…are the boots I just listed on Craigslist today. I bought them in 1996 after having a very lucrative fall with the Forest Service, working lots of overtime on a fire rehabilitation project outside of Boise. A big fire had started in the foothills right outside of town and it burned really hot. After the fire was out, there was a big concern that autumn rains would run right down the vegetation-free hillsides and result in flooding and smallish landslides in town. I worked with a bunch of people for 2 months on building check-dams in every draw between hills to slow water flow, along with a few other water control projects. When that project was over, I was laid off with a pretty tidy bank account and I bought myself those boots. Most of my logger friends wore winter boots like that, and that shit was good enough for me.
I wore those boots every winter afterward that I worked in the woods. I wore them to inspect logging jobs, I worked on prescribed fires in those boots, and they were on my feet when I cleaned a lot of outhouses. I wore them when Mr. Vox and I were dating and he was in one of the most remote game warden stations in the Lower 48, and we checked cougar hunters and hauled dead elk out of Yellow Pine in the winter. My brother used to take me snowmobiling a lot when he lived here, and all his buddies would snicker at me in my White’s and my Carhartt coat, looking like a dumb farmer. And then I’d laugh at them because they were cold.
Unfortunately, my feet got bigger after pregnancy, and my boots don’t fit anymore. I wore them when we went to a sledding party a couple of weeks ago, and realized that they’re too tight and my feet actually get cold. And I got a blister. You will never find anyone on this planet who is a bigger weenie about not being comfortable in a pair of shoes than I am. And so I have them listed on Craigslist and have had a little bit of interest so far. Pretty good that after 16 years, I can still ask for (and hopefully get) 25% of the retail price I paid for a pair of shoes, huh? I hope whoever gets them is able to have some amazing experiences in them.