Here we are just married, on the rock where moments before, we exchanged rings — solemnizing our own marriage, pursuant to Colorado's wonderful statutory law.
You can see that my toenails are fortuitously painted the same color as the mountain asters that surround the wedding rock that we found atop Bellyache Ridge. (Enlarge photo.) (The color is actually called "Done Out in Deco," not "Mountain Aster.")
I'm standing, in order to take this picture, and Meade is still sitting, using his iPhone, talking to his mother, the only one of our parents who is still living. I've already finished my iPhone calls to my sons and my comment to this blog, but I sat there alongside my new husband for a good while after our private wedding vows and the putting on of the rings.
Now, you may ask: How come there was cell phone service way up there? It was funny, but we drove up Bellyache Ridge Road, which went way up a mountain, including a long section at the top that was a narrow dirt road, and after we found a place to ditch the car and hiked farther up, we encountered a big old cell phone tower:
We had to wonder if this was a pretty enough place, now, but next to the tower, we saw a wild garden of what I had called "living Koosh Balls" in a blog post earlier in the day. (They're really called musk thistle.)
Look closely — or enlarge the photo — and you'll see that there is a yellow swallowtail butterfly on one of the Koosh balls. The flowers and the butterfly and everything else seemed to say that this was the place, and we found our big flat rock to sit on and performed our wedding. And only later did we realize how useful and apt it was that we could use our iPhones there — apt because Meade and I had met through this blog, and blogging, emailing, texting, and telephoning had been a big part of our relationship. So that ugly tower really did belong on our wedding mountain, Bellyache Ridge.
The mountaintop had been deserted when we climbed up and while we took our vows, but then suddenly a lone runner came over the ridge, like some kind of angel sent to witness. After she passed by, we talked about her and how she was our witness and how strange it was that she'd had no idea that she was our witness and that we weren't merely a couple sitting on a rock, but we were newlywed within that minute. Then, when we finally climbed back down the path, she was looping back, so we saw our angel again. We called out to her and told her everything. She took our picture for us: