Atlanta to Alturas Lake #8: New Boots

In all the planning Dad put into our first trek across the Sawtooth Mountains, one thing he made sure to do was think of footwear. We kids were outfitted with the popular Converse “tennis shoes” of the time, a modern cobbler’s approach to canvas uppers on rubber souls. Being heavier, Dad got himself a good pair of stout leather hiking boots.

Brand new stout leather hiking boots.

Half way through the first day of the walk from Atlanta to Alturas Lake there were blisters coming up on Dad’s heals. Some extra padding helped but the blisters were not to be abated.

By Alturas Lake Dad had blisters inside of the first blisters, including some on toes. I remember them being popped to make room for his foot to get back in the boots.

Well, folks, there are no cobblers or shoe stores at Alturas Lake, so the walk back to Atlanta was faced with the knowledge more skin would be rubbed raw in the future. And it was.

1954 new boots

Meanwhile we kids were prancing about in our thin canvas shoes with nary so much as a red splotch to show for it.

I’m not sure if those boots found the nearest trash can when we got back to Atlanta or not, but my dad was not one to toss out anything that had any life left in it. There is a photo from hiking in the Sawtooths the next year that has him wading barefoot in a creek while holding a pair of boots that look similar.

1955 Old boots

One thing I do know — he never again wore new footwear of any kind when taking off on a mountain trail. And I’m pretty sure he considered an extra pair of very comfortable shoes worth packing along just in case.

3 thoughts on “Atlanta to Alturas Lake #8: New Boots

  1. Dorothy Burrows

    I have found the more expensive the boot the more uncomfortable.. Always take a spare of foot ware on a long hike. I can see your Dad in you.

    Reply
  2. rangewriter

    I agree with Dorothy. I saw you in that photo of your dad. Yeah, backpacking in new boots is a no no. Even Cheryl Strayed figured that out. But I also find it remarkable that you kids hiked over that rocky terrain in sneakers!

    Reply
  3. james knosp housley

    Dean: On the basis of this pic you sure look a lot like your Dad – or the other way around. J

    From: Deans Great Wahoo To: jimknosp@yahoo.com Sent: Sunday, September 4, 2016 7:30 PM Subject: [New post] Atlanta to Alturas Lake #8: New Boots #yiv4655783915 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4655783915 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4655783915 a.yiv4655783915primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4655783915 a.yiv4655783915primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4655783915 a.yiv4655783915primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4655783915 a.yiv4655783915primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4655783915 WordPress.com | deansgreatwahoo posted: “In all the planning Dad put into our first trek across the Sawtooth Mountains, one thing he made sure to do was think of footwear. We kids were outfitted with the popular Converse “tennis shoes” of the time, a modern cobbler’s approach to canvas uppers on” | |

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