"They have been on the move for the past half-year or so now, starting from their longtime home in the downstairs closet, on to my desk, then to my office floor, upstairs into another closet, back down next to my desk, then back upstairs. I am supposed to get rid of them; Amy almost has more than once. But so far, I have not been able to. Just when I feel I’m ready to immortalize them in picture, and maybe words, one final time before parting, something comes up and back they go. It’s not like I can’t let them go, or won’t — I will. I just haven’t yet. Part of it is procrastination, yes, but part of it, I know, is reluctance to let go, broken down and nearly lifeless as they are now.
These are my Montrail Moraines, the first pair of real hiking boots I ever owned in the Pacific Northwest. Before picking these up, I was scraping by with an old pair of Doc Martens patched on the soles with rubber cement. A picture from 16 years ago shows Amy and me relishing the chill wind and incredible view over Lake Tahoe from atop Mount Tallac, and there on my feet are those old Docs.
But when we came to Oregon in late 1997 and figured we’d stay awhile, hike around, explore, maybe even climb a little, we needed boots. Real boots. Sixteen years ago, before houses and kids and all of the real grown-up stuff, these are the ones that I went with. Without personifying them too much, these are the ones that subsequently went with me — or, rather, took me where I wanted to go.”
Read the rest of Jon Bell’s original essay on the Powells.com blog: http://powells.us/12qKoHa