At the End of a Long, Long Road.


Far together have we travelled

Trod road trail and path and track

Up hill steep down dale deep

Slipped on shale and shingle scree

Marked deep mud with steps of purpose

Wandered waters topped with stones

Clambered rocks and limestone pavements

Stepped up stiles and crossed fell walls

Splashed in rock pools furrowed sands

Followed footprints into mystery

Found fresh fields of lush high grass

Meandered meadows cropped with colours

Rested weary and replete

At timber tables wet with beer

And now with over forty years

Hard joyful wondrous walking

We must at last stray far apart

Your sole has left your body

No more to be whole

And unrepaired for want of skill

Your final journey ends

In such unhappy ignominy

Sad to lose you my old friends

Comfortable strong and warm

Keeping water from my feet

Shielding me from grit and thorn

But twice repaired and now beyond

Hope of recovery

I must discard you and find new

Walking boots to take your place

Farewell old friends


A short elegy to the pair of Zamberlan walking boots I bought in my mid twenties and have worn for rambling ever since. A second skin they’ve been. And, I guess, they’ve taken me some 30,000 miles. But the soles have now parted from the tops and can’t be mended. Our last mile walked today. I had to sing their praises after such long and faithful service.

13 thoughts on “At the End of a Long, Long Road.

  1. This morning, whilst helping Valerie deliver more leaflets for the coming local elections, I discovered my cheap walking shoes let in water through their soles. So I’ll definitely be visiting the outdoor shop for some new footwear! But I bet I won’t find anything as comfortable, or durable, as those lost friends.


  2. I had a pair of Biker’s Proposal, which I absolutely adored. They were perfect for travelling around in Asia with only a small backpack – pretty enough to use in town, and comfortable enough to hike in 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not a brand I’d heard of, Maria, but they appear to be women’s shoes. Look lightweight and, as you say, pretty. But I don’t think they’d suit snow on the hills of the Yorkshire Dales!

      Liked by 1 person

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