Only One to be Found

I'm a mother of a 21 year old son who loves nothing more than to be in nature. When my son was heading off to The Evergreen State college in Washington State. He talked of plans to explore the forest his college is next to and many other beautiful places he had so far only read about.

I knew he would need a solid pair of hiking boots to protect him from the rain and carry him firmly on his many hikes. He took off from Santa Monica, California in my 1997 beat up Lexus, which had a very reliable engine that never left me down... along with his brand new Lowa boots in the trunk.

While at college he called now and again to let us know he was fine but mainly to remind me his bank account was really low. :) As my mom used to say "money isn't everything but it sure keeps the kids in touch".

When we went to visit at Thanksgiving, I noticed his leather shoes were very wet and when I finally had a chance to look them over I was shocked that the leather soles of his shoes had exposed layers with a hole in the middle. He told me that he kept forgetting to put on his boots when he was heading out for a hike.

I insisted on seeing his Lowa boots to check if he ever wore them. He pulled one out from under his dorm bed and I could see some traces of mud, but not much. When he wasn't looking I stuffed the rotten leather shoes in a plastic bag and hid them in my rental car so he couldn't wear them again.

He came home at Christmas and again he had shoes on that showed clear signs of being worn in the rain and mud. I continued to remind him to wear his wonderful boots, I texted him asking him if he was indeed wearing them and, of course, he responded yes.

It wasn't until summer break that I finally learned the truth.

He unloaded the car and put his things away and there, next to his shoes, was one not very worn Lowa boot.

When I asked where was the matching boot his head dropped. He told me that in his first week of college he went camping in the forest with some new friends. They had a great time exploring by day and sitting around playing music by night. That following week when he went to put on his boots he could only find one.

After searching high and low he figured the missing boot was left behind in the forest when they packed up. He returned to the forest every week or two and searched for the boot, all his friends kept an eye out for it too but it was never found.

He said he didn't want to tell me because he new they weren't cheap boots and he was sure it would turn up eventually and then the year passed and nothing.

I've had the boot here at our home, I look at it every now and then and wonder who may have found the other. If I knew I could send the this one on to them, such a shame no one is getting to wear them.

Of course my son has another pair of boots but not the same quality as the Lowa's. Today flicking through my copy of Sierra I saw an ad for Lowa boots with the caption "where will you go in your Lowas? My heart sank thinking of all those wonderful hikes my son took wearing his regular shoes, his feet sopping wet and his Lowa boot nowhere to be found.

- Deidre R.


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