Monday, 7 July 2014

In memoriam: my walking boots (1989-2014)

These boots were made for walking,
And that’s just what they did.
But on this day these boots
Are walking off to the dump.

With pain in my heart I am saying goodbye to my most loyal traveling companions: my Nomad walking boots. For over 25 years we traveled together literally to the ends of the earth, from England to New Zealand, from the Middle East to Central America, from Great Britain to British Columbia, and many places in between.

For a few years now I have known the end was coming. I began to realize that my boots were no longer able to offer my feet adequate protection, grip and shock absorption. This realization became inescapable once I began to live in Switzerland, where ice, snow, rocks and elevation are regular aspects of excursions in the outdoors. My boots did not cope well with these conditions, resulting in falls, near falls and aching joints.

I had to face the facts. In the end my boots were like that retired neighbourhood cop, who, while ever ready with some words of comfort or advice, no longer has the speed to chase down a thief or the sharp eyesight to spot a vital clue on a crime scene.

After the most recent knee injury, sustained only days ago on an arduous descent halfway down Mt Titlis, I realized the day had finally come to bid you adieu, my dear boots. You will be remembered in the countless pictures I have of you.

So long and thanks for all the steps.