When my friend approached my asking if I would climb Mount Saint Helens for her secret elopement with her partner, I was elated.  But I also hadn’t read it correctly, I thought for whatever reason… we were hiking around Mount Saint Helens.  As the day started approaching quickly, her and a few other of our friends would do as many sunrise hikes as we could as well as many other hikes to prepare ourselves for the trek.  I asked countless friends about their experiences, what they wore, how they felt.  I started doubting my abilities and it came out on one rainy hike with my best friends.  I stopped, far behind with my best friend, M.  I was so afraid I wouldn’t make it to the summit, that I could barely even think about the current hike we were on.  She gave me the biggest confidence boost, and a long hilarious and wonderful talk and we caught up with our group.  A few weeks later, I dropped the kids off with their dad and headed over to my dear friend L’s house to park and drive to our Air BNB she rented for the girls hiking Helens.  We had the best time riding over, 4 of us laughing so hard, one of us was crying (I swear they’re the funniest people).  A few hours in the car, we arrive in the dark.  Sleeping was almost impossible as it felt like I was waiting for the first day of school.  My nerves would not stop, my mind was racing and even though I was overly prepared, it didn’t stop the doubts I had about making it up to the summit of Mount Saint Helens.  We woke up super early, to hike in the dark.  I felt amazing, with this wonderful group of people pushing me and cheering me on.  I felt alive!  We saw the sunrise and took some  photos of L, our bride, as her groom made his way up to wait far enough away so he wouldn’t see her.  She was carrying her dress to the top as to not ruin it on the way up.  Changing on the side of the mountain was no easy feat!  But oh my gosh, you guys!  She was gorgeous.  With the light in her hair and in her dress, my friend was absolutely stunning, glowing in the early morning light.  Changing back into her hiking gear, we trekked on. As L and I get closer to the summit, we start counting our steps.  It was helpful to know that we were going at the same pace, with the same steps… knowing we’d both make it.  As we reach the summit, I cried.  All of those doubts left down at the bottom of the mountain crater.  I made it!  After a few minutes at the top, L got back into her wedding dress.   A,  the groom, had his back turned so the first look of his beautiful bride would be above the crater.  He turned, and we all cried.  It was such a beautiful moment, in such a beautiful and wonderful place.  They exchanged vows with their closest friends and sister.  Such a wonderful and incredible day and elopement that I will never forget.  Congratulations A +L!

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