May 31, 2008

My Kingdom for a Boot

I went up to hike on Old Rag Trail in the Shenandoah Park on Saturday with a friend.
I wore my beloved hiking boots that I'd had since highschool.

It's a pretty steep trail, and I actually hiked most of the way without having a wheezy asthma attack like I did last year. Yay. I did have to stop a few times, mainly because I was either just plain tired or overheated - humidity, yuck.

We also saw a pair of very cute cubs hanging out in a tree, watching us watch them. Didn't linger long though - didn't want to risk running into the mama bear. I was bummed I didn't have my camera.

Close to the summit, we stopped for lunch. That was when I realized my boots were in a bad shape.

Just when we were cresting the summit, one of my boots' sole decided to commit suicide and started to peel away from the toe area. So it was flapping with each step. I had to put it out of its mercy.

Took a few steps and realized that the inner sole wasn't going to stay put.

I jury-rigged the dying boot with its shoelaces to try keep the inner sole from escaping and hiked over the ridge summit, leaping from boulder to boulder verrrry carefully. Right after we passed the summit, it started to POUR. I was really happy I didn't bring my camera. But not really happy because it meant I had to navigate down a slippery, muddy mountain with broken boots.

Thankfully, my makeshift fix lasted until we got to the fire-road. Then the laces committed suicide too. The brown wet strip you see going across the toebox (in the pix) is where I had the laces wrapped around it.
And you can see the frayed laces, of course.

Oh and! We also saw some kind of baby snake. It was gray with darker gray stripes. Anyone know what that is? Rat snake, maybe?

In all, it was a nutty sort of day, but despite the problems, I enjoyed myself. I'm just really glad that I was able to "fix" the boot, otherwise I'd be in deep shit - imagine having to hike down in bare feet? Ugh.

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