Friday, April 3, 2015

#92: My hiking boots

These are my Vasque Sundowners, burgondy.  These have been with me since 2001, the year I became a permanent-seasonal (government terminology, figures) park ranger in Zion National Park.  The government issued us a uniform allowance, since we were required to wear the whole get-up every day.  The first year's allotment was not nearly enough to purchase everything you needed, but a smaller allowance continued every year so you could accumulate all the bling you ever wanted.

I bought these gems off a coworker that had been working there before me for years (who also happenned to have large feet), so I'm not really sure how old they are.  I know she didn't wear them very much because they were a second or third pair.  I, however, wore them every day. [they are part of the winter AND summer uniforms, by the way]. 

These are the shoes I was wearing with my summer uniform on 9/11;  the ones I wore when I was radio relay on a search and resuce, standing in the middle of the Zion Narrows for hours waiting to hear something on the radio;  the same pair I wore hiking down to Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  They have also protected my feet in Bryce Canyon, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree National ParkRainbow Bridge, Glen Canyon NRA....well, you get the idea.

After the park ranger gig ended, these have remained my hiking boots all these years.  Truth be told, they haven't seen a lot of action, especially lately.  Before tonight I can't remember the last time I wore them, and I only thought of it tonight because I'm reading Wild which has inspired to start hiking again.  In good shoes (if you read it, you know what I mean!).  I wondered if these beauties were ready for retirement--but they're not!  I don't think they'd take me all the way up the Appalacian or the Pacific Crest Trails, but they have some miles left on them!

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