Shoe Tree

This is a shoe tree , located along a desolate stretch of highway in Oregon.

I love objects like this. Each shoe on this tree carries a lifetime of stories, and there are thousands of shoes on the tree. I imagine them under kitchen tables, listening to worried talk about paying the bills. Walking along hospital corridors as they awaited a birth. Running to catch the bus on the first day of a new job. Perched on a coffee table watching weather announcements on the local news. Standing in a hallway outside a bathroom with peeling paint as their wearer clenched his fists and yelled through the door, “will you just listen to me!”

What happened on the day the shoe’s owner decided to throw it into the tree? Why that shoe and not others? The shoes are silent witnesses, their tread speaking of the miles of experiences.

Did I throw a shoe? Yes, I did.

If you want to visit this shoe tree, it’s on US Highway 97 just a few miles outside of Shaniko.