Thursday, February 19, 2009


On our second date we took Beamer—my dog—on a snowy hike up Duel Creek Canyon. It's a sheer canyon on both sides with a single track trail and a healthy creek cutting through the middle. There are several small cascades—one of which McCall commented on during our second date. There's a flat area where the water pools and spills into another pool. That's the backgrounder.

I played dumb yesterday, asking McCall via text what she wanted to do last night. She said she wanted to drive out to meet me but I insisted that I pick her up because of icy roads. I said that Beamer needed a good hike and asked if she would go with us. I picked her up at 6:00 PM with a request that she pack winter clothes.

We went to the restaurant where we ate on our first date. McCall commented that we ate there on our first date so thought she was onto me.

Of course it was a wonderful evening over dinner.

We changed our clothes and picked up Beamer. As we drove to the mountains McCall again commented that it was where we went on our second date, and again I thought she was onto me.
I put my backpack on telling her that I had a sleeping bag and more puffy clothes just in case she got cold. I also said we needed the sleeping bag and insulated pad in case of an emergency. I opened the backpack wide to put water in it—and to show McCall that there was nothing suspicious in the bag. I closed it tight. It contained more than what I had told her—including 3 month's salary in rock and metal.

We hiked across a snow packed road and turned into Duel Creek Canyon—let me just add that McCall is the only woman I know that skis, hikes and is as active as any dude I know but walks and acts like a woman in every way. We walked from snow packed roads to a powdery trail. The deeper we hiked into the canyon, the dimmer the lights of the city became. We turned our headlamps on.

McCall said about half way into the canyon that we were hiking the exact trail we hiked on our second date. Again, I thought I was outed. We came to the clearing aforementioned where the canyon flattened and the creek poured from a high pond to a lower one. That's where we stopped and I said I needed to take my pack off and cool down.

From my pack I pulled candles out saying that I had a few things besides water and extra clothes in there. I lit the candles and stuffed them in the snow. She said, "Jon, what guy does this?" I blew off her question by saying "Um, a few?" Then I pulled the sleeping pad from my pack for her to sit on.

I turned my back on her to hide my next activity. I pulled a portable iHome speaker stand and iPod from the pack, mounted the iPod and pushed play—earlier that day preselecting the song that would play.

Here's the thing about the song. I never though I would propose to Country-Western music playing in the background and I certainly knew I'd never propose to an Alan Jackson song. But over the New Year's break McCall and I drove to my brother-in-law and sister's cabin at Bear Lake. We talked non-stop for two-and-a-half hours until we drove into Logan Canyon. It was a stormy weekend so the drive was a little longer than expected. Snow fell on three inches of road-pack as I pushed play on my iPod. The song "Remember When" by Alan Jackson was the first to shuffle—we drove quietly—a scene right out of a Western Christmas romantic-comedy—if such a thing exists.

That's the song I preselected last night when I pushed play. The next words from McCall’s mouth were "Jonny, I'm going to cry." She stood up and hugged me and sure enough, she started to cry. I milked her tears for the first few verses of the song then asked her to sit, there were still more things in the bag.

McCall sat on the rolled up sleeping pad and I dug to find the only zipper pocket in my backpack. There it was—the symbol of my eternal love.

The candles were pleasantly dim, flickering light on the creek, the canyon walls and McCall’s face. I stood before her and flipped on her headlamp so she would be dazzled by what I was about to give to her. She look up and me and said, “What’s going on?”

I got on a knee and presented a closed ring box. I started to ask her to marry me but she grabbed me and pulled me to the ground. We wrestled in each other’s arms laughing…McCall's laughter mixed with tears.

“Wait.” I said. “Let me finish!”

I got back to my knee, opened the box and again asked McCall to marry me. She stared at the ring, almost afraid to touch it, said “Yes,” took the ring from the box and slid it over her finger.

The next half-hour we laid on the ground in excitement—laughing more than talking.

It was the best reaction I could have wished for.

On our hike out of the canyon, Beamer came to an abrupt halt and stared into the darkness. His ears were at attention and his tail was straight out. I put McCall between Beamer and me as we made our way out. When we reached the snow packed mountain road we heard coyote yelps echoing down the canyon. The Crow and other plains mythology believes that the coyote is Creator, elder brother or a notion of the Great Spirit—who was too sacred to mention.



  1. That is such a great story!!! I'm so happy for you Jonny and can't wait to meet you McCall! It sounds like you've met the perfect girl for you! Outdoorsy and girly! Very cool. Married life is fantastic, if I do say so myself!

  2. That is awesome! Way to go Jon! I am so happy for the 2 of you. You are a great couple...CONGRATS!

  3. I love it -- a Western Christmas romantic-comedy


  4. Congratulations! i'm so excited for you both! McCall's a lucky gal! best wishes!

  5. Yay! I hope to see more pictures and posts from the two of you!


  6. My feelings exactly! Thanks Jonny for the perfect night, and thank you even more for the peace and joy I feel with you and because of you! M

  7. Great job Jon, and congrats to you guys. We're so excited for you!!

  8. Jon and McCall,
    Congratulations!!! We are so excited for this spring/summer to be a part of this wonderful event! You two are great together!
    Love you,

  9. congrats guys! jon, i'm excited that you're the next one in the family to get married--not one of your nieces or nephews. JK!!!

    we had fun the other night. let's do it again!

  10. Good stuff Jonny - nice work! Glad to hear you found the love of your life.

  11. Jaawwwaan and McCaawwaal,

    Congrats big fella(s)! Sounds like a very special night. You guys are awesome!


  12. I loved reading it Jon! So great to see your "soft romantic side'! I can't wait to meet her! YEAH!

  13. Congratulations! I am so excited for you!

  14. i loved reading this story...Jon yur so cute!

    we have not been introduced Mccall but i know we'll be fast friends! :) anybody that can win Jon's heart has got to be amazing...can't wait to meet you!!!

    when's the big day??? that's important information that was left out...

  15. Congrats!! So excited for the two of you!! Way to go on the proposal Jon!


    i just read the story to my wife - your plan and mine were in sync right up to where you pulled out the iPod,speakers and candles. Cic darn near teared up here in the kitchen.

    super happy for you, you old romantic! excited to meet mccall and look forward to getting out on some rides with you this summer.

    if you don't mind - would love to be updated on the wedding date.

  17. McCall - I'm so happy for you! I heard a little while ago that you were engaged! CONGRATS!! I'm adding you to my blog list. Hope you don't mind.

  18. MO!!!! Congratulations! I am so excited for you!!!!