Still My Favorite Boots
by Seth Boyer
Two pairs of soles. Hundreds of Miles. Thirty days in a roaring, muddy river, and they are still my favorite boots.
The kayak's front point drove straight down in the boiling water as I went over the falls. No time to say anything but OH!!! Flipped over and over in the water till I could grab the boat that was now upside down beside me. My pack and all my gear including my Kenetrek Boots were now under the kayak rushing down the roaring river. I finally was able to let go of the boat and reach up to grab an overhanging limb. As soon as I got ahold of the tree branch the force of the water slammed my head against the half submerged tree. Through the blood in my eyes I could see the kayak hung up about 400 yards downstream on the other side of the river. After hanging on for a few minutes to catch my breath (luckily I was pinned against the tree with my head above the water), I was able to work my way to the ice covered shore and scramble up. By the time I got to the still upside down kayak it was wedged tight in a tangle of water logged trees. I walked out in my cold wet clothes for a few miles crossing the river one more time before getting back to the truck.
Well the next day I got my son to help me go back to get the boat. Finally we were able to get it tuned over and out of the river but no backpack or boots were left inside. At least my Kenetrek Boots had good company down there in the river with my Zeiss Binoculars, Canon Camera, and Mystery Ranch Backpack. Was I everloving sick about it all. Why I was in the kayak in the middle of the high spring runoff is another story.
Every week I would go walk the banks of the river with a little hope of finding maybe just my fishing pole. Four weeks later on June 23rd, my wedding anniversary, my wife and I were walking the bank of the river and in a large log jam 400 yards below where I found the boat, I spied something. It was the strap of my backpack. It looked kind of like an arm bobbing in the water and then it hit me - this is where they would have found my body! It was packed in river silt and terribly hard to dig out, but we did. Low and behold the Kenetrek Boots were still tied to the pack!! I took em home, washed and dried them off and am still wearing them to this day - two years later.
... and they are still my favorite boots!