Words and Photos by Rhon Bell of Backwoods Plaid
A smile spread quickly across her face on Christmas morning as she ripped the tape from the top of the cardboard box and pulled out a green-checkered Alaskan Guide Shirt
. I had seen that big smile two days earlier, on our sixth year anniversary, when without her expectation, I proposed on bended knee in front of our parents at a surprise dinner that was weeks in secretive planning. I’d traveled 6 hours North two days earlier just to ask her father’s permission. Both her father and Gabrielle, my new fiancé, said "yes."
As a post-holiday get-a-way, I planned a 5 day lakefront cabin retreat in the woods of Maine for us to escape all the stresses from a Christmas week booked solid with family events and obligations. This would be our time to enjoy life’s simplicities: test out new snowshoes, fly down a surprisingly steep hill on flying saucers, and merely watch the snow fall. Oh, and to warm ourselves by the fireplace while enjoying the fire in her new diamond.
I admit that I bought her the Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt
for selfish reason. I own the men’s version and I thought it would be humorous that we could match. Of course it will keep her warm on fall hikes and while ice fishing in the harsh of winter, but it would be particularly important today. I knew heavy snow was in the forecast and the lake was beginning it’s slow winter freeze-up so I invited a photographer friend out to snap a few photos of us for Save-the-Date’s (or wedding invitations, if you will). I couldn't have planned a more perfect afternoon for a walk along the edges of the frozen lake. The combined beauty of nature and my future bride, the sparkle in her eye and the laughter as I hoisted her onto my back for photos, all culminated to remind me of why I love spending time in the outdoors, no matter what the reason.
All of this puts a great story behind an amazing shirt. What’s the story behind your Filson?