Kassie + Jaime | Engagement Session
Enchanted Rock National Park
Not every couple is willing to hike in 98 degree weather up Texas' iconic Enchanted Rock for an Engagement Session, but Jaime and Kassie were ready and willing! When I arrived, they pulled a wagon out of their car and started loading it up with their changes of clothing, ice chest, shoes, etc. So I threw the majority of my gear in there with hesitation of how we were going to get this wagon up what I am going to refer to as, "the mountain". Quickly into our hike, we were starting to question our decision to bring the wagon, but also knew that it was pretty much our only option. Kassie's sisters jumped in to help Jaime carry the wagon up, step by step.
Since we started our journey pretty early, we stopped about half way up and headed around towards the intersection of the big rock and the little rock. There were some shady areas and a massive divide where the two rocks joined together. I knew it would be the be a great base camp and place to start our session. If you have not been to Enchanted Rock, it's really a place you need to go and spend the day, if not the weekend. There is so much beauty around every corner.
I have to say, Jaime was so crazy patient and tolerant. I feel like most guys would have checked out and would have been done with the session after carrying the wagon up. Anything I suggested, Kassie and Jaime took the risk with no complaints or even any crazy looks (I expect my clients to look at me like I'm crazy at least one time each session, haha). At one point, as they were hiking down from around the large divide, I was staring at the huge crack in the ground and noticed that there was a tree growing in the middle. It was so beautiful and inspiring to me and I knew in that moment that I wanted to use that spot somehow. As I was creating the vision in my head, a giant ferret-looking animal popped his head out from the crevice. I told K&J about the animal and then followed up by asking them if they wanted to jump down in there for some photos. They both laughed at me and then quickly realized that I was being totally serious. So with only a slight hesitation, they both said, "Let's do it!" I jumped down in there and announced my presence to our little friend and crossed my fingers that there were no other critter friends waiting for me.
At one point, I looked up and realized the sun was setting, and it was setting fast. We had originally planned to be up top for the final sunset photos. Kassie, Jaime and myself RAN up to the top, which was quite the trek (and I also realize how out of shape I am at the moment). Kassie's two sisters packed up our camp and started carrying the wagon to meet us (they were such troopers and the best MOH's). Before we knew it, the sun was set and we were now on top of Enchanted Rock in the pitch dark. Even at dusk, you can make out the trees and rocks and general direction of where the trail is...but we were in the dark. We navigated our way, 10 feet at a time until we found the trail markers for our way down (THANK GOD for reflective markers!!!). Let's just say that carrying the wagon down the mountain, step by step, in the pitch dark was just as challenging as carrying it up. And I will definitely say that there were multiple times I had flashes in my head of having to camp out on top of Enchanted Rock. I was already channeling my inner Les Stroud/Survivorman and was realizing that my years of binge watching survival shows might actually become reality.
As we were making our final descend and searched for the last stretch of trail leading to the car, Kassie's sister noticed flashing lights in which she thought it was a tow truck. Kassie exclaimed that she heard a car alarm and thought that must be what it was. We approached the road and I flashed my flash light behind me to guide Jaime who was pulling the wagon, and then again in front of me to light the parking lot in which we were parked. Kassie jumped and said, "Oh my gosh!" and then a quiet mumble of, "Something was moving!" I said, "What was it like an animal?" She quietly said, "No....someone......Look, they are right there!" She had seen someone running off. I flashed the light over and we noticed a man and woman moving to sit on the tailgate of a truck that was parked right next to our cars. The guy laid back on his back and the lady just sat there. At this point, it was 10pm and the park was supposed to be closed with no other vehicles in the parking lot besides mind, K&J's and now this truck. We started grabbing our stuff out of the wagon when Kassie's sister said, "Shannon, your car door is open!" My heart sank as I turned and realized that my driver side door was open. I feel fairly confident that I did not leave my door open on accident. All of the doors were locked, including the back, in which I had gotten my gear out of right before we left. And the pieces of the puzzle started coming together....the car alarm we heard going off was MY car. We had walked up as they were breaking into it. We did a quick inspection to make sure my belongings were still inside my car. Instead of taking the time to put my gear up safely, I threw it in my car and we pulled away quickly. God had my back on this one and not only got us down from the mountain, but in perfect timing...AND kept us safe. Such a crazy night!!!
Sessions like these, and bonding memories made with my clients, will always be the driving reason on why I love what I do. K&J never doubted me and trusted me every second of the way. I can't wait for their November 2019 wedding!