Surprise, Surprise

Walking on from Onyx, I had high hopes that my sweetheart might be waiting for me at Kennedy Meadows. I made the mistake of saying it out loud to other hikers that day, which made it go from subtle hope, to extreme motivation. I started flying through the trail. Met some really great young women, Weebee, Siesta, and Runs with Elk, all about my age, all solo hiking. We grouped up for the day, and had a girls night! We hiked over a ridge at sunset, all of us the same speed, same enthusiasm and appreciation for its beauty, and high fived like pros at the top. All 4 of us cowboy camped (no tent) in a cute little row and giggled and talked about boys. Just like a sleepover. It was amazing! They were almost as excited for me as I was, in hopes of Eric being there. When I packed up at 5:30 the next morning, chomping at the bit, the gave me some thumbs up and crossed fingers and wished me luck.

There were wings on my heels! I went the first 11 miles in 4 hours. Then 10 1/2 in less than 4. That’s faster than normal for me by a lot. Especially with my 6 days of food. 29.5 mile day, and I was looking at getting into Kennedy Meadows by 5:30. The heat starting getting to me. I suppose it was the desert’s last chance to take me down, and wasn’t going to be sat out on. I knew there was a river that I could be to ( a genuine, flowing, wet, cool river! Something I’d been dreaming of on those dry desert afternoons) and I hurried to get there. I started to hear it, and saw it beneath me, and knew everything was going to be better than ok, when suddenly I saw something I’d been dreaming of. A gorgeous man, walking up the hill toward me. I inspected for detail that would make me sure it was him. ‘That sure looks like my Eric, but I sure could be hallucinating’ I thought. But after I saw that sly, loving smile take over his face, I knew it had to be real. At least I hoped it wasn’t a cactus in disguise, cause I threw my arms around him and kissed him good (or pretty good for someone who’s about to pass out). We got me into the water right away, so that I could actually construct sentences instead of all the “but…what the….how….where….really….I uh….you…” that had been coming out so far. He told me he was going to hike with me for the next few days and climb Mt. Whitney with me. Unbelievable, and so sweet.

We had a great time together! Having him by my side meant to the world to me. The whole experience felt complete, like nothing in the world could have been better. Our first night out I sat next to him, with a river reflecting the bright orange sunset right behind us, mac and cheese, and his sweet smile, I knew I had everything. Walking with him was so great. We talked more than ever before, which tends to happen on those long walking days. It may sound weird, but I felt like I was really getting to know him and I loved what I learned. The back country has a way of really showing you what a person’s made of, this guys made of gold. No question.

The awkward part of our time together, was that I couldn’t tell him that we might have to push it a little bit, in order for me to make my flight to go surprise him a week later. What a wonderful, sit-com-esque situation to be in! I love that we both wanted to surprise each other. Love that we both were willing to go through great lengths to be there for one another in the big things coming up. Him for the big Mt. Whitney climb, me for his cousins wedding.

Mt Whitney was incredible. Took a lot out of both of us, but nothing beats standing atop the highest mountain you can find (14,495ft) with the one you love.

shayla camera 104

I rushed through the high Sierra. A struggle, but a breathtakingly beautiful week! Made my flight, and popped in to surprise him before his family in Brainerd. He suspected it too. Guess we both aren’t that great at lying to each other, kinda cute though.

I’ve really got something amazing!

One thought on “Surprise, Surprise

  1. Awe….
    You really couldn’t put words together …it was adorable. I thought you were going to pass out!

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