30 December 2014

Today I learned of the suicide of a young trans woman Leelah Alcorn. It breaks my heart. In her note, she described her family life and how rough it was coming out to her parents at a young age. Her parents, being strict Christians, acted much as my parents did: refusing to believe it, telling her she was selfish, sending her to Christian therapists. However, at such a young age, dependent upon them, she didn't have the option I did of basically ignoring them and doing what needed doing. Even after her death, her parents refuse to honor her as a the woman she was.

These sorts of tragedies need to stop.

I have been fortunate to have great support group of friends. I have a stable job with adequate income. My parents are perhaps slowly coming around. I will hopefully be getting chest surgery within a couple of months with money I've saved over the years.

I have struggled, I am lucky. But I know I am not alone. No one should ever feel so alone.

This other blog is heating back up again.
Today I am mad at my (lack of proper) education. I don’t know why it’s bothering me so much right now, particularly. I was just thinking of the second episode of the new Cosmos show, where Neil Degrasse Tyson explains how eyes evolved. I remember being taught how evolution couldn’t possibly be real because eyes are so complex and perfect that they couldn’t gradually develop. Whoever first made that argument was full of shit and knew nothing about science. At first glance, it seems true. Muscles and lenses and all sorts of things in the eye that work together just so. And yet they aren’t perfect. Not at all actually. Eyes developed  under water, aiding ancestors in the fight for survival. Human eyes actually don’t work as well as fish eyes and the like. Interesting how science- if you just take time to learn- can change your perspectives on things.

I don’t believe that this specifically disproves the existence of God. I simply don’t think that science and religion are mutually exclusive. I think that Christianity (in particular) needs to be open to science. Refuting truths does not promote faith. Integrating your faith into proven facts promotes it much better.

22 November 2014

lists of 5

List 5 things we don’t know about you:

1. Some may know this. I bake a mean Jack Daniels chocolate chip pecan pie, from scratch- my mom's recipe (though I think she got it from someone else.) I don't make it often though because, health.
2. I really like sheep and I have always dreamed of living/working on a sheep ranch.
3. When I was a kid I wanted to be a dog sled racer in Alaska. (still would be cool!)
4. I grew up (mostly) in a house that was over 100 years old, then moved to a brand new one my dad built in the pasture. 
5. All of my education was Christian, including university. There were a few years of homeschooling mixed in as well.

 5 things you’re knowledgeable about

1. Geography, in general
2. The Lord of the Rings- and anything Tolkien, really. Seriously, ask me anything.
3. Identifying dog breeds. And animal behaviours. Comes with the job, I guess.
4. Some parkour. Also filed under things I wish I was more knowledgeable about.
5. Buying and selling things on eBay. I've made a fair amount of money back on things I no longer want/need. I've also saved heaps by buying used things. My current work shoes (Merrell Trail Gloves) cost me $20 and have lasted well over a year, which at my workplace is unheard of. 

5 things you know nothing about 

1.  Dancing. When I've had something to drink, I can move around a bit, but I wouldn't call it dancing. 
2. Liechtenstein. Literally all I know is where it is. 
3. Cars. Rather, mechanics. I know how to drive and how to do very, very basic maintenance, but I'm not fond of cars and I'm basically lost if anything goes wrong. 
4. Twitter. I am savvy to most social media platforms, but that one has eluded me. 
5. Practical uses for higher math. I know basic math, and I even (barely) passed pre-calc, but I don't know how to use any of that.

5 things you believe

This makes me think of a song: "It's not that I do or don't believe, I just don't not believe in God or aliens or love at first sight." The Guggenheim Grotto (now Storyman)

1. Humans evolved amazing feet and we're now killing off the amazingness by trapping them in tight and padded shoes.
2. I believe cool/cold weather is so much better than hot weather. 
3. I believe that I was taught history and science  incorrectly (see education above.)
4. I believe that there is other life in the universe. It's simply too big. And it's awfully arrogant of us to believe we're alone here (even if you believe in a god.)
5. I believe there is a very big difference between truth and fact. Ask me about it sometime, perhaps I need to write a whole new post on that subject.

16 November 2014

Space tights.

I got some running tights. It's vaguely embarrassing, but I really like tights, especially now that I'm very visibly male. I stayed as far away from them as possible until a couple years ago. But these are spectacular and I figured I can force myself to run in cold weather if I feel fantastic. Mostly I have been enjoying this trend of "galaxy" print clothing, especially tights. I saw a video of a guy doing parkour in some, so I decided I could do it too. I like the general oranges and reds that seem most common, but I wanted something unique. And I found the Carina Nebula. The $8 plus a month for shipping from China was just fine.

