Twenty-five miles in the wrong shoes

By Katy Nesbitt September 13, 2012 10:50 am

By Katy Nesbitt 

For someone who truly believes proper footwear is the key to success I seem to find myself with the wrong shoes at the wrong times.

I carry my hiking boots in my car year-round just in case I get stuck in a snowstorm and I have to hike somewhere. Caught on the Zumwalt Prairie and Forest Service field trips with street shoes I was happy to have them.

However. It was another decade when I last wore those boots on an extended hike. I now bear thescars of having the wrong footwear.

I was unused to, but not unfamiliar with, having blisters that had blisters when I ran long distances. At the time, I was always in the process of losing about four toe nails. I never wore sandals.

As for running shoes, I tinkered around to find ones that didn’t blister the bottoms of my feet; I canhandle the smaller ones on my toes.

And heel blisters have been from heavy boots.

You see, there is a Katy Mountain and a Nesbit Butte in Wallowa County, but there is also a roadnamed for my Indian name; Tenderfoot Valley.

I can walk across a parking lot in sandals and tear up my feet. Even the friction between flip flops and sand leaves scars.

I hiked 25 miles in four days wearing boots that refused yield. During the agony of getting used toinjured feet AND a backpack, a million stray thoughts fluttered through my mind like - didn’t Oedipus have a foot injury? And Achilles had that tricky heel…

I also heard songs in my head, thought up recipes I want to make, and stories I want to write. Ithought about the boots I want to buy when these become geranium planters; I want something really light. The lighter, the better.

Every so often my scout would stop for a view and I would take a picture. For a while I forgot aboutmy bleeding feet.

Like other trips with their mosquito infestations or bitter chill, photos are the treasures we get to keep from our travels.

A king’s ransom will pay for the bandages and Neosporin.