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Archive for January, 2016

Special Boots

I have a pair of hiking boots that are special to me. Special because I have used them to transform my daily routines into experiences that give me a sense of anticipation and also a feeling of calmness. My hiking boots allow me to be in environments that excludes human development. I am in the physical world where the features of the earth: water, desert, prairie, rocks, cliffs, mountains and forests are wrapped around me. When I am in the physical world I am standing in or on the platform the earth provides for us to survive, void of human development or creation.IMG_0050

My boots have provided the comfort and support that I have needed while hiking. Worn out, I am now retiring old left and right. While looking at these boots I am reminded of where they have helped me travel. They were first used in Moab, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks located in Utah. I was astonished at what I saw and experienced on my first encounters in the physical world outside of Iowa. These environments are filled with beautiful rock formations and desert flowers that I had never before seen. One thing about me, I seem to never have enough of anything. So from there my boots have given me the foot support needed to hike numerous times in Yosemite National Park, Pinnacles National Park, Sequoia National Park, Redwood National Park, Lassen National Park, Death Valley National Park, Point Reyes National Seashore, Devils Postpile National Monument and Big Basin Redwoods State Park.DSC01104 All of these in California. Beautiful, wonderful experiences. I can close my eyes and smell the redwoods and hear the ocean. I have heard the reverberating sound of a tree falling in a forest. DSC01084I have worn my boots to hike in Glacier National Park in Montana and Olympic National Park in Washington. The Grand Canyon National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Montezuma Castle   and Well National Monuments and the Tonto National Forest. All of these in Arizona. Thinking about these features of the earth, I begin to feel the grit and sweat clinging to my body from the hikes I have taken. I really love that feeling! I must admit, if I was in a July cornfield I would have different thoughts and ideas. My boots have been used to hike in the Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Asheville, North Carolina, northern Minnesota and in Door County, Wisconsin. I have worn them in Scotland, hiking in the center, north and west of this rainy, cold, rugged and beautiful country. Many times in the lush green English countryside of the Cotswold and Lake District areas.  And the last hike, the north of Wales in the mountains of Snowdonia and then in the south, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park with the winds of Cardigan Bay.

Many times I have laced then up and moved one step at a time. Sometimes puzzled, confused, trying to find a way to my destination. I have stood in them silently, motionless, waiting for bears to get bored with my presence and go another direction. I have stood and watched Condors circling above. IMG_0197I have sat at streams and rivers edges dreaming, and during more ambitious times throwing rocks or building little dams, all while wearing my boots. Along the route my boots have been stuck in the mud up to the top of the laces. They are boots that have jumped streams, walked where dinosaurs once walked and stepped on ancient stepping stones. Boots that have stood on and under bridges made by nature. Boots that have descended one of the seven natural wonders of the world and then climbed out. Boots that have been strapped to snowshoes so that I could walk on 25 feet of snow. Boots that have followed the footsteps of my grand daughter’s first hike in the forest. Boots worn by me and hiked along side those worn by Linda. Wonderful memories walking side by side with family. Talking, laughing, sometime stressing, yet a solitude in ones self. Walking, hiking in step with an appreciation for the overwhelming strength and ever changing beauty of the sound, sights, smell and power of nature. On our last hike in Wales I nearly discarded them, worn out, I needed new boots. But I could not leave them behind. They are old friends that have gotten me from there to here in splendid fashion. So, like my dad’s old baseball glove they will remain with me, memories attached. Two tangible objects to stir memories of wonderful times of discovery and adventure.

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