The day dawns bright and clear. Having laid out a clear strategy for our Black Friday shopping expedition, Rich and I hop in the car. After the required stop for latte, I’m fueled with caffeine and ready to do battle.
Not content with the local offerings, we make our way to a distant renowned marketplace to do business. It’s a taxing two hour drive. The further we travel, the quieter the road. Barely a car passes. Soon snow appears – a harmless quantity and just the thing to put us in the mood for this holiday shopping trip. It clings to a few trees and coats the roadway, barely touched by tire tracks. Sunlight snakes through the trees and the sky is that winter blue overhead. All we hear is the thrum of the tires. Yes, it’s a rough trip.
At long last, we approach civilization. The streets are navigable and traffic is tolerable. We wait through a single stop light. There, up ahead is our destination – and our choice of parking spots right in front. We ease into a generous space, note the lack of parking meters, and emerge into the sunshine. Ah, Ely is a great place for our Black Friday shopping.
The store windows are trimmed with evergreens, and attractive displays entice us into Steger Mukluk Co. We first take time to browse through the merchandise, energized by all the outdoorsy offerings. There are just enough customers to generate a friendly buzz, with no need to elbow our way through the aisles. Despite our casual approach, we have one true mission and ultimately make a beeline for the footwear. It’s Steer Mukluks that we’re after. The king of warm boots. What we hope will be the end of cold feet.
It takes a lesson and several tries to get the laces right. Cross them over just so. Cinch them tightly. Pull snugly. But once done right, the boots conform to our feet. And we’re sold. Rich dreams of endless hours out photographing the Northern Lights in the snow. I envision long treks on snowshoes and sledding with grandkids. All with toasty warm toes. We make our purchases without hesitation.
Giddy with our recent acquisitions we walk the quiet main street, meandering in and out of pleasant shops. We treat ourselves to lunch. We ponder our real holiday shopping duties and come up with a creative idea or two. But feel no sense of urgency to fulfill them just now.
The trip home offers more scenic views and I admit to nodding off now and then. It has undoubtedly been a successful day for us. Just doing our bit to offset the rest of the world’s shopping chaos on this Black Friday.