These boots were made for walkin’

Boots… trail runners… same thing. Today I threw away my beloved pair of  Vasques that saw me through my entire South American journey. I sure got my money’s worth ($46 on Steep & Cheap, for the record) as these bad boys tackled the Marin Headlands, Sierra Buttes, Colca Canyon, Inca Trail, Bolivian jungle, Salar de Uyuni, Lakes District of Chile, and one final day of exploring the Valle Nevado Ski Resort.

I estimate that I’ve covered approximately 260 miles of hiking with these shoes, mostly on unforgiving terrain. As you can see, large chunks of the soles have been lost to craggy surfaces, there are various tears in the exterior, and I’ll be honest, they smell horrific. They bear the scars of peaks reached, jungle creeks explored, and deserts crossed. In them I chased down a 17-year-old puma, cruised through the Sun Gate above Machu Picchu, and played with our adopted Peruvian mountain dog. It’s not often that I’ve felt a connection to a piece of clothing, but it’s impossible to deny the memories of the places these shoes have seen.

Throwing them away on the day that I depart South America seems like the end of a long-anticipated dream. I don’t feel ready to leave and yet I look forward to being home for the holidays with my family and friends. The adventure is not over—I can always keep an eye out for another sale, and will soon enough book another one-way ticket. Here is to whatever comes next…

1 comment

    • Katie on December 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm
    • Reply

    Safe travels home! I am so glad you enjoyed your trip. Taking time off work to do this at this age is so important!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.