In 1996, Rich and I spent 6 months walking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Unfortunately, this was just before the lightweight hiking craze gained force. We hiked with heavy packs and wore full leather hiking boots. We each had 2 sets of boots and wore one set the first thousand or so miles and finished in the second pair.
After the AT, we converted to lightweight, breathable hiking boots and vowed never to go back to heavy all leather boots again. Two pairs of boots we trashed mid-way along the trail (in a town trash bin of course). Somewhere along the way I got rid of my second pair. But, Rich held on to his, letting them gather dust on a basement shelf.
I almost threw them out – but a vision flashed through my mind. In magazines, I’d seen old things turned into planters to decorate a yard. Why not turn Rich’s boots into something useful again – and into a memorial of the hike that changed our lives. Here’s the result: