Shoe Trees in the Mohave Desert

When driving along Route 66 you can’t help but notice the strange looking “shoe trees”… unknown people who tie their shoes to a tree… sometimes with their name or some wish written on them. While some are placed by the locals, the tourists passing through have also gotten into the act and there’s quite an assortment of hanging shoes…

This custom is reminiscent of the “rag-trees” of the Middle-East, which are sacred trees in which people place rags or bits of clothing for various purposes, including healing, prayers, pacifying the tree’s spirit, pacifying ancestral spirits, as votive offerings, asking for the tree’s help, and such.

Whatever the reason, stop by the roadside and check them out… it’s worth a look.

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2 Responses to “Shoe Trees in the Mohave Desert”

  1. I noticed one such tree just east of Amboy – unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of it – got to thinking about as I was riding down – first of all a tree in the Mohave is a rare sight – secondly there was little traffic – thirdly is ws so remote that I couldn’t imagine anyone driving that far to through some shoes up in a tree – where did all the shoes come from – and this particular tree had lots, I would guess a thousand or so pairs of shoes – interesting

  2. This would be the very same tree Laurence…nice catch! Actually, I believe I saw 2 trees with shoes.
    I particularly liked these green cowboy boots.

    It was both strange and wonderous to look at.
    Thank you for stopping by 🙂

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