Light the Fire Series: Nichole & Craig’s First Date Part 2

“We got to plan another trip”  we often say to each other, my husband Craig and I.  Its easy to get caught up in the monotony of day to day life spending time on things that are necessary but not of value to fuel our hearts and souls.  Something that’s always strengthened our love for life and each other, and kept the fire alive in our relationship has been adventures, big and small.  In this series I’d like to share with you some of my favorite adventures I’ve had with my husband over the past 10 years we’ve been together.  I encourage you to light the fire with your own relationships and make time for a new adventure whatever that might be and see where life takes you!

Nichole & Craig’s First Date continued

We got up the first 200 feet of the climb with no problem although we we’re going a bit slower than anticipated.  The sun was starting to set by this point but we still had a good amount of visibility.  We brought headlamps and jackets with us just in case but weren’t really planning on using them.

After that first 200 feet we got a bit lost.  With long climbs like the ones on Tahquitz, there are no trail signs or indications of which way the route goes.  All you can do is reference the guide book which does its best effort of explaining things but sometimes markers like trees or features on the rock can be less than ideal.  The first route we went up was a giant corner of rock that was easy to follow and stay on route.  This second route needed a little bit more discovery.

As it started to get darker we talked about where we were going and what each of us thought was the best way.  A side note, I’m notorious for getting lost.  There is something about me (I blame my grandma who always had a similar problem her whole life) that just gets turned around easily.  So although Craig was leading this climb and we discussed which direction we were going I’m not sure if I was much help.  In a way Craig was introduced to my talent of wandering around in circles before eventually finding the way out, which he would do with me many times after this trip.


That moment when we started to pull out our jackets and headlamps while we were sorting out directions really sticks with me as a moment that I thought I might be able to fall in love with this guy.  He was so level headed, positive but realistic and tender towards me.  I think when a crisis happens you can really see someone’s true colors and I love my husband’s true colors.  I feel so lucky to have him in my life and I got a glimpse of that this day.

Long story short we figured out where we were going and made it to the summit.  It was really dark by that time and we had to find the way down.  We had done it already a few hours ago but now we were doing it in the dark which just took more time.  We continued to chat with each other as we made the hike down, laughing with one another as we got to know each other better.

“My mom is probably stressing out by now” I told him.  “We definitely need to call her when we get back.”  We worked our way down the backside of Tahquitz as fast as we could safely which wasn’t very fast.  Our feet hit stair cases of rocks and we dodged tree branches that hung in the rough trail.

There is no cell service in the area around the rock feature.  There is no cell service in the parking lot that is about a 40 minute hike from where we started the climb.  So by the time we made it back to the car and started driving very quickly towards town so I could call my mom to let her know we were ok, it was a little after 10pm.  I knew she was freaking out.

My little grey Subaru sped down the road away from the parking lot.  We didn’t get far when we were met by a group of police cars and my mother driving up towards us.  We stopped the car and jumped out waving at them to get their attention.  We later found out they were headed to the parking lot to see if our car was still there and if it was they were going to send a helicopter in to search for us.

My mom who had an expression of terror and relief on her face came up to Craig and I.  I explained to her what happened as she hugged me.  She walked up to Craig after letting go of me, and took a moment to look at him with a faced of mixed emotion.  After a few seconds of silence she hugged him.  “Thank you for bringing my daughter back safely”, she said to him.

That trip definitely brought us closer together and the rest is history.  We started dating after that night and now years later I’m honored to call him my husband.  We’ve had many adventures since then but none that almost gave my mom a heart attack like this trip, which I’m sure she is very grateful for.




April 25, 2018

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