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Mystery of the shoes

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  Someone went to a lot of work and a lot of trouble to put the shoes along the guardrail on state Highway 170 just west of Colfax.

The shoes — more than two dozen in all — appeared one morning the week of October 21.

Athletic shoes. Casual dress shoes. Men’s shoes. Women’s shoes.

The shoes were displayed at various angles and were attached to the guardrail with screws.

The pieces of footwear, one of each style, were so carefully arranged that they looked like an art project.

Or maybe the shoes made statement.

Or maybe someone just got bored one day and decided to put shoes on the guardrail.

At any rate, on October 29, all of the shoes disappeared.

The disappearance of the shoes was not a mystery, however.

That was the work of the Dunn County Highway Department.

“They were a distraction to drivers. We were obligated to take them down,” said Gale Reinecke, patrol superintendent with the Dunn County Highway Department.

“We have to take shoes down every once in a while on Highway 64, too. I don’t know if  it is the same person or not,” he said.

Just as was the case west of Colfax on Highway 170, shoes appear periodically on a guardrail on state Highway 64 near the St. Croix County line, Reinecke said.

“I don’t know if it’s just for the fun of it or what,” he said.

Whether the shoes will return to the guardrail on Highway 170 remains a mystery, too.

For now, anyway.

Time will tell.