When I was in college I used this fantastic image as my laptop wallpaper for months at a time (I usually changed the wallpaper every other day or so.) Even now it's in the photo folder that gets rotated through for my current wallpaper.

Here's a more manageable size, but seriously, click the link.
I think what I like about this nebula image is that it's not just colorful, but also bright. It has a lot of white and essentially no black. Most other space images are dominated by black. It's my favorite and someday I hope to have a huge print/poster of it for my wall. 

And here are my tights.

08 November 2014

Interstellar-- Go see it. (no spoilers)

Interstellar was very likely the best movie I’ve seen in years.

Epic doesn’t quite do it justice. Nor does awesome, unless we go back to the original meaning.

It’s hard to review the film without spoilers, so I’ll just say it was beautiful and wonderful and only very slightly cheesy in one little aspect.

The basic theme was that we messed up Earth and it’s up to us (and science) to save ourselves. There were no subtleties about trying to revitalize interest in NASA and science in general. The ever-important quest for knowledge and survival. The movie also portrayed the important roles of women in science (though they still had one sort of damseling.)

One thing I enjoyed was that there wasn’t a romance subplot. I think the slight cheesiness that existed would have compounded had there been one.

The effects are “out of this world”! And I even enjoyed Matthew McConaughey’s performance and was pleasantly surprised to recognize a vast majority of the other actors.

If this film doesn’t win all the awards, then I definitely need to watch more movies.

29 October 2014

I've been feeling super lazy lately. To the point that all I've done besides work this week is sit on the computer or play video games. No trail Tuesday. No running on lunch. No rock wall. Just lazy. I don't know why.

I've also been eating rather poorly this week. I'm betting that plays a huge part.

I got a fitbit for my birthday a couple weeks back. It's a fun gadget and seems to be fairly accurate. I tend to average about 8 miles just at work, so that's cool to know. I am a bit sad that I don't have more contacts to compete with though. That might also get me out of this lazy funk.

26 October 2014

Trail Tuesday (last Tuesday)

A friend of mine with whom I've hiked once before asked if I would join him on a hike he'd found in Rocky Mountain National Park. I agreed, even though it meant getting up ridiculously early on my day off to drive for two hours.

Boy was it worth it though!

Out ultimate destination was Sky Pond, but the trail passed several other alpine lakes along the way. It was amazing to watch the sun rise over these placid lakes.

Sunrise across Loch Vale

Timberline Falls. We had to scramble up the trail next to them.

The Shark's Teeth and Sky Pond.
I found the panorama function on my phone!

The Loch on the way back down.

My buddy and Alberta Falls.

25 October 2014

Washington Parks Tour

At the beginning of October we spent a week in Washington state, touring the National Parks and hiking as much as possible. We did not make it to North Cascades National Park, choosing instead to go further south to Mt. Saint Helens National Monument, and even down to Portland, OR for the day. 

Our first night camping (in Mt. Rainier National Park) we saw some mice scurrying around the rental car. I figured they were tiny enough not to be able to get in. The next morning, I found I was wrong. One had nibbled a cookie. Bit a hole in a Lara Bar wrapper and shredded three rolls of toilet paper. Demon! We stored the food better from then on, and kept doors closed, but I was constantly worried that the mouse was still in the vehicle and would chew my down sleeping bag or ruin the car somehow. The fears proved unfounded. 

We did several great hikes, one main one in each place. In Mt. Rainier we did the Naches Peak Loop which overlaps the Pacific Crest Trail. It was astounding. We also did part of Mt. Fremont.

Mt. Rainier. It's ever-present.
Rainier in Reflection Lake.

Autumn foliage on the Naches trail.

Boyfriend and Rainier.

Mt. Rainier and colorful foliage.
We did not get around the the east side of Mt. Saint Helens in order to get any photos of the devastation that occurred there. We did a short "hike" through the Ape Caves, some old lava tubes. We had to use headlamps. It was so fun!
The entrance/exit to the Ape Caves. Lava tubes near Mt. Saint Helens.

