I put my hiking boots through the ringer. When my feet hit the path, I feel a rush of freedom that takes me into another world. Some of those paths are peaceful, relaxing and beautiful. Others are winding, rugged and brutal, especially on my feet. That’s why I’m happy to slip my feet into a comfy and supportive pair of Oboz shoes each time I’m ready to hit the trail.
If my Oboz could talk, they would have many stories to tell from urban adventures, to daily walks along the coast, to crazy alpine summits with spectacular views from above.
One of the most notable summits of this year was the Mt. Baldy “Climb for Heroes” event in April. This event is put on every spring by the Heroes Project to help combat wounded veterans climb the Seven Summits. Supporting the veterans is always a joy because they are a great inspiration to me and countless others to let nothing stop you from achieving great things in life no matter the circumstances.
I’m a huge fan of water hikes, and wherever there’s a creek or stream to cross, I run to it. I’ve enjoyed splashing in water since I was a kid and that hasn’t changed at all as an adult.
If my Oboz could talk, they would share the story of how I took them sloshing through water at the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek on the way to Lone Pine Lake. That’s a section of the Mount Whitney Main Trail that I always look forward to since there’s a small waterfall that I like to cool off in on warm days. It’s also fun to try and rock hop it, but the fun is in walking right through.
My Oboz would probably scream about the time they took a beating on the hike to Potato Chip Rock just outside of San Diego. At seven miles round trip, I thought the hike would be a piece of cake, but it was actually quite strenuous due to the steep, rocky nature of the trail.
As my friend Jodi and I ascended the dry and sandy trail, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was really worth it. We sat under a tree and had a snack while we contemplated going any further.
When another hiker told us we only had about a mile left to go, we decided to continue and we made it to Potato Chip Rock only to find a Disneyland line of people waiting to stand on the potato chip thin-looking outcropping and have a picture taken. By the time we made it back to the car, we were exhausted although my boots held up very well. They were just filthy, a souvenir of the day’s journey.
There have also been some adventures in the snow. Normally, I wear my mountaineering boots when I go on a snow hike, but I decided to try out my Oboz boots in the ice to see how they would hold up.
We haven’t had a very good winter in Southern California since 2010-2011, but when I found a large patch of snow on Mt. Baldy, I stomped around a bit to see if the moisture would penetrate the boots. It didn’t and my feet remained warm and dry.
There was a section of trail where the snow was deep enough to glissade, so I hit “record” on my camera and went for it. Check it out here. It was a fun day on the mountain and my boots actually looked clean after being in the snow.
My Oboz would tell of these adventures and many others that I don’t have room enough to write about here. Those boots are workhorses and I’ve put a lot of miles on them, but they still have many more miles to go and I look forward to the journeys that are yet to come.
Joyce Britton, a.k.a. Sierra Princess, lives in Los Angeles and explores the California wilds as often as she can.