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Solefull Shoe Tree LbNA #50485

Plant date:Sep 20, 2009
County:Pend Oreille
Planted by:NW Adventurer Contact
Found by: American Boxer
Hike distance:Unknown
Last edited:Sep 20, 2009
The Story of Shoe Tree
One of the most decorated shoe trees in America, this tree got it’s first bit of ‘Sole’ in the summer of 1944 when the US Forest Service sent a crew of high school kids to clear the area of gooseberry and currant pushes, which were acting as host for a deadly tree disease called blister rust, killing the area white pines.

At the end of the season, the crew packed up for the winter. 17 year old Emmett Mullaley, of Priest River, held up his old boots and decided not to take the ratty things home. Grabbing a spike, he nailed them to the tree. His friend followed suit and they drove off without a backward glance.

Little by little people stumbled onto the tree and added their own version of footwear until there was barely room for more…. As the seasons went by, the tree grew and grew.

Years later, Emmett went for a drive with his wife to show her where he’d once worked, and see if his boots were still there. When he pulled up to the tree he was shocked to see hundreds of shoes covering his tree. He looked for his own boots, but the harsh years against the elements had taken their toll. He was pleased to find the original spike still holding a small scrap of leather to the tree.

Now 64 years later, people are still dragging their old footwear to Priest Lake, to leave here with the ‘keeper of the shoes’.

May I suggest you bring a favorite pair of shoes, that you can part with, that have walked with you through the years. A hammer and nail, or shoe strings tied together, and a good throwing arm, are all you'll need to add to this monument.

It's kind of a larger stamp, Not HUGE, but not small.
This site is Definately Seasonal. As Late as the end of May, (w/the aid of 4 wheel drive) Snow Angels were made in the parking area near the tree. The gravel road is a rough one, and the snow is deep in the winter/spring months.

To the Tree..... A beautiful drive, located North of Priest Lake, Idaho. One mile north of Nordman, Hwy 57 turns into Forest Road 302. 9.5 miles north of Forest road 302 is a sign for Tilicum Creek Trail, and a small sign (that has been known to go missing) that says 'shoe tree'... Turn Left over Granite Creek, and Shoe Tree presents it's odd grandure on your right... Can't miss it!

To the Box...From the Shoe Tree, head South Southwest 25 steps or so, to where one of many trails heads into the underbrush. At the path, follow your senses forward, to the sounds of a babbling brook. At the creek pause to absorb the sights, sounds and smells of the panorama before you (if you're in the right spot, you should see the lower porton of a long ago, sawed off, rather large, moss covered tree).... Good, now take a hard right, meander a dozen slight steps inward, veer toward, but not to, the great towering deceased spire... keep it on your right. Just beyond the Spire, the resting spot comes to view. Head to the 4 trees, Siamese. walk around the quad's footing, to find a deep crevas in the V. A bit too deep to reach in, the Box is quite near, under a few rocks retrieved from the creek, with random twigs and moss scattered over.