We were accompanied on our hike in Olympic National Park by a Canadian couple. We had no choice really. They camped near us the night before and we were informed that they were going to attempt the same loop as we were, and that they'd join us. Even though we tried to get up early enough to beat them to the trailhead, it was unsuccessful. It wasn't bad though, they were very nice and very fit, keeping up out 3 mile an hour pace. The trail through the rain forest was mostly boardwalk so it was easy, though sometimes slippery. We got to the beach a low tide and it was super rocky and filled with seaweed. Not a very pleasant walk along the beach. The four of us were joined by a young black tailed stag. He stayed with us for a good mile or so. The beach hike ended at a fun sea stack which we were able to climb and see way up and down the coast. We couldn't see out west because of the ever-present fog. 

Rainbow over the Pacific at Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park.

Whale bone!

Petroglyphs along the beach near Wedding Rock.

our hiking buddy.

I could not live in the Pacific Northwest. It is altogether too rainy and dreary. And very humid. I loved visiting though, I am sure I will do so again. I have discovered a love for the ocean. This was my first time seeing the Pacific Ocean, and I want to see more of it. Without fog. The forests are beautiful. So green and full of moss. The temperature was amazing considering the time of year we went. I just tired of everything being damp all the time.

23 October 2014

I've really been slacking on this blog. I need to post about my trip to Washington and all the fun camping and hiking that was done. And I want to post about my latest trailrun Tuesday, but I need to do the other thing first. So I just keep not doing anything.

I will though. Just you wait.

02 October 2014

So somehow I ended up buying two bikes. Of course I know how, but the second one was so flashy. Bright orange and new. And the seat so much more comfortable. But it didn't make it the second half of my commute the first day I took it to work. The all-important return home. I ended up with a flat tire and no notion of what to do. So I called for help and got a ride back for me and my limping bike. I think I like the purple one better. It is a better brand (Trek). And it didn't let me down after a whole week of there-and-backs. I don't know if I should fix the orange one and sell the purple one, try to sell it as it, or fix and then sell. Do I really need to spend more money in order to get some back? Why does life have to be so complicated? Maybe I'll just drive to work from now on. Especially since it's getting toward freezing temperatures in the morning.

Wow, that was a block of text for ya.

23 September 2014

Trail Run Tuesday.

I sort of fell off the wagon. I had been doing so well too, until I became a sort of nurse and then we moved. I was running almost daily and doing a nice long run on Tuesdays, not to mention a long hike over the weekend. But then I took a break. And now it's dark in the mornings. So hard to climb out of bed when it's dark. Originally I thought it was dark due to the changing of seasons, and I'm sure that plays some role, but mostly the new bedroom has very thick black blinds and a large, shady tree outside. Also, it faces west. So everything is dark and I want to sleep forever.

But two weeks ago I made myself get up and run around the neighborhood. It was nice. I found a park that I hope to revisit to do some parkour. Last week I purchased a mountain bike from craigslist and I plan to start riding that to work.

Pond on top of the world.
And today I finally got back to my Trail Run Tuesday. It was glorious. I went back to North Table Mountain in Golden. It's my favorite trail I've run thus far. I did take a different branch this time which wasn't as fun and was much shorter, but I got to see a very pretty little pond. And I kept a very fast pace considering I haven't trail run in almost two months.

Yes, I have a climbing wall in my garage, but I seem not to use it as much as I should. But now, with that, the bike, and today's run, I'm back on the wagon.

01 September 2014

As promised some photos of my new place.

The front of the house.
Nice big backyard.
and, my favorite, the climbing wall in the garage.
I love having a yard and I love not having to fight for parking out front of my abode. The best part really is the wall though. I intend to make full use of it as often as possible. Also, there's a hot tub. So really there's nothing to complain about at all.

Now to find a bike.

29 August 2014

Loving the new house! Still working out internet issues, I'll post photos once that's settled.

I've never had a male roommate and it's been a long time since I've had a roommate at all (as in, not my boyfriend).  So far all is going well though. Best part is the climbing wall.

13 August 2014

Moving. How exciting, right? Right! It's a great house with a yard. The dog will be so happy. Our roommate also has a dog and 2 cats, so it'll be packed with animals, but so much more space. And there's a hot tub. And a climbing wall in the garage. And washer and dryer and dishwasher. For less rent than I'm paying now.

And I like sorting through my things and packing and finding places for everything.

But now, since it's more accessible to work, I need to get a bike. I don't know how to go about that. Once I got a decent one on craigslist. I'm not sure how to go about that anymore. I don't know brands. I don't know anything about bikes at all.

