By Bryan Dorr
SHANIKO, Ore. – If your closet is full of shoes, buy yourself the “shoe tree!”
Although the “shoe tree” may not be its official name, this bizarre looking, shoe-decorated dead tree stands just ten yards from U.S. 97 highway shoulder, exactly at milepost 53 just north of Shaniko.
Many of the shoes are tied together with the laces and then hung onto the limbs or the branches. Cowboy boots, however lack laces, are propped on a short limb.
The exotic or the kinky varieties of footwear were not seen hanging from the tree. That not to say they ever were either.
There are answers to the questions that may still remain a mystery. Who is hanging the shoes onto the tree and why? When did the “tree decorating” occur or is it over a period of time? Was it the locals or the travelers, or both, hanging the footwear?
The “shoe tree” stands along the side of the northbound shoulder. There is a large pullout along the shoulder where the tree stands.