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Up in Smoke

If ever we’ve had an “OH CRAP” moment on this trip, this was it!

During a few morning hours of feeling relatively ok, Richard took advantage of this time to water proof our boots. Mine were getting worn out; they have after all gone 2,500 miles in addition to the 3 years I had them before this trip! They’ve served me well, but I was determined to squeeze the last bit of use about them. Matt had meticulously shoe-gooed them for me, and Richard was going to try to get them waterproof again. Richard’s boots, on the other hand, still had a bit of wear left in them. They were donated in California so they definitely have had some use, but these are expensive, high quality Vasque boots and they LAST!

After Richard slathered the boots with leather conditioning waterproofing, he put them in Heather’s stove on warm to thoroughly heat the boots and let the waterproofing soak in. He has found that it works more evenly than using a hairdryer or other such method.

BUT, when he went to turn the stove off to let them cool down slowly, the old dial slid ever so slightly past OFF….. to BROIL!

OH NO is right! We didn’t realize this until Heather asked what was burning in the oven. When Matt rushed over to open the stove door, there were FLAMES! We all yelled in surprise and despair. We rushed in with towels to smother the flames, rushed the charcoaled remains of the boots outside, and opened all the windows and doors to let the smoke and fumes out of the house! The boot that was burnt the worst continued to smoke for hours.

We were somewhat devastated. I never thought I’d feel so attached to those boots that I had worn day in and day out for a year, but I was sad. Not to mention we were concerned about the cost of replacing them. But we did our best to laugh about it and let it go- just trust God to take care of the details again. We did, however, have fun taking pictures and video of the remains and the smoke coming off the boots!

What’s more, those were our ONLY pair of shoes! We had already boxed up our winter boots to send them home because it’s been way too warm to wear them. So we spent the next three days wearing Matthew’s rubber muck boots! Being that this happened on a Friday, we scrambled to locate Vasque boots in our size- both which had to be rush ordered to come in on Monday. Thankfully, Amazon.com had a good deal in my size, and the Redwing store in Springfield gave us a great discount on Richard’s boots. Many thanks again to the Yorks for ALL their help in this crisis- especially helping us laugh about it! We are all set to go now with our new set of boots!


  1. Oh my, I can’t wait to see the pictures and video. I will pray you do not have blisters from breaking in the new boots. The plus side is- the conversations you can have while rocking on the porch when you are old and sharing this story. My guess is that your sides will hurt worse telling it, the more time that passes.

  2. Oh how funny!! I bet you where laughing so hard! That would be something that would happen to me and Bonnie Laughing at me Hard! But sorry you lost your boots!! what a story to share alone your way! God Bless you Guys!!!!

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