Sneakers, sort-of pink, sort-of torn and on their final journey

Saying goodbye is always difficult. To your parents when it’s time to go back to school (although the excitement may eclipse that), to your coworkers when you get a new job (there has to be one you’ll be sad not to see), to your roommate who loved to “share” clothes, food, beds…

Well, okay.

But saying goodbye actually is difficult when it’s to your shoes.

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The day started out totally normal – a two hour drive and just a 4,000 footer before them – or so they thought.

The trail was rooted and rocky, but after less than two miles of only  moderate uphill there was reward…

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…for the eyes…
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…and for the feet…
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Mud and these shoes have always had a curious relationship. They like it, and here they really, really want to go in it.

The rewards only got better: a dam, a lake, much moss and even more lily pads. Mount Kinsman, although not as awe-inspiring as it’s neighbor Lafayette, was well werth the visit.

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At the top I was instructed to the look out (apparently for better pictures), but what did I care? I smelled Christmas, and no view is better than that. 
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Well, maybe this one was. We were a bit tired, a bit sore and more than bit hungry – but it was all downhill from here. I was very confident in these sort-of pink shoes that had carried me over 600 miles in the past four months, 4.5 miles of trails in the White Mountains was nothing.

It turned out that those 4.5 miles were the last these tired, old Brooks would ever travel.

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This rock had steps (god bless who ever put them there) but many did not, and it wasn’t just the soles of these shoes that felt their lichen-covered surfaces. 
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With fresh scrapes to the knees and bruises to the butt of their owner, these shoes were a little nervous when they finally reached the car again.
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And they had a right to be. It wasn’t easy, but with a new pair (notice box already in recycling) I’ll be off and running again in no time.

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