I am also going to have a slight problem moving as I'll mostly be doing all the heavy lifting by myself. My boyfriend is recovering from surgery and won't be much help.

Still, excited.

20 July 2014

July Adventures

There's been a lot of action in the past few weeks. Since July 1 I've climbed 5 14ers, camped, hiked, trailrun, wrestled hoarded dogs, drove (rode) all around Colorado and got a promotion at work.

I've yet to see the increase in pay on that last one, but the fitness is making me happy. And having gone to seize dogs was quite the experience.

I probably am not able to provide a whole lot of details, but it was intense. I've seen the show "Hoarders" and its animal counterpart, but that didn't prepare me for the smell. Twentyish dogs inside a house for however long. The house was stuffed full of all sorts of junk as well as the dogs. The fences were covered in old, rotting clothes. The dogs were all terribly thin and mostly unsocial. And they were all unusually quiet. Even on the 3 hour drive back to the shelter there wasn't so much as a whine out of them. It made for a long day. I had no prior warning that I was accompanying Colorado Humane on this trip. I was told to go and so I did. But we didn't go right away. I waited around for about an hour. Then the 3ish hours driving. Then more waiting as it rained and the officers assessed things. My coworker and I were told to wait at the truck until they made sure the resident of the house wasn't home. They all wore bullet-proof vests. More waiting. Then we put together a bunch of crates as they broke into the house and started bringing dogs out on control sticks. There were a few in the yard that we baited with cat food and trapped pretty easily. Then after we caught and kenneled about 15 of them we waited some more. Then more dogs were found in various closets and barricaded nooks and crannies. The total came closer to 20.

All this waiting added up to a 14 hour day. Because my day wasn't over when we arrived back at work. Instead of being able to pass the dogs off to another team, we remained to complete their intake because most everyone else was gone for the night. So I got even more sweaty and stinky while holding the dogs as others vaccinated and photographed. It was all quite fun really besides all the waiting. Perhaps I'll apply for a position in that department.

As for hiking, after the two on Tuesday, my boyfriend and I have hiked 3 fourteeners in as many weeks. We've basically run out of "easy" mountains and I can certainly feel the steepness of the last few. They haven't given me any trouble while actually climbing, but the next day my calves are so sore I have trouble walking down stairs. But our 14er total is 10, only 42 or so more to go! Hahah.

07 July 2014

Holiday Weeked

I had a glorious long weekend.

The Fourth of July is a particular favorite of my boyfriend's so we planned an epic day. We invited a handful of people to a nice beach along Clear Creek outside of Golden. One of my best friends from Kansas even came for the weekend. We grilled hot dogs and hamburgers on a shiny new grill. We played in the creek. We sat in the shade. We lay in the sun. We chatted with friends old and new. We stayed by the creek for about 10 hours, then went in search of fireworks. I neglected to bring my camera so I have no photo evidence of this day.

On Saturday we packed up and drove to Buena Vista to camp near the trailhead of our planned 14ers. My Kansan friend agreed to watch the extra little dog we acquired for the month, while we hiked with the other one.

first light of morning
So we got up well before dawn and she stayed snug and warm in the tent. We hiked practically straight up for 4.5 miles, and reached the summit of Mt. Belford by 9:30 am. It was a very good morning for a hike, the temperature at the trailhead was much too warm, but as we hiked, the air became cooler.

sunlight finds the summit of Mt. Belford
When we reached the summit, the clouds began to form and we decided not to press our luck along the ridge to Mt. Oxford, only a mile away. Good thing too, as it began to rain as we descended.
So many flowers.
Oxford from Belford's peak.

summit selfie
It was a very beautiful hike, if gruelingly steep. We saw marmots and pikas and more wildflowers than I've ever seen above treeline before.
My hiking biddies with Missouri Mountain in the background.

state flower
I was sad to bid farewell to my out-of-state friend, but overjoyed when she mentioned she may become an in-state friend. 

It was a perfect weekend.

you'd think the little one did a 9 mile hike also.

01 July 2014

Trail Tuesday

Today was something new. I hiked some 14ers, but they were not new. It's just that I hiked with someone other than my boyfriend for the first time since I can remember. It was sad to be without him. I love sharing those experiences with him. But it was fun to hike with a new friend.

6 am clouds covering the peaks
We hiked Gray's and Torrey's Peaks. I've done them both before, but never both at once. I really like that trail. For the most part it's very gradual. The views are astounding. Except for today.

