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November 11, 2012

Barefoot Movie Giveaway Winner; Random Shots of Beauty (Extended Audience Participation Edition!)

Our main order of business is to give a barefoot video away – but first we’ll get through some end-of-weekend randomness.

For our Random Shot of Beauty, I could have very easily gone with a glimpse of another 80-degree November weekend that we enjoyed today … but doing that for two weeks in a row kind of seems like rubbing it in.  Instead, I’ll reach back a few weeks to our family’s road trip to Zion National Park.  Since I couldn’t pick just one to choose from, you’re getting an extended edition of RSOB – starting with this one:

(click to enlarge any of these)

A stately Joshua tree, as seen in the Mojave desert of southern California.  Would you believe me if I said I used to live right down the road from here?  Sometimes I can hardly believe it myself.

Driving through the desert, it often seems like you’re in the middle of nowhere – but that’s not entirely true.  In fact, sometimes if you wonder where you are, you only need to look down at the road you’re on:

And you’ll find that you’re right here, of course.

This next one is more of a Random Shot of Randomness … and it’s also a chance for some audience participation.  Approximately 20 miles outside of Zion National Park is an odd structure that will catch your eye:

It looks somewhat strange - and if you pull up closer, the scene becomes even more bizarre:

Basically what you’ve got here is an old telephone pole leaning into a dead tree stump … and the entire structure is covered top to bottom with discarded shoes.  Running shoes, work shoes, women’s boots, dress shoes, kids shoes – pretty much every kind of footwear you can think of is represented.

I wish I could tell you more about it, but I honestly have no idea what the explanation is here.  But it HAS to have a cool story behind it, wouldn’t you think? 

So let’s see if I can harness the power of the Internet for something tangible: if any readers happen to know the story of this community shoe mural, I’d love to hear it, and I might even publish it to share with everyone else.  The challenge has been issued!   Somebody impress me, please – and who knows, maybe there’s a little something in it for you if you do.

[*UPDATED: Wow, that was fast!  This post was up for less than 2 hours before someone sent an answer - see the comments section for details.]

OK then – it’s time to announce the winner of the Barefoot Running Movie giveaway contest.  Louisiana Leah, e-mail me your contact info – you’ve won!  Thanks very much to everybody else who entered!

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Juls 11/11/12, 5:24 PM  

Weird but cool. Wish I did know the story behind it.

Nate 11/11/12, 7:03 PM  


This shoe tree has the distinction of being just outside the entrance of one of the most beautiful national parks anywhere in America. The tree is on State Road 9 between mile markers 20 and 21 and is on the south side of the road with several convenient places to pull out and park. In the background you will also see some of the towering red sandstone cliffs of Zion. On the tree you will note that most of the shoes are hiking boots. Legend has it that they are hung here in tribute to the Angels Landing hike in Zion National Park - because once you have completed this hair-raising hike you may as well hang up your boots as nothing else exists to compare with it. Over the years several hikers have lost their lives on that trail and there is truly a spectacular view from the top!

Donald 11/11/12, 8:59 PM  

@Nate: Very cool - thank you! Shoot me an e-mail with your contact info.

Leah 11/12/12, 6:47 AM  

Louisana Leah saysIt is not the only tree with shoes out west...I have to dig up the photo I have from 10 years ago when traveling from Louisana to California...Might take me a few minutes as I have thousands of photos, but I will find it!
I also heard it had something to do with death..

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