Today was an extremely exciting day, probably one of the most exciting days of my life. It was also quite hectic.
A bit over a year ago, I decided I wanted to propose to my girlfriend, and once we decided we would go on this trip it became clear to me it would be the perfect opportunity to do so.
I asked Michael, an Israeli friend of mine, to help me with it. He kindly agreed to change his flight date to Canada and arrive earlier than he originally planned.
In addition, the last few days were extremely smoky, as I’ve described in the previous post. When I found out about the smoke I was so depressed as I thought that the entire plan was liable to fail.
Oh my, what a day. Michael texted me at around 10 AM that he was going to the destination point to check it out. I had chosen the Upper Peyto Lake Viewpoint, as it seemed both beautiful and not crowded. I relied on this website. According to the weather forecast (that is usually not reliable in smoky times), we wanted to run our plan on the next day.
And then I heard… nothing. Not a sign from Michael till I went to sleep. I wasn’t sure if we were going to meet tomorrow or not. Unsure about the weather and what’s going on with Michael, I slept pretty badly.
The day itself
I woke up and checked my phone quickly. Nothing.
We were starting to get ready when I suddenly received a message from Michael, where he explained that he and his girlfriend Meytar were staying at a hut that had no electricity, reception or WiFi (and no running water), and thus he couldn’t reach me before. He said he had limited time. He convinced the hut’s owner to use satellite internet (by explaining to her what this was about).
I told Neta that I had to go to the restroom. I needed some time.
Michael told me that he had been to the destined spot, and sent me detailed explanations and photos of his girlfriend (and specifically, her finger…) pointing where I should walk when we get there.
We decided on 12 PM as the time for us to get there. I noticed very carefully how long it takes us to get ready and out in the last few days, so I was trying to make sure we would get out right on time. Michael told me to expect a 20 minutes walk to the destination point.
We had breakfast and drove to the right place. It was an hour drive and I was quite nervous. We parked the car and started climbing uphill. One sign, another sign. Everything was going according to plan, we were right on time and everything matched Michael’s descriptions.
Until suddenly, it didn’t. The path no longer matched the description.
I got a bit stressed out, but then I remembered that Michael had told me that all paths should lead to the right point. So I took a right when the written description instructed me to take a right.
The path suddenly became quite steep. We started climbing a hill. Michael didn’t say anything about climbing, and it was supposed to be a really easy walk… I saw a few people climbing down the hill and ran quickly to talk to them so that Neta couldn’t hear me. They told me they climbed up the hill and got a nice view of Peyto Lake. Well, it is called the Upper Peyto Lake Viewpoint, after all. They said there were stones up there. It matched Michael’s last photos.
“Did you see a blanket? And a picnic basket?” I asked them.
“Well, never mind”.
We kept climbing the hill. It was quite long, and the time was running late… When we reached the peak, the view was stunning. Really, stunning.
But Michael wasn’t there. At this point, I was really stressed out.
Neta didn’t get what was going on. We were facing an amazing view, and I was looking panicked.
“It’s not the right point”, I told her.
-“I think it is,” she said, tired from climbing uphill, “and the view is fine.”
“Wait here,” I said, and started running (literally, running) downhill. When I was far enough, I started shouting – “Michael? Michael?”
I started running back up, and I slipped on some snow that had fallen earlier that day. I got back to Neta a bit wet and breathing very heavily.
“Are you alright?” she asked, “did you fall?”
“I am fine, it’s nothing” I said. “Let’s take a picture”. Running up, I realized it made no sense for me not to want to take a picture.
“Don’t you want to take a breath first?”
-“No, let’s take a picture”, I said and asked the two persons who were up there with us to take our picture.
We took a few pictures, and I urged Neta to go down, explaining that this is “not the right point”, and that “there is something really beautiful there”. Neta was confused, but started following me, telling me to “slow down!” all the time.
It was getting late.
I decided to use the reliable thing I had – an exact GPS location of the destination point that I had asked Michael to extract from the last picture he had taken. We went all the way back to the last point that matched Michael’s direction, while Neta kept telling me to slow down. I saw another trail, followed it for a bit, and then everything got back on track – it looked like the other photos Michael sent me.
In retrospect, when Michael used the satellite internet to send me those photos and explanations – it was so slow that some of the messages arrived in the wrong order. I received some messages after the wrong pictures!
“Yes!” I told Neta, “we are on the right way!”
Neta probably thought that I completely lost it by this point, but she kept walking with me. I then noticed the picnic blanket and took her hand in mine. “Hey, look there,” I told her.
The amazing picnic that Michael and Meytar had prepared for us was now clear before our eyes. Also, the sign that my friend Ella made for us in Israel was there, stating “reserved for the fairy tale couple”.
I asked Neta to read the sign and see what it says. It had a picture of us on the other side.
“What? How did you do that?” she mumbled, with an extremely widespread smile.
She sat on the blanket, and so did I.
I told her some nice things, and asked her to marry me. She said yes 🙂
Some people who were standing there cheered.
I then asked Neta to look at the camera and pointed at Michael.
Michael was the perfect person for this job – not only a reliable friend, but Neta didn’t know him. She thanked him in English.
Then, Michael realized that he wasn’t recording. His camera was off. Oh well.
We decided to record a mock video. We kind-of-did-the-thing-again. Neta was so excited she couldn’t stop herself from smiling, and she kept laughing through the entire video.
We then took a few nice photos 🙂
It ended up being perfect.
I then introduced Michael and Meytar to Neta, and we chatted for a bit until both Neta and I relaxed. We took photos of the four of us together, as well as more photos of the beautiful, too-blue-to-be-true Peyto lake.
We then went on to hike together. We decided to go on the “Bow Lookout Summit” trail, but met a traveler who said it wasn’t that nice, so we turned around and went to “Bow Glacier Falls”. Bow lake was just stunning.
We hiked and talked and laughed. I told Neta a bit about how I had organized the proposal as we walked alongside the unrealistic water of the lake.
It was a really nice trail, and the four of us had a great time together.
After the trail we departed. Michael and Meytar got back to their hut, and Neta and I drove back to Banff, to enjoy dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory. It’s a great place with good food for very good prices.
That was the end of our magical day.