South Lake Tahoe Proposal | Linda + Gregory

I had promised to share my proposal story, but as every new bride knows, it’s really hard to focus at the beginning. I was suprised, slowly overwhelmed by congratulations, then emotions, and of course, questions. Before I realized it, I was already stressing about something we hadn’t even started planning yet. Then I decided not to think about it until after the new year. … LOL. *What* was I thinking?? Here we are, a couple months after that deadline, and we are still in the beginning steps of planning. That’s ok. I’m determined to take it one joyous moment at a time. We will get there eventually. So now, to share with those of you I have not already told in person, our proposal story…

Greg & I had planned a two week trip in November to Chile to visit friends, vacation, and explore Patagonia. We both enjoy the outdoors and hiking, but neither of us are experts. Having never been to Patagonia, we had no idea how it would be. There was information online, but it wasn’t easy to find and filter through. We felt like we needed to prepare better for our hike so we’d been trying to get out on the hills since booking our flights. Did we? Ha!

Anywho, two weeks before our trip, we did a local hike not too far from home. It was easy. Even when we stopped to have our packed lunch, it only took a few hours. I gave Greg the reigns to plan our next hike for the following weekend / a week before our trip. I knew that it was going to be in S. Lake Tahoe and that we were going to try and carry as much as we were going to in Patagonia – cameras included. Otherwise, I had no idea how many hours the trek would take nor how hard it would be.

Greg asked that we bring a tripod to take “holiday pictures”. I kept pushing against it because I wasn’t going to take it on our trip; it was unnecessary! He became insistent so I caved… as long as he was carrying it! Not thinking too much of it after that, we filled up our Camelbaks with water and a few protein bars. We then drove to Sacramento and stayed the night before making the rest of the trip the following morning.

We got to the Mt. Tallac trailhead around 9:30am, our bellies feuled with a light breakfast, and started making our way.  It was a beautiful day! … But wait! We must pay for parking. Getting your car towed in unfamiliar territory is probably not the best idea. Greg spent some time searching for the parking payment envelopes and came back to the car unsuccessful. So then I went and found the note on top of the box that said to proceed if none were available. LOL. Annnnnd then I had to pee. There was no bathroom nearby so we ultimately decided to drive to the visitor’s center we had passed – it was only a few minutes from the trail. Mind you, I thought this was going to be a leisurely hike still!

When we finally got started, it was beautiful ^_^. Of course I stopped to take pictures here and there. Here’s Fallen Leaf Lake and in distance on the left, Lake Tahoe.

Here we are, maybe .75 mi in. Still happy as a clam.

The terrain started to change…

So pretty! We made it 2.5 miles in to Cathedral Lake. Haha!

The terrain changed quickly and Greg, keeping an eye on time, made a big push to stop photos and move quickly.

I can always sneak pictures in on my phone ^_^. It was getting harder though.

Not quite the top…

Another change in terrain… I don’t know how he is pushing through. In hindsight, it must’ve been the adrenaline!

Unfortunately, no in between pictures. I was too tired and was going through a plethora of emotions. Not knowing when the end would come, there were moments of watery eyes. I told him I hated him (in partial jest!). He encouraged me to keep going. I was upset that I was too out of shape to get through this easily. I was hangry (aside from the bars I threw in last minute, Greg didn’t seem to think we needed to pack a lunch). We kept going…

Another hiker stopped to chat with us when we neared the top. “Only 30-45 min to go!” he said. The half hour chat was a blessing because I needed that break! We finally made it to the ‘top’ and the clouds started rolling in. I say ‘top’ because one has to climb to get the tippy top of the summit. Greg did this and when I asked if he thought I could make it, he flatly said, ‘no.’ Lol. Next time!

I went ahead and picked a spot for our ‘holiday portraits’ to set up the tripod. It was getting quite windy so I picked the most stable position without moving to far from where we were. We were facing away from the lake. Greg asked, “are you sure?” multiple times. I blurted back, “What does it matter!? We have a tripod, we can just rotate it!” … can you tell where my patience was at at this point? So then we took this photos.

“Can you multitask?” he asked. …
“Of course. Why would you ask me that?”

Then he got down on one knee and I was a little… stunned.

He starts talking and I hear him, but I’m not quite registering.

“Linda Dang, if we cou–…”
“Noooo. You’re not really…”
“.. up a mountain…”
“Will you marry me?”

I made sure to look at him when I gave him my answer.

Haha. Well, you all know my final answer, “yes, of course!” but I had to make him sweat it a little for the hike. It ended up being close to a 10,000 foot elevation climb at level difficult hike! Later in the car, Greg admitted that he wanted me to “suffer a little” too. O_O.

With renewed energy, we found another spot for photos.

And then made our descent. This was *much* easier for me.

We stopped for our obligatory ring picture ^_^.

Apparently, downhill was much harder for this old guy.

The last picture before it got dark. But the story doesn’t end here…

I swear, Greg needed more downhill stops than I needed going up. His knees were giving out. Meanwhile, our flashlights were dead and our phones were dying. It was getting dark. Really dark. Pitch black. I wish I had taken pictures or recorded this this next part because it was comical as well!

Half a mile from our car, Greg caved. He needed a break. He lied down on the path and said, “leave me!” Leave me? He meant me to leave him. … To leave him, go back to the car, and come back with water. (Oh! Did I mention, we ran out of water too? Lol.) This guy just proposed to me and is now telling me to leave him, hike in the dark to the car alone and back, where the bears are not yet in hibernation. Yeah, right! Eventually, we made it back, safe and sound, and newly engaged. <3

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