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Put a ring on it

The Stanley Hotel, an icon in Estes Park, CO, just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park

The Stanley Hotel, an icon in Estes Park, CO, just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park

I’ll get straight to the big news from last week: Amanda and I got engaged.

The impromptu proposal happened in Estes Park, Colorado, on the front steps of The Stanley Hotel. During the day, these steps offer an excellent view of Longs Peak, the sole 14er in Rocky Mountain National Park. But our moment was hardly as picturesque: it was dark, with a temperature in the 20’s and a 15-mph northwest wind. Hey, I know how to pick ’em.

Our engagement probably shouldn’t take anyone by surprise. We’ve been dating since December 2010, and living together since May 2012. “Her” cat had become “our” cat. Last month we started working together. We’d endured extended absences apart, a white-knuckled 35-minute drive between residences when together, and a sweltering 600 square-foot apartment during last summer’s record heat. And, perhaps most important, long ago we’d become best friends.

A mutual friend of ours who recently got married used to insist that, “You should know after a year.” In retrospect, I suppose I did, but it took me twice that long to finally act. I have only one explanation for the delay: first, I had to grow up.

When Amanda and I first met, I was 29 years-old and fresh off my Alaska-Yukon Expedition, the last trip in a bout of hiking awesomeness that started when I was 21. In many ways, I hadn’t aged even a day during this time. In lieu of a reliable address, I was still officially living with my parents. To minimize the hassles of repeated settling in or packing up, I could still transport all of my possessions in my Pontiac Vibe and I was still renting month-to-month. Most of my intimate relationships were still like summer flings, with their endings coinciding with the start of my next hike; there was no doubt that I operated as one-person unit. And while my earnings could support my dirtbag existence, I felt that they provided woefully inadequate security for a prospective mate.

Two years later, I think that most fathers would agree that I’m better marriage material, with a beautiful home, a reliable business, and greater maturity. Amanda — Thanks for being patient and supportive while I caught up on this nest-building. I look forward to growing up and growing older with you.

Posted in on February 18, 2013
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27 Comments

  1. Kelly Ellzey on February 18, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Awww – that’s a great post! Very happy for you Andrew and Amanda!

  2. Matthew DePan on February 18, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Congrats Andrew! Best of luck to you both!

  3. KASEY JURGENSEN on February 18, 2013 at 11:11 am

    CONGRATULATIONS FROM IOWA CITY, IOWA!!

  4. Julie Simpson on February 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    That’s wonderful! Congratulations!

  5. Alexandra Friedman on February 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Well done my friend, well done! I am so happy we have stayed in touch…But what warms my heart even more is that you are so happy! Let’s celebrate!!!!

  6. Tommy on February 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Congratulations!

  7. Matt on February 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Congrats – happiness is being married to your best friend.

  8. Dianne on February 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Congratulations from a former client! I’m married to my best friend, too, and there’s nothing like it. From actress Joanne Woodward, a quote tailor-made for lucky friends who marry:

    “Sexiness wears thin after awhile and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that is a treat.”

    Dianne

  9. Em on February 18, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Congratulations, Amanda and Andrew!

  10. ronda on February 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Congratulations! Beautiful post – I’m sending to my uncommitted 29 year old 🙂

  11. Frank on February 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Nice…nice.

  12. Andy Hawbaker on February 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Congratulations. That is awesome. Enjoy!

  13. Bryan Daniel on February 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Congrats Guys!

  14. Hilary Hazel on February 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    My fiance has been telling me about you for a while now, trying to convince me to live a life that is somewhat adventurous. He forwarding me this blog entry, and it’s made me finally stop rolling my eyes every time he mentions your name! Hard to believe that a lovey-dovey entry would be what it took to hook me in to try new things, but it worked!

  15. Randy McDowell on February 18, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    That’s wonderful news! Congratulations!

  16. Amber Holen on February 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Congratulations, Andrew! What a wonderful place to get engaged. I wish you both nothing but the best!

  17. John Jensen on February 18, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    “”You should know after a year.” In retrospect, I suppose I did, but it took me twice that long to finally act.””… here here

  18. Stephen on February 18, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Congrats…..

  19. R on February 18, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Congratulations

    Was it a super ultralight titanium MYOG ring?

    😉

    A fan from BPL

  20. Lisa Erikson on February 18, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    YAAAAY!!!

  21. Chris on February 18, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Congrats! As always, love reading.

  22. craig on February 18, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Congrats. My wife and I actually spent our honeymoon there…..

  23. David on February 19, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Well done Andrew, congratulations to you both! See you in the High Sierras!

  24. Nick Creadon on February 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Congrats Skurka!

  25. Martin Rye on February 20, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Congratulations and all the best for the years to come.

  26. BW on February 20, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    mazal tov.

  27. Paul on March 15, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Andrew and Amanda, Congratulations! I know it is a big step, a joyous step; a step I took 33 years ago and I’ve enjoyed the adventure! — Cheyenne, WY

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