The High Road: Ten Years Later

Abby Milligan poses on the giant jackrabbit on Interstate 40 near Winslow, Arizona, July 2003. 15 months later she became my wife.
Abby Milligan poses on the giant jackrabbit on Interstate 40 near Winslow, Arizona, July 2003. 15 months later she became my wife.
Abby and Nicole walk Nicole's dog Griffin on Flagler Beach, Florida, June 29, 2003.
Abby and Nicole walk Nicole’s dog Griffin on Flagler Beach, Florida, June 29, 2003.

Abby and I had been dating six months, but in that time, she became the easiest girlfriend to be with I’d ever dated, and being with her felt more natural than with anyone before. At the end of June 2003, she and I flew to Florida for Mom’s birthday and, two days later, mine. Mom, Dad and my sister Nicole instantly loved her, and we all had a great time.

Journal, June 27, 2003
Abby looked pretty and was sweet and gracious and affectionate. It’s very cool that she’s here in Florida with us. Dad even kissed her goodnight.

Less than two weeks later, Abby and I hit the road west for our first vacation together, The High Road (click for trip report.) I’d mentioned since early May that I was thinking about exploring around northern New Mexico, and unknown to me, Abby hoped from that moment that I would invite her.

In some ways, The High Road was one of the most important times we used to gauge how well we would live together and eventually be married. We had an increasingly good time as that week went on.

Abby made this image of me working the scene at White Rock Overlook in New Mexico on our way to Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico, July 2003.
Abby made this image of me working the scene at White Rock Overlook in New Mexico on our way to Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico, July 2003.
Abby smiles at a rest stop in the Texas panhandle in July 2003. On every trip out west since then, we refer to this as "our" rest stop.
Abby smiles at a rest stop in the Texas panhandle in July 2003. On every trip out west since then, we refer to this as “our” rest stop.
Journal, July 12 2003
Most excellent and fun travel day. Abby is so excited about seeing the land that she’s giggling.

Abby and I have been through so much since those days ten years ago. I know it sounds like a cliché, but our love really is stronger and better than ever.

Journal, July 22, 2003
There was a little extra love in Abby’s eyes tonight. I don’t think anyone has ever loved me this much.
I look at the playful smirk on Abby's face in this image from Sandia Peak on "The High Road" in 2003, and I can't imaging not falling it love with her.
I look at the playful smirk on Abby’s face in this image from Sandia Peak on “The High Road” in 2003, and I can’t imaging not falling it love with her.

…I wonder where we’re all going
I’m homesick for your primal knowing
I wonder why the wind keeps blowing you through my mind

Try and take the high road
I want to be your crystal baller
I want to be your diamond ring…

~Crystal Baller by Third Eye Blind, our theme song for The High Road and our lives together

 

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