Exercise has never been for forte. I was the kid in high school tract that hid under the bleachers during our mile warm up. I mean, I was a sprinter….I ran in bursts of 12 seconds not miles. I was also the kid in high school that never backed down from a challenge either. So….a whole roll of bubble tape in the mouth….sure. Stare at the sun contest, why not. Orange Juice after teeth brushing for a week, no problem. Whole chicken for lunch…….please, pass the ketchup. So when Kyle and Stephanie comes at me with, “We are eloping at Wahclella Falls and it’s a hike in”……of course I’ll do it. Internally…though, mmmmmm definitely needed to do more calisthenics to prepare…after all I’d be hauling a whole bunch of equipment in….so yeah. To prepare…I skipped desert one day and increased my water intake by two glasses. I was still excited about the wedding even though I had to “work” for it a little more because let’s face it folks, the Pacific Northwest is galdarned beautiful and to witness two people committing their lives to each other next to a waterfall was too good to pass up. I mean…a waterfall….that’s like something out of a Taylor Swift video. Morning comes….hiking shoes on, cameras by my side, back pack on, time to roll……to Starbucks…because I needed a little caffeine boost to get me going. Starbucks check….now let’s roll to the falls. Pulling up, it was a little quiet….the birds were chirping…squirrels scurrying about….salamanders…salamandering (totally made this part up…I’ve never seen a salamander) until….I feel a force. No….not like in Starwars…more like….Animal House. Horns beeping, woo hoos, fist pumps and laughter, laughter, laughter. The arrival of Kyle’s family was happening. In all seriousness….I don’t think I’ve ever met a group of people who were as happy to be around each other like Kyle’s family. Kyle and Stephanie weren’t even there yet…this was the pre entourage entourage. You can imagine the reaction as Kyle and Stephanie pull up. I mentioned this hike….now, it’s actually not hard. I photographed a wedding there a couple of years ago and it has it’s rough spots but it’s not like I’m Bear Grylls eating larvae or anything. The last time I huffed and puffed my way to the falls, I ran into a pregnant lady who was about 6 months along and she greeted me with a big smile and not a drop….not a drop of sweat on her where I looked like I just did Hood to Coast in scuba gear. This time the weather was perfect. Partly cloudy with a slight breeze which made it easier for sure. Observing Kyle and Stephanie, they were just strolling along, holding hands, smiling and laughing, kissing and hugging…in stride which is really hard unless you are very in tune with your partner. The ceremony was so intimate….a few family members and the couple. It was beautiful, standing on some rocks with the beautiful falls in the background. You couldn’t really hear what was said between Stephanie and Kyle but in a way…you could feel them and when Kyle wiped some happy tears away from his eyes, whatever was said was beautiful. I could go on and on. It was a great day and I’m sure the celebration didn’t stop at the end of that trail. Congratulations to Stephanie and Kyle!