COVID. Lockdown. Hiking?
It seems silly but that’s how our story starts. Hiking the Appalachian Trail. It was late May 2020 and the country was shut down. We were both in self-imposed lockdown but, like everyone else, looking for some way to escape the isolation. At the gentle nudging of our mutual friend, Stacy Fleming, Sam asked Stephanie out on the only safe-distance date he could think of… hiking.
The first hike, on May 25th, became the start of a weekly goal to section together a continuous path on the Appalachian Trail, from Bluemont, VA to Harpers Ferry, WV. And we were well on our way until disaster struck… Stephanie broke her foot on the trail 2 miles away from the nearest road, on top of the mountain! It was a rough trip back to civilization but Stephanie was a trouper and we made it out together. After that, the weekly adventures continued but we needed to get creative. Baking Pac-man cookies, painting with darts, squirt-gun fights, road trips… we got really creative!
Our dates were never the norm – we’ve never been to a movie theater together. Never been to a show. Or a party. We were engaged before we had ever eaten a meal together inside a restaurant! But despite the crazy challenges of dating during COVID, we wouldn’t change a thing. Our adventures are what have knitted us together, and our goals and future adventures have only grown more ambitious!
One of the things that bonds us is our love of the outdoors. Even in the winter, you’ll rarely catch us inside. Our next big goal in 2021 is to convert an old school bus into a mobile camper and start traveling to national parks throughout the country.
More on that to come!!