Part II — It Now Has a Title

After typing the rest of the story from the Black Notebook, I decided I wanted to put it together into a little book, so I did. It won’t be “out” for a while, but I felt I owed it to “me” 35 years ago to do that from THIS moment in time. It’s 50 pages. I don’t think it will ever be a film.

I got that idea when I was out with Bear this morning. One of the great things about the social media and news diet is I have more time to do stuff. I am sticking with it. It took a while to develop this habit (that I didn’t even realize I had developed…) I can’t imagine I’ll break it over night.

The following section is semi-fiction. Everything that happened to the woman in the story really happened to me, and I wrote it at the time, but the conversation between the man and his wife or girlfriend is fiction. It’s funny to me NOW that when I was in my late thirties I thought I was “middle-aged” or “old” or something. I had NO idea… 🤣

And I bought the boots, but they weren’t the best boots I ever owned. These were.

Merrell Wilderness Legends — the blue laces had long worn out and all I had to replace them with were red ones. RIP 1997, Zürich, Switzerland. I had resoled them 3 times and at this point there wasn’t enough leather left for another resole. It was a sad day. I got some Swiss hiking boots that were very nice, but not their equal. I now wear Merrell Moab 2s. They’re great shoes, but they are shoes, perfect for me now and for any trail I’d go on.

Outdoor Outfitters

“How can I help you?”

“‘I’d like to try these.’ That’s what she said. ‘I’d like to try these.’ Fifty-million overweight, middle-aged women in the world all say the same thing. Want their young body back.”

“So? What’s the big deal?”

“She was strange.”

“You want a beer?”

“When’s supper?”

“In a few.”

“Beer sounds good.”

“What happened then?”

“Well she was holding a pair of discounted Nike walking shoes and wanted a pair of socks. I said, ‘Grab any socks you want out this basket. I’ll check with you later.’ I left her trying on those Nikes.”

“Did she buy them?”

“No. She bought Raichle Eigers.”


“Damned if I know. After she tried on the Nikes she went to the wall with the hiking and mountaineering boots. She reached up to the top shelf and grabbed the Vasque boot. You know, the $130 one?”


“Well, she brought it over to me and said, ‘Can these be resoled?’ I said, ‘Why?’ I mean she was looking at a brand new boot.”

“What did she mean?”

“Come to find out, she had a pair. She said they’d worn down, the tread was gone.”


“Yeah. So asked her, I said, ‘You wear ‘em a lot around town? On the pavement?’ She said, ‘No. Rocks. Hiking. You know. There’s no toe left,’ she said, ‘and here the tread is gone.’ She pointed to the front. I mean, no way. Those are Vibram soles. I told her to go to a shoe shop and see. But I don’t think so. They’re glued. Then she said, ‘What do you have that’s sewn?’ I said, ‘Only the Eigers, but this is a serious boot, lady,’ I told her, but she wanted to try them, so I brought out a couple sizes. I figured she’d try them and that would be that.”

“What did she do?”

“Well, she put on one and laced it up. You know the four speed laces at the top? She laced it with one hand. I never saw anyone do that. ‘Impressed?’ she asked me. Well, I was, kinda’.”

“How’d she do it?”

“It’s in the wrist. She told me she learned it in college from a guy who was a model in her life drawing class. She told me she was lacing her boots and the model told her she looked stupid lacing them with two hands. So the guy taught her how to do it one-handed. ‘Ex-marine,’ she said. I helped another customer and thought about it, but something wasn’t right, so I went back and asked her, ‘Wait a minute, that means you were a live model, too?”

“Was she?”

“She said she only had her boots off.”

Here’s the cover. 🐾

These are all stories from a folder I found in an old trunk. As I was busy shredding them, I stopped to read. This turned out to be something I didn’t want to shred. I’m sharing it here and I have also put the stories into a little book. The stories are from the very first years I lived with dogs and hiked on my own, with dogs, in the California Coastal Chaparral of San Diego. The stories are a kind of record of the beginning of the best things I’ve done in my life — hiking in nature with dogs. I wrote these stories in my late 30s.

34 thoughts on “Part II — It Now Has a Title

  1. What a fabulous story, Martha! Congrats on being true to yourself and putting it together. I can totally relate, although not to boots, specifically. In my case, it was a kayak. A red whitewater playboy kayak – you know, the kind without a keel

  2. That’s a fun story. I was a life model back in the 70s and early 80s. I’d have conversations with students during breaks. Was told I was the only one who did that sort of thing. The others tended to put on a robe and then hide.

    I never learned how to do speed lacing one-handed, tho.

    • I was a nude model, too. It was a great way to earn money. The sweetest experience was in a class for retirees who’d never drawn a live nude model. They were really nervous about it. I felt I had to set them at ease or they’d never draw anything! It turned out to be a long-term and very fun gig!

  3. Lacing with one hand is sorta like cracking eggs with one hand. I trained with a chef who started in the army. He taught me to crack 4 at a time – two in each hand. I guess you crack a lot of eggs when you cook for the army. I’d make a mess if I tried it now.

  4. Oh, MAK, this is wonderful! I giggled after reading it twice (a good model ONLY takes off her boots). I’m proud of you. The “diet” is giving you incredible inspiration. I absolutely love the book cover. The boot picture, and story, hits home to me. I wore the same hiking boots for some incredible summits and moments. I’m so happy WE get the pleasure of reading and YOU had the pleasure of putting it together! Much love! ❤️ 🐾

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