Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author Marty Essen

The only boots that have walked . . .

These are my 24-year-old Danner boots. Although I can’t prove it, they are quite likely the only boots in the world that have walked on all seven continents. At the very least, they are the only boots in the world that have walked on all seven continents and survived a hippo attack. Because these boots have sentimental value, I have been meaning to put them away and buy a new pair.

Unfortunately, the closest replacement Danner boots cost $398.00. Yesterday, I decided to check on-line for Black Friday sales. A search brought me to a “Danner Outlet Store.” Everything looked legitimate. There were Danner logos everywhere and even the headquarters address in Portland, Oregon. And there were my boots on a Black Friday special for just $117.00! I couldn’t resist. I tried placing my order, but my credit card didn’t work. Then I tried again, using my credit card through PayPal. That worked just fine.

When my receipt came, the payee showed a company in China, not Oregon. Fuck! I have always been very careful and patted myself on the back for avoiding scams, but this time I screwed up. I did another search and learned that some foreign entities copy entire websites, like Danner’s, and then offer impossible deals. I emailed the people in China and they assured me that the boots would arrive in 30 days. But would they be real Danners? And how would I return them if they didn’t fit? I emailed the people in China to cancel the order (no response) and then went to PayPal to stop payment.

PayPal is really good about protecting people from scams, so I’m not worried about losing my money. I’m just pissed at myself for not recognizing the scam earlier.

In the end, I went to the actual Danner website, where they had my boots on a Black Friday sale for $312.00. That’s still a hell of a deal for a pair of boots that will likely last me the rest of my life. My new, legitimate Danners arrive next week, ready for yet-to-be-told adventures. New Zealand is already on the list for 2022.

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