Monday, December 10, 2012

The Shoe Tree

My travel buddy and I become very attached to our hiking boots.  It always saddens us when they fall apart.  We have old boots in the garage that are 30 years old.  Just can't bear to get rid of them.  They've been trusty companions, taking us up and down mountains in far away lands.

Well, it happened again.   While hiking on Vancouver Island,  the sole of my buddy's boot peeled off.  We tried to get it fixed at a shoe repair shop in Duncan, but the guy said there was nothing that could be done.  It was a goner.

"We should give them a proper ceremony," I said.  "Nail them to The Shoe Tree."

This old cedar is found on a dirt road leading to Holberg, about 20 km from Port Hardy, at the northern tip of Vancouver Island.   All it took was one hiker nailing up his worn-out boots for others to follow suit.  For those who finish the notoriously difficult West Coast Trail, leaving boots at this tree becomes a final destination.  It is now considered a folk art piece, even though it's really only a shoe dump.

It became our final destination, as well.  After saying good-bye, we turned around and headed back to Victoria.  There are many more boots in our future.  Where will they take us next?

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