Snow can’t stop Cape Horn couple from surprise proposal

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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All’s well that ended well for a snowbound couple attempting to fight the flakes to make it to a surprise engagement involving their daughter and future son-in-law. The drama occurred during a heavy snowfall Feb. 25 that threatened to snow Cape Horn’s Stan and Julie Koon in and keep them from taking part in a carefully orchestrated wedding proposal involving Auburn’s Stephen Cain and their daughter, Stephanie, of Ophir. The Koons were due in Auburn that Friday evening for a proposal surprise that involved future in-laws at locations that had special meaning for Stephen and Stephanie. Julie was to be stationed at the Clocktower, where the two had their first kiss, and direct the two to Latitudes Restaurant, where Stephen was waiting to pop the question. Stephen’s parents Ed and Susie Rieks were stationed before that at the church where the two first met and at the restaurant they had their first date in. But Stan Koon, a pastor and board member with the HEART group, was grappling over a snowfall about 3 feet deep that was the deepest he had seen in the 19 years he had lived at Cape Horn, about 8 miles east of Colfax. Julie Koon was concerned enough to start inquiring about a possible emergency stop by the Amtrak train to pick them up. Stan Koon said he got stuck on the snow with his car in one attempt and, after a sudden rainstorm, when the driveway turned to ice. He broke a shovel in his attempt to find a way out and get away, eventually taking a white knuckle drive onto Interstate 80 and on to Auburn. And Stephanie accepted the proposal, joining in a party afterward for members of both families. As for Stan and Julie Koon, it was another two days before they could return to their snowbound home in the high country. Koon said he was happy with the outcome – both in escaping the storm and welcoming a new future son-in-law. “I’m thrilled to have him in our family and thankful we were able to take part,” Koon said.