There was a bank of low clouds shrouding the peaks as we ascended. Nothing dangerous, basically just fog. It obscured the top of Gray's to the extent that we suddenly found ourselves on the top with no more trail to climb. But we broke though the haze before the summit of Torrey's and had some great views. By the time we'd descended back to the valley, the cloud bank was gone and the peaks were pristine.
"view" from the summit of Gray's Peak.

Summit of Torrey's (have I mentioned I love these shoes?)
We made excellent time for a 14er, summiting Gray's in two hours and Torrey's in an additional 30 minutes. The whole hike, breaks included, took about 4 and a half hours for ninish miles.
we did find some friends along the way

Pristine peaks.

30 June 2014


The day began at 3:30 am, we'd planned on hiking a nearby 14er. As we drove up the road to Mt. Evans it was sprinkling a bit despite the weather report. Above treeline the rain turned to snow. Very light snow, but definitely snow. On June 28th. The sun was rising behind us as we came drove out of the trees, and the colors lit up the blowing snow and the fast-moving clouds.


blowing snow.
Needless to say, we did not even attempt the climb that day. However, we decided we'd use up some gas instead of wasting the day and we drove up to Grand Lake and picked a hike on a whim. It ended up being spectacular.

Very pretty hike to be sure.

It was mostly cloudy in the morning and made the hiking up rather pleasant and not so sweaty. We hiked along a raging creek most of the way.

some raging.
I came face to face with a young buck around one of the switchbacks. I simply froze and watched him as he stared at me from about 10 feet away. Then he bounded off ahead. I wasn't quick enough to get a photo. I did, however get a photo of a much slower moose (and much further away.)

up and up.

more raging
Lone Pine Lake.
The hike ended at a small lake called Lone Pine Lake after crossing a recent avalanche area. We ate, rested and sunbathed before heading back. It was about 11 miles all told and definitely a hike I'd like to do again, perhaps as an overnighter.

I am sad to have missed the wedding reception for an old friend of mine. We were gone much longer than we anticipated.

relax time

Picking my way back down the slide area. 

Mr. Moose.

24 June 2014

Trail Run Tuesday

This morning I went for a trailrun/hike at Matthews/Winters Open Space Park. Mostly a hike because I’m not so good and running uphill. Downhill is another story. It was a great day for it. About 60 degrees when I started and not quite 70 when I got back. I went for about an hour and a half. I think it was upwards of 7 or 8 miles, but I’m not so sure because the maps stop mapping at a certain point and my stupid phone tracker app never gets it right.

I learned (by not wearing one) that a hat is essential not just to keep the sun out of one’s eyes, but most especially the sweat. My eyes were burning throughout.

I think I am going to get a hydration vest. I was using my boyfriend’s small hydration backpack, but it’s sort of awful. The nozzle leaks, but is also really hard to suck water from. It also jostles around a lot and I don’t need to carry so much. I found a nice vest that is really on sale, It just doesn’t come with the water bottles/flasks.

My New Balance MT10s are amazing. I really love how well they handle all the changing terrain without slipping.

Back to my phone tracker app being a jerk: I am looking into Fitbit and comparing it to similar products. I just want a mileage and pace tracker that won't die after several hours of use.

22 June 2014

The Long-Awaited Shoe Review

So a couple years back I discovered that companies were making minimal/barefoot shoes. I like the idea and since then, I haven't purchased any other shoes.

Here's the rundown on the ones I own.

I'm a big fan of Vivobarefoot shoes. They are extremely minimal and have a nice, wide toe box. I've owned many pairs, but right now I'm down to three.

Vivobarefoot Neo
My first pair was the Neo. I basically destroyed them. I wore a hole in the sole, ripped a chunk of the sole near the toe and grew out of them. I don't know if I grew out of them because of my feet being freed from constricting shoes or if it was a product of taking testosterone. Or perhaps they were small to begin with, and I didn't really notice until I realized how shoes were meant to fit. Anyhow, I really like the sole on the Neo, it's called amphibious I believe. It's quite thin, but still has nice grippy nubs. The Neos worked quite well for parkour and hiking. They're terribly ugly though.

Vivobarefoot Off Road Mid complete with off road mud.

