There were SO MANY amazing entries for the "Road Less Traveled" photography giveaway! Truly, I would have picked every single entry if I could have. However, there was one that really stood out. Thaddeus and Ashley, congratulations on your amazing wedding day vision! Rock climbing, tent camping and bonfire are certainly taking things off the well worn trail, and I am beyond excited to be a part of their wedding day! Of course, I wanted to hear about their love story, and it is nothing short of an adventure!
"Ashley and I met through the climbing club. I was the president and she was an incoming freshman. We started dating a bit more than three years ago, and from day one I think we both knew this was something different. Since then we've climbed together, put together a nice collection of pets, and made it through the stress of moving and finding work. When I had to be away for 6 months with work, I knew that was gonna really make or break the relationship. Ashley stood by my side through it all though. I bought the ring when I was living in a hotel so she wouldn't find it. Then, when my work assignment was finished, I took off for 3 weeks on my motorcycle. The ring rode with me the whole way through Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado. I felt like I had to make sure I still had adventure left in me before taking on such a big adventure as marriage. When Ashley flew out to Denver to meet up with me I had ridden in solitude through two difficult weeks of mud sand and rocks. I had seen so many beautiful things and there was still so much to see, but I missed Ashley and I was ready to see her. We went to Rocky Mountain National Park. It was beautiful, but the moment wasn't right. The next day, we rode the motorcycle to Boulder. I knew I was going to ask her to marry me that day. The bike broke down...twice. We finally make it to the flat irons in Boulder after a bit of motorcycle repair, and I want to go to the top of the second flat iron. It's a spot that is important to me because of all the times I had soloed it with my friend Sam. I forgot how brutal the hike is though. It's a long way from where we parked and the end is very steep and very loose. Ashley was having a rough time with it, and I told her it was just a bit further. "We can turn around if you want" I said. She kept going. I had never actually hiked to the top. I'd always climbed. So I didn't really know where I was going. We say someone soloing around on the first and decided to go up the way they were going. Ashley decided to stop and take some pictures. I thought "This is it." Perched on the edge of the first flat iron I tapped her on the shoulder so she would turn around. I had the ring in my hand. I thought it was going to be hard to say it out loud, but it came out easily. And she with tears in her eyes nodded yes. All the problems of the day were gone. The bike broke down on the way to the hotel. There was no arguing, it didn't matter. We rented bicycles and rode around Boulder giggling with excitement.
Gah! I am over the moon excited for Thaddeus and Ashely, and I can't wait to share this amazing couple's wedding with all of you!