This is the story of Amanda (Gannon) and Mikel DeHart, written by Amanda, about how they found love during their SCA experience.

Amanda and Mikel on a rocky outcropping on their wedding day

A special gift to you in celebration of Valentine's Day.

If you are going to fall in love, may I suggest first chasing your passion and then turning to look for the person next to you who is running in the same direction. For a couple of adventure hungry seventeen-year olds, the charming gem that is Acadia National Park of Maine, painted the perfect backdrop for such a love story. A girl from Ohio and a boy from Oregon, dropped out onto a small necklace of islands to spend a fateful summer serving in conservation. This is our love story; the first decade at least and hopefully leading to many more…

Amanda and Mikel being interviewed

We spent a month from July to August 2005 building and maintaining trails, planting trees, and traveling to the various islands to fulfill the tasks assigned to us by our newly befriended park rangers. Our crew was a fun and diverse team and we got along pretty well straight from the start. We had the honor of attending the annual SCA Board Meeting banquet hosted in Acadia and both Mikel and I stood on stage to represent our crew. We were chosen to walk in the Bar Harbor Fourth of July Parade together and made it onto the front cover of the local newspaper.

For some reason I always knew I’d meet my future husband on-trail. At first Mikel and I struck up a warm and comforting friendship. In between chatting to and from our worksite and tinkering around camp, we soon discovered all we had in common in line of family, faith, values and dreams. It was not as much love at first sight, as it was recognizing the other counterpart of our souls at first sight. Adventure after adventure, hikes, boat rides, and days of hard work, I quickly realized what an adventure he was- and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. Call me crazy, call it divine intervention, call it fate. It was out of our hands.

During the last recreational trip of our hitch, while mountain biking, winded and nervous, Mikel worked up the courage to ask me out. We got out a map and began to calculate the miles that would dictate our future. Our stomachs dropped to realize how far apart our home states were. Biting the bullet, we vowed we could make long distance work. That night, before we all headed out on our different planes destined for home, he called my Dad to ask permission to date me. Our first date was later that summer at a remote fishing lodge on a family vacation near Timmins, Ontario. The rest is history.

Fast forward a year, one of long distance phone calls, enjoying modern inventions such as Skype, time zone differences and coordinating destination proms, we were both preparing for college and ready for marriage. My parents did not want me to run away from home but wanted me to be responsible and finish my nursing degree in-state. I obliged and over the course of the next four years we spent an ungodly amount of time in airports and traveling to each other for summer vacations and during school breaks.

Amanda and Mikel on their wedding day

In June 2011, after my college graduation, I left Cleveland on a one-way flight headed for Portland International Airport. I actually found out I passed my nursing boards during a layover in Denver. That summer, so patiently waited for after a five-year long-distance journey, we married on July 10th, 2011.

Fast forward. We have been married almost seven years. We live and work on a small farm at the base of beautiful Mount Hood, Oregon. We have two lovely children and plan to continue growing our family. I work at our small rural hospital and Mikel is a farmer. Life could not be sweeter. We are thankful for our family, crew and everyone who has helped us and supported our journey. One day we hope to take our children to that spectacular island where it all began and walk the trails we cared for. Our SCA memories are some of our more anchoring and cherished ones and we will not soon forget them.

If you met your partner during your SCA experience, please let us know by emailing [email protected]. We would love to spotlight others who found true love as an SCA member.