I use the off-road mid for my winter/wet weather hiking. They are (were, now) waterproof, so I'd just wear them with gators and keep the wet out. They aren't insulated though, so if I'm snowshoeing or hiking on snow and I stop moving, my feet get cold. I do keep the insoles in to help a bit with that. The lugs on the bottom distract a bit from the ground feel, but they do help to keep from slipping in snowy or muddy conditions. After two winters, some of the seams let in a bit of moisture and a few of the lugs are coming off. I need to find a waterproof and insulated minimal boot for next winter.

Vivobarefoot Aqua Lite
My next pair of Vivos are the Aqua Lite. They have the thinnest soles, very little grip there. I use them for casual wear and often for parkour, though I'm afraid too many climb-ups will wear through the soles quickly. I love the wide toe box. They are probably my most comfortable shoes.

I briefly owned some Breatho Trail shoes. They were inexplicably too big without the insoles (and I hate insoles). Also, I decided I didn't like the lugs for everyday use. They work well for the winter, but not so much for general hiking and trail-running. 

Vivobarefoot Freud
The canvas Freud shoes complete my Vivobarefoot collection. They are solely for casual wear. I've changed the laces to make them blend in more. The sole is similar to the Aqua Lite, but slightly thicker. I'm not as worried about wearing them out quickly.

After I wore out my Neos, I wanted to find a good hiking/trail-running shoe. I already mentioned trying Breatho Trail and deciding against them. I considered another pair of Neos or other Vivos with the same sort of sole, but either the price or the general look of the shoes turned me off. So I decided to look at other brands.
Merrell Trail Glove
First I found a pair of Merrel Trail Gloves for a very reasonable price. I found out quickly that they aren't so good for hiking/trail-running due to the narrow arch. I wore them for part of a fourteener hike (Sherman, I believe) and the scree kept poking my arch. I have rather flat feet and the shoes just don't provide enough protection. I do like them a lot though. I turned them into my work shoes once my original Neos wore out. I wear them 40 hours a week and they're quite nice. When the weather was cooler, I'd go for runs on my lunch break. These shoes work well on pavement and non-rocky paths.
New Balance MT10
So my search continued. Recently I went to a local running store to get some ideas and try some shoes on. I felt a bit bad just trying things on then leaving, but I found the New Balance Minimus Trail 10 (MT10). And I found out that I'm not actually and 8, I'm an 8.5. I don't know if it's my feet having grown, or perhaps I just don't know how to fit shoes. Anyhow, I came home and bought the MT10s online for half the price. Initially, I didn't know if I would like them. After wearing them about five minutes, the band around the forefoot started to make my foot ache and cramp. I worried that I should have purchased a wider size, which they totally have. But after some trial and error, I found that I just need to keep the shoes very loose. I actually slip them on and off without untying them. And they don't slide around when I run either. I am a huge fan. Mostly because of the color, but also the feel. After getting the lacing right, I love how much toe splay freedom I have. I love how ventilated they are. I wear socks, but I'm sure they're fine without as well. They aren't zero drop like my other shoes, but I actually don't even notice the 4mm difference from heel to toe. I've already hiked around 13 miles (half the trail up Pike's Peak) and they performed wonderfully. I can't wait to take them out again.
Inov-8 Bare XF
I also own a pair of Inov-8 Bare XF shoes. To be honest I got them mostly because of the colors, but also because of the very minimal sole. They are quite nice to look at, but they aren't very comfortable to me because they are far too narrow. This seems to be a trend for Inov-8, making very sleek and "fast" shoes. But my feet are quite wide and need a bit more room. I still use them for some of my runs around the park, and for casual wear. The soles are very thin, nearly as thin as the Aqua Lite, and much slicker.
Unshoes Pah Tempe (template B, I believe.)
My final shoes are Unshoes. I'm on my second pair and I love them. I have the Pah Tempe style which resemble Chaco sandals. I'd been a huge fan of Chacos and the foot tan I'd get each summer, but they had a painfully high arch and or course a rather tall stack height. I learned of Unshoes and fell in love with the idea. Partly because of the minimalness and the similarities to Chacos, but also because they're inspired by Tarahumara huraches. Having spent time in Mexico with the Tarahumara, I'm familiar with huraches. I often hike with the Unshoes, but for hikes with a great deal of scree, something with more foot protection is obviously preferable. On hikes I generally bring both my Unshoes and another pair- now the MT10s- since the great thing about minimal shoes is that they are super light and therefore a negligible weight to carry.

Thus concludes my footwear collection. As I mentioned, I need to add a winter hikers back to the list since my current pair is no longer suitable. But for now, I'm happy. Ready to go beat up my new MT10s.