do anything with no struggle…

Let me be frank, Ryan did have to empty my pack once to help me through a pass.
I hope I kept up enough for him though.. I tried.

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Day 1 of Hiking… Good Bye Civilization! Hello – Mountains!

Trying to fit all your supplies in a backpack is no easy task, keeping our weight down, but enough for survival if needed. and I hate dirty clothes, if I wasn’t going to have a shower for 5 days, or a stationary bed.. I was at least going to have enough clothes for a small family..
(Probably not the best decision but I was as clean as I could be)

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The wild life was adorable.. and sometimes a nuisance.

We hiked and hiked and hiked… 

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That is looking behind us, where we have been….. down down down way in the back, back where there were no mountains.. We totaled 25 miles at this point.

We finally made it to the Triple Divide Pass, at this location when it rains, the water can make its way into the three major water ways. Hudson Bay, Pacific and Gulf..
Some where not everyone can get to and a place I can say I now have been.
By far one of my favorite things on this trip!
It is stunning hiking your way through a mountain pass and if you haven’t done it..
You need to!

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You just take it all in.. look around.. & that moment when you realize you are just a spec on this Earth.

We spent some time at the top of the pass, enjoying a snack, taking photos and trying not to feed the mountain raccoons.

I ended up taking a seat, relaxing and enjoying the view!

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The view on the other side of the Mountain, which our next camp was at the bottom…Yup

Ryan walked himself over to me, sat down and grabbed my hand, next thing I knew he was down on one knee, confessing his love for me, and asking me to be his wife. It was perfect!! I couldn’t imagine it any other way! This was such a moment of time stand still of our life, and one we would be telling our grand kids one day.

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Our engagement photo! – Grow Old With Me

We didn’t have much time as we were running out of day light. We had to make to camp and set up, before the bears came out.. No Joke..

We set up camp, made a freezer dry meal (romantic I know 😉 ) , and Ryan pulled out my favorite Michigan Ice Wine from Verterra. I was so shocked, who hikes with a bottle of wine…??
Crazy Man!

The hardest part was being engaged and not being able to tell anyone who actually cared, or who would celebrate with us!
Darn no cell service!!
Until we met these two wonderful guys the day later.
We were set up at Moose Camp (that’s what I call it) as it looked like the perfect spot to find a moose. (We did not)
Everyone was making their dinner in the designated food area, and we explained where we from and that  we were JUST ENGAGED.
Ryan made the sweetest toast and we shared our wine. It was full of laughs and had an great time!
Don’t mind the bear spray! 

From that point on, anyone we passed on the trails would wish us Congratulations!
Thanks to these two guys! It was awesome and a blast to make friends from Michigan in the back country of Montana~

 

After we finished our hike through, we still had days to sight see and enjoy the beauty of Montana.

We set up a more permanent camp had an actual fire at a campground and enjoyed seeing the rest of the park and spending time together!

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Our sleeping arrangements for the two weeks. Up close and personal!

There was so much to take in, and pictures do no justice to the amazing place!

We spent one morning hiking back to Iceberg Lake, we left super early in the morning so we can make sure we were there alone for the best picture. It was 80 degrees everywhere but inside this bowl, where Icebergs were still floating!

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The Highline Trail – Hold on the chain.. long way down

This is one of the most popular trails around, it gets a lot of foot traffic. It was honestly the one I was most worried about! After hearing you needed to hold on, and it was a cliff. Well after the previous 5 days int the back country, this was no biggie… Sheww.

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The roots of a random tree on a quick a couple hour trip through a nature area.

The Wild Flowers were beautiful! I wish we could have picked a few and transplanted them back home. Bear Grass (left) is what Ryan wanted to see tons of, we ended up being a few weeks early, for the full bloom.
(My Ring – Designed by Verragio)
My dream ring! Absolutely Perfect!

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Ryan and I spent the night up at Logan Pass, to do a long exposure picture of the stars. Well Ryan did, I slept! There was lightening in the background, hard to get a completely dark photo.

Okay.. now the BEARS… Yes we saw them, far and near…
We actually spooked one while hiking, we got quite and we were tired. Our bad, as a small grizzly took the path in front of us. My heart couldn’t pound any faster, or louder. Bear Spray in hand and Ryan in front of me.. Just have to have someone else that looks yummier!

You also can find them in the north part of the park, around dusk every night they come down and cross the road to go to the river, there is a ranger there for protect of you and the animals..

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Here is one that we saw, he was chasing a girl bear, and actually ran down the mountain to us.

(Please note: with all the press about animals in Yellowstone, and Glacier attacking, be aware of your surroundings, understand that they are wild animals, and we are in their territory, it is not a petting zoo)

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After eating dehydrated meals for two weeks, we treated ourselves to a great dinner.

I don’t usually eat steak, but ordered one myself and was in heaven!!
Babb Bar Cattle Baron Supper Club – Stop! You won’t be disappointed.

This trip was amazing, and probably one of the most memorable places we have been. I can’t wait to continue our life together and seeing and experiencing new places and things.

~Our Engagement Story and Adventure is the Best~

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Our Engagement and Wedding Photos by Kellie Saunders 

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