When I was 16ish, I went with Laurie–my sister to the High Uinta Mountains, on a 20 mile hike with at 40 pound backpack. Or was that a 40 mile hike with a 20 pound backpack? I can’t remember. The truth is inconsequential here. I know it felt like a 60 mile hike with an 80 pound backpack–and so I intend to remember it that way.
Before we left, my dad bought me a pair of “really good” hiking boots. You know…to keep my feet safe. I guess that “really good” meant really, really ugly and stiff and…well, they didn’t exactly go with my outfit. They were dreadful. But I wore them and before we’d gone half way up the hill, I had a grandaddy blister on the back of my heel. We stopped to rest and when I took off my boot to look at it, one of the leaders said he’d “fix” it for me and promptly pulled the whole top off. My scream is still echoing somewhere up in them thar hills–I sense it somehow. So, to say that it was an uncomfortable stroll the rest of the way would be putting it mildly.
We were there in camp three or four days and I tried to walk around barefoot as much as possible to air out the blister so that it would heal faster. It worked like a charm…that is, until the night before we had to hike back out. I was running back from the river to the camp and I accidentally kicked a nailed tent stake. It cut a one inch V shape in the bottom of my foot and bled like a crazy thing. It swelled up so much that I couldn’t lace my boot up the next day. But they stayed on my feet–in fact, I could hardly get my boot off when we got back that night.
It was with a heavy heart that I gave those nasty suckers to Good Will.
Oh, and don’t tell my dad.