After a morning of farm chores and a lunch of farm fresh food, we headed back to the swimming hole. Our farm-filled morning, however, left us with the unfortunate timing of starting a long climb at the hottest part of the day. A preemptive swim was in order.
The warm sun dried us quickly as we said our goodbyes. Then we climbed into the lush green mountains (a verte-ical climb for you bilingual punters). The understory has now fully leafed out as well, blanketing the woods with the bright green of new growth.
And the gift of new shoes has restored my sole. While my beat-up old New Balance have often been referred to as “barefoot shoes,” that moniker took on new meaning over the last few weeks as I wore a dime size hole through the thin remaining material beneath my forefoot. The convenience of being able to shake pebbles out of my shoe with a simple curl of the toes and a quick hokey-pokey shake was far out-weighed by the rate at which those pebbles entered through that very same portal. The old New Balance have served me well (having done a third of the trail and many more miles around Portland’s back bay to boot). They even survived being temporarily lit on fire while being dried in Tennessee, and some shoe-goo helped them limp through an extra couple hundred miles.
But here ends my ode to old shoes. I now have new gloves for my feet to make my climb toward the heavens with an intact sole, which is certainly the preferable, if less holey, way to make the journey.