Monday, May 9, 2011

RIP Shoe Tree - You Shall be Reborn

You might remember me writing about the shoe tree on Route 66 in California. I love this whole idea of a shoe tree. Well, driving Route 50 across Nevada yesterday, about 150 miles east of Reno we found another shoe tree! Actually we found what was until January 2011 the largest shoe tree in the world, now felled. A gorgeous 70-foot cottonwood tree loaded with shoes thrown into the branches for decades.

What was once the largest standing shoe tree in the world.
According to news reports, around December 30 last year (2010) vandals came and cut down the tree. Great story of the tree's history and death here. I haven't been able to find any information that suggests the vandals were caught. Evil people. Evil. That tree was huge, old and beautiful. Regardless of whether or not you support people throwing all their shoes in a tree, the tree looked pretty healthy and cutting it down was a horrible thing to do. Locals apparently held memorials immediately after the tragedy to honor the tree, and you can still find the remnants of some people's offerings.

Those are tiny doll shoes attached to this little memorial memento.

But you can't stop the people and their dream of a shoe tree. No you can't.
The Shoe Tree Lives on in our Soles.
Yes, only four months or so from its death, a new shoe tree has been born. Right next to the old shoe tree.

We did not add any shoes. I wasn't prepared to stumble upon a shoe tree on this trip and didn't have any shoes I would want to leave behind. But we plan to drive this way again (this route is incredibly gorgeous - see photo below shot at the shoe tree) and I will always stop to check out the progress of the tree and next time I just might add my own pair.

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