Yesterday after paddling, I washed my neoprene booties and set them out to dry. They were sitting on a box right next to the front door overnight, as usual when leaving them out.
This morning I stepped out to find only one of them there, with its mate nowhere in sight!
We do have wildlife around, including mtn lion, bobcat, black bear, red fox, common gray fox, and assorted smaller critters too small to pick up a bootie. Mtn lion and bear don’t come near our buildings, and gray fox frequently comes by, often leaving a small fur-filled gift poop.
I can’t think of why a bobcat would take interest in a damp neoprene bootie, and it’s unlikely to come that close anyway.
That leaves red fox or gray fox as the likely culprit. Gray fox has been through here frequently all year, including countless other times when booties were out.
My bet is it was the bigger red fox, which not long ago walked right under the porch, past the same door.
The bad part is having to buy a new pair of booties during a time of gear shortages. Just placed an order which probably won’t get here for a week, which means that there’ll be two sessions wearing either too-small NRS low booties, or O’Neill 7mm high booties that will be too warm. Or maybe the one pair of Teva Protons left from when they were discontinued years ago—MESH summer low booties.
The choices are too small (the booties ran SHORT in length), too warm, or too cold. Oh, boy.