August 29, 2007


I got engaged last Saturday.  It was a fun and wonderful experience, and here are some details for the interested.So, I wanted to create a wonderful proposal.  My first idea was to have a very romantic dinner at the nice glade upon a mountaintop near McCall.  I was hoping to have tea lights and a table and a wonderful time.  However there is a strict 'burn ban,' due to massive amounts of forest fires this year, so no one can have any sort of fire at all.  So with some spots in mind, I decided to recon some places up in the woods... read more

I had one spot in mind, and took lots of pictures and made some calculations and took a GPS along to help those who would be assisting me.  I then decided it would be great to have a large sign, due to the wonderful view.  I thought it would be awesome to have a lighted sign, so I fashioned some letters out of Rope-lights.  They ended up being 14' high.  The sign was originally going to say 'will you marry me,' but after some counsel from friends, I decided to cut it down to MARRY ME, and make the letters larger.

So, I went out and bought 7 48' rope lights, and did some massive calculations to string out the lights into letters, and use the rope lights to their potential.  I then procured two generators from my dad, and made sure that the generators would run the seven light ropes.

At this point, my cousin Amanda heard what I was doing, and being friends with Melissa from YWAM DTS in Denver, she was eager to help.  So we spent several hours staking out the letters, affizing them to two ropes with zip ties, and rolling the whole contraption up on a pylon casing.

 I spent several hours doing recon of the place to propose the previous week. The monday following, I spoke to my Cousin Amanda, who had several excellent suggestions. After doing some recon with Amanda, I decided upon a spot. The next day involved looking at the spot for the signs/ropes/generators coincidentally while it was raining.

View of the mountainside/cliff where I proposed

The proposal place is known as the "thinking spot"

Looking South towards Payette lake

Looking South

Looking North from the Thinking Spot

The next day, i drove to Boise and met with several of my friends.  I briefed them with two packets of information:

  • The Prop Doc (3.8 Mb PDF)
  • The Prop Doc Sup (0.2 Mb PDF)

I then returned to McCall, and Amanda and I began the arduous task of carrying the rope-lights tube up the hill.

The climb was tough, but we arrived and were able to drop some ropes from above and secure the two ends of the sign.  We were then going to hoist the ends up, and tighten the ends laterally, to make the rope taunt.  As well, we dropped twine down from above to shore up the sign in the middle at several spots.  The cliff above the cliff was a bit perilous, and one time a large rock came flying down past Amanda!  Yikes!

Looking at the cliffs where the sign would end up

Looking up towards the sign cliff

Looking South at the lake from the sign

Stringing the lights turned out to be a two day project, and it was finished just in time for Melissa and her brother Nick's family to arrive.

 My friends arrived on saturday, and we communicated with text messages.  At one point, they sent me a joke message saying "Abort! Abort!" and forgot to send a follow up message saying it was a joke.  At the same time, my cousin Amanda was supposed to meet them, but they were late.  So there was a bit of confusion at the time they were supposed to get the generators.

At this time, Melissa's brother Nick slipped out to my Explorer and filled the cooler with ice.  We went out for a boat ride, and then I was feeling a little nervous, due to the confusion, and I decided to take a long shower.  Though i actually spent alot of that time sending text messages to find out about the situation.

At around 8:30pm, Melissa suggested that Nick and Mindy go out and have a date night.  Nick played along and suggested that Melissa and I go that night, and they would go the next night.  I then chimed in that I knew of an excellent place to watch the sunset with a great view. 

So Melissa and I loaded into my explorer (which i had loaded previously with a backpack and cooler) and headed toward the north of the lake, where the viewpoint was.  On the way there, I became less and less nervous, and more and more happy!  I was almost giddy with joy when we arrived, and grabbed the cooler and backpack.  Melissa wondered about them, but I told her that she would find out soon why I had them.

We then made it up to the Thinking Spot, and I deployed a blanket from my backpack and a camera with a tripod.  I took a few pictures of the scenery for fun, and left the camera up.  Then I produced a bottle of Dom Pérignon and some Cheese and Crackers.  Melissa knew the Champagne, and wondered what the special occasion was.  She asked if there were going to be fireworks, and I said perhaps.  We then sat down on the overlook and enjoyed the wonderful view and the champagne.  I opened the champagne; shooting the cork off the overlook!  The sky was growing dark quickly, and it seemed like it took only a few minutes for it to grow dark enough to signal for the sign.

I then told Melissa to "close her eyes."  Coincidentally, I also spoke that into the walkie talkie that I had brought in the backpack.  The other walkie talkie was with the generator crew, and they knew that was the signal.  At that point, they turned on the generators.

I then told Melissa to open her Eyes.  The sign was clearly visible, as it was quite dark, and the moon was just about to rise.  There it was, across the valley in big bold letters.  I got down on my knees on the overlook and asked Melissa to marry me, and she said "yes!" As well as "How?"

 The hillside with the sign

Marry Me (Zoomed In)

The Marry Me sign from below

We then removed from the overlook to an adjacent plot of ground that wasn't near the edge (since we were having a bit of champagne, a good idea).  We enjoyed the sign for a long while there, and then ambled down the path back to the Explorer.  We then drove over to the base of the sign to meet the generator crew (Nate, Bryan, Josh, and Andy).  We enlisted Andy as our chauffer, and headed back to town, where we all celebrated together by opening another bottle of Champagne from the Snoqualmie winery.

Melissa at sign, two days later.

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