Chase their fears and find each other

For their first date five years ago, Ben Lee took Kerrie Knox for a ride in her 1947 Beechcraft B35 Bonanza, entering and exiting a smal...


For their first date five years ago, Ben Lee took Kerrie Knox for a ride in her 1947 Beechcraft B35 Bonanza, entering and exiting a small airstrip near where she lived in Cleveland. , Tenn. Kerrie was just the excitement. he said. “There was no fear.”

Ms. Knox described the date as “quite surreal”.

She added, “This hunk picked me up on a plane and I had to get on the wing to get inside, and next thing you know you’re just in the air flying. . “

For their third date, Ms Knox, 29, took him rafting through Tallulah Gorge in Georgia, known for its dangerous rapids with names like Tom’s Brain Buster and Twisted Sister.

“We jumped straight into a rapid,” said Mr. Lee, 31. “I was like, ‘Am I going to die? “”

He would ask himself this question several times during their relationship. Prior to meeting Ms. Knox, who loves camping and rock climbing, Mr. Lee had never slept in a tent and although he was a pilot he was dizzy.

Ms Knox’s brother Tyler Knox said nothing had pissed off his sister for as long as he can remember. He recalled that she preferred her insect maker Creepy Crawlers to her toy oven when they were kids in Brentwood, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville.

“She had an easy-to-cook oven, but she got rid of it because she preferred to make bugs and snakes,” Mr. Knox said.

Ms Knox, who works as an emergency nurse at Tennova Healthcare, a hospital in Cleveland, Tennessee, first met Mr Lee on Tinder in October 2016. She was living in Cleveland and was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the ‘university. from Tennessee to Chattanooga.

“He was the first person I spoke to on Tinder,” she said.

Sometimes Mrs. Knox accepts travel nursing assignments, filling understaffed hospitals across the country. She prefers to sleep in a tent or in her truck near the hospital during a temporary concert. During a recent 3 month stay in a Phoenix hospital, she worked 12 hour shifts and camped in the wilderness. “I dressed in the dark every morning outside,” Ms. Knox said. “I would go to work sometimes with my scrubs upside down.”

Another thing Mr. Lee admired about Ms. Knox was her work on the front lines of health care. “She doesn’t like a boring job,” he says. “She prefers it to be a crazy night in the emergency room where she helps people. I am drawn to it. I find it very attractive.

Mr. Lee grew up on a farm in Madisonville, Tenn., Raising and showing cows as a member of the local 4-H club. He later started mountain biking around the farm at increasingly high speeds on jumps he built himself.

“We’re just happy he’s alive,” said his father, James Lee.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Mr. Lee now competes in motocross races. He is also a real estate agent with Norman Lee Real Estate, a Madisonville business founded by his grandfather, Norman Lee.

After meeting on Tinder, Ms Knox began accompanying Mr Lee to off-road motorcycle races and soon began to compete, which can mean riding for hours through woods, streams, rain and darkness. She also helped to vaccinate and castrate the calves on the family farm without any discomfort.

“She brings good energy to everything we do,” Mr. Lee said. “She’s never negative.”

Eventually, he introduced Ms. Knox to Patsy Carson, who lives on a nearby farm in Madisonville. Known as “Miss Patsy” and in her 80s, she is a grandmother figure to Mr. Lee.

“I said, ‘Well, I’m going to tell you something: save this one because you’ll never find another that will caster a calf and ride a motorbike,” Ms. Carson recalls.

In May 2018, the couple took a road trip through Colorado in Mr. Lee’s old pickup truck with a hole in the ground and other deformities. They didn’t talk about marriage, but Ms Knox said she knew they were moving in that direction. “We like the same kind of food; we are both easy going; we love the same music and listen to similar podcasts, ”she said. “He cracks me up to the point where I cry. He is also very competent. If the car breaks down, he knows how to fix it. If we find ourselves stranded somewhere, there’s no one I’d rather be with than him.

