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  • My feet scored pretty low in terms of hiking IQ.

    Until I was 17, they actually never even went to hiking school, and besides basic running through the neighborhood and ball fields, they had little experience on the trail.

    On those first hiking trips with high school friends, my feet were stupid. They would trip, mis judge, step with no confidence. They would stub into boulders. If there was a stream to cross, the feet would wobble, and I would be wet. If there was a rocky section to climb, they would lodge in the wrong places.

    They needed to learn a few things.

    And they did.

    Just in practice.

    By the time I had spent a few years in the west, spending time exploring the desert, canyons, and doing Geology field work, my feet got pretty smart. They would propel, support me, a pack, and I could walk without having to tutor them, I could look up and around.

    I would say they earned a PhD in hiking.

    But alas, they did not keep up with a post-doc nor did they engage in any current research readings. The feet went into dress shoes, and spent a lot of time under a desk, or strolling through airports and conference halls. They were reliable, but not trail savvy anymore. They got lazy.

    So I am taking them back to school. Back to basics. They jumped right in this past June for a Grand Canton Rim to Rim, and seemed to have regained their intelligence. And just yesterday, they again cam out of a long period of not studying and went right back into the books with a trip down and back to Fossil Creek Canyon.

    I think they want to stay smart. The feet. Now if they can just send regular reminders to the supervisors upstairs....
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