I have a unexpected plot-twist on this adventure. Normally, the stowaway on a journey is a lone sock or a unmatched glove. This time, it’s the story of my Merrell sneaker.
I try to have grand retirement plans for my shoes and jeans. I wear both of them until they are destroyed, shredded, and have a zillion holes. This trip was going to the retirement party for my Vibrams once I got done using them at Victoria Falls. This past race in Spartanburg, SC destroyed my Vibrams….like really, really destroyed them. So what better send off would be to wear them on the Zambezi, and say goodbye to them in Zimbabwe. Which is where my Merrells come in, which have also had an equally long and adventurous life and are falling apart, as well. I was going to say goodbye to my vibrams, use my Merrells in Cape Town for a hike or two, and retire those there, and for my journey home, I have my warm winter boots in my bag. Yes, that bag has boots inside it, along with everything else for this trip… I know, I know, Grand-master level for packing skills.
But I messed up. Having been in Vegas, Georgia, Texas, and South Carolina, for weeks before I left on this trip, I was not mentally prepared for the cold in New Jersey. Flying back for a short period of time, I merely had to swap bags, and remember grab the Merrells from my car. The one, was in my front seat, got it. The partner shoe was in the back, yes, I throw things around in my car, but I know where it all is. It started to sleet as I was doing all of this, and hard, so I ran into the house with my stuff, intention of grabbing my second sneaker when I moved the car to its home for the next few weeks. I grabbed the shoe, moved the car, and forgot the shoe on the seat next to me. So here I am… halfway across the world, with a lone sneaker. I could just throw it out. I was planning on it anyway, but I feel like that’s heartless since it’s so far away from its other half. So he’ll stay on this journey with me… Unable to truly participate, but able to have a slightly longer adventure with me.