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In the summer of 2020, Ms Knox chained herself for about a month of vacation days and set out to hike the 567-mile Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango. At about 100 miles she started to feel sick so she left the trail and walked to Breckenridge, the nearest town. “I thought, ‘Just to be safe and do the right thing, I’m going to get tested,” she said.

It turned out that she had the coronavirus, which frightened her more than camping alone in the middle of the wilderness.

“It was really scary,” Ms. Knox said. “I’m so far from home I can’t fly, there weren’t any rental cars available in Breckenridge.

She ended up quarantining herself in a hotel room in Breckenridge, then returned to the trail. About 300 miles and two weeks later, Mr. Lee met her in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton, Colorado and they walked together for the remainder of the trip.

Mr. Lee had been thinking about proposing to Ms. Knox for a while, so he bought a diamond engagement ring on his drive to Colorado.

“The penultimate night we were on top of one of the beautiful passes,” Ms. Knox said. “I turn around and he’s on his knees. He asked me if I was going to have adventures with him forever.

The couple returned to Colorado for their wedding on August 19. They got married at Thoreau’s Cabin, an Airbnb deep in the Uncompahgre wilderness, about 16 miles down a rugged dirt road from Lake City. Dr Lon Shoopman, a longtime friend of the Lee family and acting pastor of Glenlock Baptist Church in Sweetwater, Tennessee, officiated. Their 17 guests – including Miss Patsy, who turns 85 in November – arrived in a motorcade of all-terrain vehicles (or, as Ms. Knox calls them, “golf cars on steroids.”)

It was raining and 44 degrees by the time everyone arrived, so the group retreated inside the cabin and curled up around their pot-bellied stove. When there was a break in the rain, someone shouted, “Patsy, fight them!” and the guests were gently gathered outside for the ceremony, which took place in a square of flowers surrounded by the massive San Juan Mountains, some with waterfalls running up and down. As the bride arrived with her father, John Knox, The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” was played over loudspeakers. She wore a crown made mostly of yellow daisies and a sleeveless dress with a tulle skirt and hiking boots.

Dr Shoopman began the ceremony by pointing out that mountains are mentioned in the Bible over 500 times. When it was time for the couple to take their vows, which they themselves wrote, Dr Shoopman said, “Ladies first.”

“Ben Lee, I absolutely love everything about you,” the bride began. “I love your mules and mustaches, your perfectly imperfect smile, your pretty little butt and even your heel nails.”

In his greetings, Mr. Lee recalled the many difficult experiences Ms. Knox has brought into her life: going down rapids, rappelling down mountainsides, spending nights in a tent on hikes. “Growth comes from being uncomfortable,” he said. “Kerrie, you made me more uncomfortable than anyone in this world.”

After the ceremony, lunch boxes were distributed and then everyone left for another mountain bike ride. It was raining again, but Mrs. Knox was enthusiastic. “It was her dream to ride mountain bikes in her wedding dress,” said her mother, Leslie Ann Knox.

A few days later, the bride posted a few wedding photos on Facebook, including one with this caption: “At the end of the day my dress was torn, my face was dirty, my flowers were askew. But I have never felt so beautiful or happy as my husband wrapped his arms around me.


When August 19, 2021

Or Thoreau’s off-grid log cabin outside of Lake City, Colorado.

Before and after the holidays The wedding guests stayed in hotels and rented homes in Lake City (about 436 people). They struggled to find places to eat after many restaurants ran out of food due to supply chain issues. This wasn’t the first food shortage in Lake City: in 1874, a local gold digger named Alferd Packer was accused of cannibalizing five fellow prospectors when winter weather trapped them in the mountains. A few guests have stayed at a hotel called “Cannibal Cabins”.

Honeymoon A road trip back to Madisonville, where the couple currently reside. “We just bought a Ford Transit van with a bed, so we’re living big now,” Ms. Knox said.

The bride’s advice on love: “Find someone who is home and one fling at the same time.”

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