Yes, you read that right! SHOE trees.
It all starts with one person lobbing a pair of shoes up onto a high branch. Apparently, it's easier to get the fad going if you choose a tree close to the side of a road where there's a convenient spot to pull over. People often write messages on their shoes before sending them sailing into a tree. No doubt about it, though, shoes are tough on trees. The shoes and boots weigh down branches. The footwear gets even heavier with rain. Some people take photos and document the life cycle of shoe trees.
This is the well-known Amboy Shoe Tree located in ghost town, Amboy, CA which is a couple of hours' drive into the Mojave Desert from San Diego. This tree is so laden with shoes that it's practically on its side (photo credit: Linda Brothwell)
There are about 70 shoe trees in the U.S., most of them on the west coast. Here are locations of a few shoe trees in California: Big Bear, Ludlow, Joshua Tree, and last, but certainly not least, my very own BALBOA PARK IN SAN DIEGO (how have I missed this?!).
Now, I haven't actually visited any of these shoes trees. But I'll definitely be down in Balboa Park this summer. And I could probably fit in a sidetrip to see a shoe tree or two during a vacation or a water polo trip. Or . . . I could start my own shoe tree in the backyard. After all, I have four kids. That's eight feet. And just think of their enthusiastic friends!
Roadside America is always on the lookout for tips about shoe trees. The tree must sport at least 50 pairs of shoes, be easy to get to, and have the reputation with the locals as a shoe tree.
If you've put up a MTM post, please let this week's hostess with the mostest, Clare2E, know by leaving a comment on the Women of Mystery blog or on the official My Town Monday blog. BTW, Clare has a great MTM post on the Women of Mystery blog about Seoul, Korea.