I met Brian at my first job out of college at Executive Jeep Nissan. He was a car salesman and I was a car saleslady in training. We had an instant connection and he “sold” me in June of 2012 from the first time we talked. We had a lot of things in common–we both shared a love for exercise, fitness, and hiking. It was easy being around him because we were able to talk about the most random things–tattoos, the gym, and parties (Oh, so romantic, I know). We started hanging out and going to the gym together after work. He took me hiking for our first date and it became “our thing.” We both developed a love for finding new places to go hiking around the Northeast. It was all about seeing unique and beautiful places, together.
November 6, 2016 started out like any other Sunday off from work. The fall foliage was at its peak and we planned to go for a hike in a new location. Because my sister, Olivia, shares the same love for the fall season, she and her boyfriend joined us on our hike. Our destination was an hour away at Breakneck Ridge on the Hudson River in Cold Spring, New York. It was the perfect place to take in the foliage. There was plenty of sunshine and red and orange leaves all around.
We arrived along the Hudson River and the mountain around 10:00am. Unsure of which path to take, we found a little booth set up with guides and a park map alongside the trails to the top. We chose a trail and began the climb! The incline to the top was steady and full of rock ledges. None of us were prepared for a rock climbing adventure, and we were definitely a little unsure of our ascent. I had read about this hike on reviews and people said it was a 10-minute rock scramble–I guess I didn’t realize what that meant. Our rock scramble took more than 10 minutes and we were separated in the process. The leaves were making things slippery and I was anxious because the rock climbing never seemed to end. I kept on putting one foot in front of the other without ever looking behind me. I ended up on a ledge with a flag and an overlook of the Hudson. When I turned around to share in the beautiful view, I realized I had flown up the mountain and left the others behind. I figured they’d catch up soon so I set my backpack down, got out my GoPro for some panos, and took in the scenery. My crew never caught up with me and I started to freak out, thinking that they might be lost or hurt. I was afraid to call them and scare them in case they were gripping for their lives on a rock. Little did I know–they were thinking the same thing about me–and I finally got a call from Olivia wondering where I was.
Somehow they totally missed the ledge with the flag and took a different trail up to the next overlook. I was completely by myself, and had to make my way up a few hundred feet on my own. To say the least, I was totally frightened and didn’t think I would make it on my own. In a sheer panic, I made it to them, and burst into tears (meanwhile, I had no idea what was in store for me).
After I caught my breath and wiped my tears, I finally stood up and realized the view was amazing. It was almost two hours into our hike and we decided it was the perfect spot to stop, rest, and take photos. Brian insisted on taking a picture right away, so Brian and I began posing for pictures. All of a sudden he dropped to one knee and I couldn’t believe what was happening. I was in complete shock, especially after freaking out over the climb to the top! I was filled with happiness and couldn’t stop smiling as he opened the box and asked me to spend the rest of our lives together. I said yes and took the dazzling, bright, cushion-cut diamond out, and put it on my finger. The entire time, Olivia and her boyfriend had it on film and captured the moment. Brian had asked the surrounding hikers to clear the ledge so we would have a picture-perfect moment, and we surely did. Olivia took out two glasses and a bottle of champagne and Brian and I popped it to celebrate.
The entire hike down, I couldn’t believe Brian had hiked up the mountain with that ring in his pocket!!! I kept thinking, ‘Imagine if he fell,’ ‘What if it fell out?!?!’ I also couldn’t believe Olivia hiked with a bottle of champagne and glasses in her bag! It was just perfect and turned out to be the best hike of my life. Brian could not have planned a better proposal with a more picturesque backdrop for that moment that we will cherish forever.