24: Flyin’ Shoes

Spring only sighed
summer had to be satisfied
fall is a feelin’ that I just can’t lose.

I’m listening to Townes Van Zandt singing Flyin’ Shoes for the second time in a row.

“So, you planning a trip?” Felicia asks.

“Yeah,” I say.

Baby, it won’t be long
‘fore I be tyin’ on
my flyin’ shoes

There’s a spot about a hour’s drive from my house where I go when I need to.   November was the last time I spent a night on the ground and lately I’ve really been feeling the urge to get out.

Late in the afternoon, I arrive at the trailhead.  After taking a few steps into the woods, my mood brightens.  The day is deliciously cool and filled with the scent of earth and pine.  The ground feels solid beneath my feet.

Back on the Trail

The trail winds up and down amid the shadows of lodgepole pine and crosses several small trickles.  Patches of snow dot the landscape.  Granite peaks come into view.

Hiking On

Before long, I find the spot where I want to spend the night.  After gathering  water down below, I hike back up and set up camp for the evening.



The shadows lenghten across the forest.  I amble over to a granite perch to cook dinner and enjoy the show.


Last Light of the Day


The mountain moon
forever sets too soon
bein’ alone is all the hills can do
alone and then
her silver sails again
and they will follow
in their flyin’ shoes
flyin’ shoes
they will follow in their
flyin’ shoes


The night is cold, but the morning light comes soon enough.  Fighting the desire to stay cocooned in my sleeping bag, I stretch and put on my shoes and climb out of the shelter to meet the new day.

Forest Light

Hiking the trail away from camp, I find myself paying attention to the way the light is creeping into the landscape from the east and also to small details here and there, things that I overlooked yesterday.


Back at camp, I have breakfast and pack for the hike back to my car.  It’s been a short trip, but I feel that I got the “attitude adjustment” that I was needing.  Next time, I won’t wait so long.

Baby, it won’t be long
till I be tyin’ on
my flyin’ shoes
flyin’ shoes
till I be tyin’ on
my flyin’ shoes 

Listen: Flyin’ Shoes


Next up on Dondo Outdoors:  First Impressions of the Exped Synmat UL7


6 thoughts on “24: Flyin’ Shoes

  1. The chance to get away even for a short trip is always rewarding and relaxing, in my view. Excellent photos and I look forward to hearing about the Exped mat, btw nice spacious bedroom. I assume you use the normal rubber feet for the pacer poles in the SL2.

  2. Thanks, Roger. After one stormy trip with a too-cramped tent and a too-hard mat, I vowed to never repeat the experience, hence the roomy shelter and cushy mat. The rubber feet that come with the Pacer Poles are what is contacting the peaks of the SL2. I’ve tried it handles up, but this way works better, IMO.

  3. Another great trip report. I recently got the UL7 mat and wonder what ground sheet you are using. In the past you mentioned using I think A Gossamer Gear polycho sheet. Are you using tyvek now? Thanks!

    • Great question, Dan. I was using a polycryo sheet until that ill-fated trip last year when I had an outdated map, and the trail I wanted to take had been wiped out. By the time I set up camp it was dark, and the only flat space around was over some ground cover. My ground sheet got trashed and my POE mat got punctured. Since Murphy’s law can be in effect when you least expect it, I decided to go with a somewhat safer alternative, Tyvek . I also prefer Tyvek because it stays in place better than the polycryo.

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