The older I get, the more important my shoes have become. Flip-flops, high heels, flats with no arch support… I can’t believe I ever wore those, but I did. No longer is style the primary function of my shoes; it’s all about purpose, comfort and support. Style is pretty far down the priority list, though not completely off the list if there is any choice to be made.
For my lace-up walking shoes (which fit the niche between “around town” walkers and hiking boots), I always pick Keens. They fit my foot well, provide plenty of arch support and the boxy toe has lots of space for my toes to wiggle. I replace them once a year or so, whenever I find the right pair on sale.
Earlier this year, the pair that fit best and was on sale happened to also be waterproof. I never purchase waterproof shoes because I rarely walk in rain – and they usually cost more. This time, though, since they were on sale, the price was competitive – so I ended up with waterproof shoes.
Boy, have they gotten a workout!
Yesterday, rain-induced cabin fever set in with a vengeance, so we headed off to find a hike, rain be damned! After a quick stop at Cascadian Farms for coffee, pastries, a box of cereal and a pint of raspberries (thanks to readers Barbara and Ron for the tip), we returned east, to a trailhead we noticed when we drove our motorhome west a few days ago, the East Bank Trail. It rained, and rained, and rained. Rain dripped from the bills of our caps onto our legs and shoes; our raincoats were heavy with moisture. My feet? Warm and dry! WAY more fun that spending another day watching the rain from indoors!
Today, we had tickets for the lunch and boat tour offered by Seattle City Power/Skagit Tours, and we lucked out with the weather. Not sunny, but dry… which seems to be the best we can hope for around here this summer.
Once again, we headed east into the Cascades, then down across Diablo Dam. I was so surprised that we were able to drive across the dam – that seems a thing of the past since 9/11. We started the tour with a delicious lunch at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center – an all-you-can-eat buffet of salads (locally grown baby lettuce and homemade dressing, potato salad and coleslaw), two soups (Odel and I both had the Thai Tomato Soup), and a turkey Stromboli, with cookies and brownies for dessert.
From there, you could meet with a National Park Ranger for a ranger-led walk to the boat dock; walk there on your own (our choice); or take a shuttle bus. At the dock, we all loaded aboard a 70-passenger boat to cruise Diablo Lake, one of several lakes formed by the Seattle City Power-operated dams to capture the hydropower of the rivers of the northern Cascades. The cruise was narrated by a national park ranger and one of the staff of the Environmental Learning Center, and was a fun, beautiful ride through some otherwise inaccessible country. We both agreed it was worth the price of admission - $29 for me, $25 for Odel, due to his advanced age. :)
And guess what? It didn’t rain!
Tomorrow we are leaving beautiful Howard Miller Steelhead County Park (click here to read our review), moving on to Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, under 100 miles. That’s my kind of travel day.