Chapter One.

I’m still staring at the ground. A small drip of sweat enters the corner of my vision and travels down my nose. Now I’m cross eyed. I barely see it hit the ground before my boot kicks up another cloud of dust. Step. Go. Step. Go. Step.

I manage to look up and feel for a fleeting moment, a sense of passion and pride goes careening through me. And then the sun glares and stings at my eyes, and I think again how much I hate trees.

But not really. You have to know if I’m here in the first place I don’t really hate it. I’m just having a moment. A kid stuck in the back of the car too long moment and I just want to scream ‘But MOM! it’s TOUUUUCHING ME!’ and draw a line where I am allowed and bugs are not.

Making pathetic sounds that only the very tired can make, I lift my head once more to change the scenery – as my feet are getting rather uninteresting. Staring at my *husband’s* rear end is much nicer. I say *husband* because we just got married and i still get waves of flutteries and jivvers (did I just make that up?) whenever someone says *husband.* And it makes me silly. Even when I’m hot, dirty, tired, and walking up a mountainside. *Husband.* There. You see?

He proposed on a trip like this actually. I was hot, sweaty, SMELLY. And he proposed. Not exactly fairy tale. It’s funny though because really? It was perfect. And then it HAILED on our outdoor wedding. It was a lot of good luck, or just proof that mother nature likes to play cruel jokes.

I’m still staring at his ass. It’s a good view.

Around me are red rock canyons. Indian paint. They are on fire in so many ways. The colors. The shimmering heat. The… massive-ness. There’s really no other word. It’s massive. All of it. And stunningly, breathtakingly, beautiful.

And even though nature sucks. I’m glad I’m here. I keep trudging up, because it’s where we’re going. Step. Up. Step. Go. Step. Sweat. Step. Go.

Little do I know what lies in store ahead. And yes, it’s more than just my *husband’s* rear end.

And not nearly as nice.

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