March 10, 2017
X marks the spot. Plots mark the dot. Lats, longs, seconds and degrees. Today marks a celebratory day for a couple of road trip warriors and weathered mountain souls. Two years ago today a trio of friends went off-road into the Sierra backcountry. She was on snowshoes and the guys were on skis. The only view for miles were of mountain peaks holding watch over deep valleys and frozen alpine lakes. A blizzard was inbound; the snow had begun to fall and the wind was cold and biting.
She wore ski pants and pearl earrings, and strapped down tight to her daypack was a bouquet of Calla Lilies in the softest hues of pink and cream, hastily picked up from the last market heading out of town. He wore his thick winter beard, favorite flannel and lucky neckerchief. Their rings were zippered deep behind Gore-tex pockets and shaking, wind-chapped hands clutched wrinkled notebook paper with penned promises attached to their hearts.Their friend recently ordained for this occasion, laid a fallen Pinyon branch across the marriage threshold and prepared a short & sweet ceremony as their only witness. He spoke softly as Mokelumne Peak stood tall behind him. The ceremony was congratulated with hearty rounds of Pendleton whiskey in the finest of paper cups. Her lilies were thrown up, out, and far into the driving wind.The guys whooped and hollered their ski run down the mountain, the wilderness echoing their descent and she...she followed fast and quiet, snowshoes floating over the snow, leaving part of herself to stay up there with those old, twisted pines.
That lodgepole branch leans up against the hearth in our home to this day. There is a ski pole mounted go-pro video that filmed the ceremony, our vows barely discernible above the wind. Taken from the photos of that day, there is the same mountain range profile carved across his wedding band. This handmade key fob is the gift he will receive today. He promised to make her dreams come true and he's been doing it everyday since. And for her, like he also promised, he is her best adventure.