"When I was young I met a beautiful girl by a lake" says a line in one of my all time favorite movies, What Dreams May Come.
While this may be over simplifying it a bit, its how I remember it. Truth is that we actually "met" on Facebook, but not by our own designs. One of us friended the other (we forget who) after I posted a picture of fireworks on a photography group we both belonged to. After that I mentioned how much I hated burning DVDs in a random status update, and Rachel quickly chimed in about some new software called "PASS". We began messaging back and worth, all under the guise of helping another photographer out, all the while snooping on her blog. Trouble was, a five hour drive across Montana separated us... What to do... I knew of a photography workshop by Andy and Angie Wood going on in Helena, Mt. I nonchalantly asked Rachel if she was going. She tried to play it cool, saying that she probably couldn't, and that it was such short notice etc. Needless to say we both ended up at the workshop, and no offense to Andy and Angie, but we didn't pay much attention :) We also didn't talk the whole day until dinner, when Rachel made her move and sat right across from me. We nerded out about Twitter. I had to head back to Bozeman that night, so we parted ways...without each other's phone numbers. So I retweeted her tweet, like a true nerd.
Over the next few weeks we started texting back and forth, always trying to out nerd the other with movie quotes and song lyrics, a game that Rachel seemed to win every time. I turned to my best friend Jon at one point and exclaimed "She likes Bad Company! She had to like Bad Company!" A statement that made him laugh, and made us both realize where this was headed. I was falling for her. In the midst of all this we were both in prime wedding season, and both of us extremely busy with photography. I was traveling to Canada with my friend Chris Rebo to shoot a wedding, on the way we stopped to photograph another wedding at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake. I invited Rachel to be third shooter. Despite the "third" shooter status, I'm pretty sure I spent most of my time just following her around. We had to part again, and for the rest of the trip, I was preoccupied with the question, what to do now... A meetup was scheduled for our local Share group in Spokane, and the attendes all got to use the beta of PASS. I messaged Rachel about it and she proposed the idea of a roadtrip. It sounded like fun to me. I realized after we talked that Rachel already had PASS, and I spent the next few days wondering why she would want to waste her time on a roadtrip with me if she had no real reason to attend the meetup herself. I knew why. Couple days before the meetup it got canceled, but Rachel and I didn't say anything to the other about it, in the midst of constant texting and conversation, until the morning of the meetup when I texted her saying that the meet up was canceled. She texted back saying "lets go anyway!" We eventually decided to go to a movie that night in Kalispell, so I got in my car and began the journey. About 10 miles before Avon Montana, I ran over a rock, it shredded my tire. I texted Rachel with what had happened, and she asked if I was still coming. Heck yes I was!!! Problem being that walmart was the only place open on a Sunday, and they closed at 6, it was 5. So I slapped the spare doughnut on my powder blue Hyundai Accent, and booked it back to Helena, going about 70-80 miles an hour on a doughnut your not supposed to go over 35. I made it, barely, and they begrudgingly changed my tire. I was back in business, so I once again headed on my way for what I hoped was a first date. Just when I was sure I was going to make it, a smallish deer jumped in front of my car and I swerved to miss, just barely hitting him, but enough that I pulled the car over and checked. I was in luck, it didn't look like it had caused any damage. I got to Rachel's house to pick her up with just enough time to get to the movie. We went to Cowboys and Aliens. Afterwards we headed back to her house and watched Singin in the Rain, and Pride and Prejudice (the new one with Keira Knightly, not that other really long one). We sang "Good morning" and otherwise tried to out geek the other during the movies, both of which have always been favorites. It was amazing.
After the movie, I wanted to watch the Sunrise, so we headed up to Glacier, it was my first time there. We sat on the dock, and watched the most beautiful sunrise I've ever seen.
The only camera I had with me at the time was my iPhone.
Part 1 of our story:) More to come!