Ever since my last attempt at getting to the Broadway cave, I've been thinking that I need new hiking shoes. Mine weren't worn out. They were just too flimsy for trails like the one to Broadway cave. I had bruises on the bottoms of my feet after that hike. When I hiked on the trail at the end of Meridian a day or two ago, it seemed like I could feel every rock and bump through my shoes, as if I was wearing thick socks instead of hiking shoes. I knew I had to get something with stiffer soles.
So yesterday I went to Big 5, my favorite store in Arizona. I looked through all the hiking shoes, with my only criterion for selection being the stiffness of the sole. I found some that seemed like they would work. The employee helping me even brought a golf ball over for me to stand on to test them out. I decided to get them even though they weren't on sale. This would be the first time I had bought shoes there that weren't on sale. This would be the first time in at least 6 years that I had bought any shoes that weren't on sale, but I needed them. I was using un-birthday money, so it was OK. I went up to the register and they rang up with the sticker price of about $80. Gulp. Then another employee standing there said something like, "Oh, let me fix that." He pushed some buttons and said, "Oh, look, they're on sale!" Now they were only $50. Wow, what a deal; my own personal sale! I like Big 5 even more, now.
OK, now I have these nifty new hiking shoes (Hi-Tec Odyssey, BTW). I have to try them out, and what better place than the trail that convinced me I need them? I didn't get to the Broadway trailhead until about 5, which meant I had less than an hour of daylight. It was enough for a decent trial, though. I really like the shoes.
When I got back to the house, I decided to try out the i-gotU trip documenting software. I discovered that it also allows you to shift the time of your pictures if you don't have your camera time set exactly right. My camera time was still very close to exact, though. So I created a "trip" using their software and uploaded it to their website. This is another case of me taking pictures just to be taking pictures, and not having done any post-processing, and putting all of the pictures, good or bad, in the trip. You can click a play button and a car moves along the trip track, displaying pictures taken along the way. I wish it was a hiker instead of a car, but you get what you pay for.
It was a very nice evening for a hike. Upper 80's (which feels cool in the desert because the humidity is so low) and not even the slightest hint of a breeze, which is why I started this blog entry talking about the brown cloud. See how these seemingly random things eventually come together? I took too many pictures of the brown cloud, but like I said, this trip shows everything, no editing. Click below to check it out.