Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published December 2011.

Web Exclusive: Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny

Sober hiking helped him rediscover the joys of living

Like so many other alcoholics that I have heard share over the years, I was certain that there would be no joy in my life without booze. I was 35 years old and literally dying from alcoholism. I was resigned to the fact that my life may as well be over. I joined the glum lot in AA and became one of those miserable members that "just don't drink," not fully understanding the necessity of working the Steps, being part of the Fellowship and being of service.

Sometime during my first 30 days in the program, I was attending a meeting down by the beach where I came across a flyer for the "Sunset Beach Trudgers." Here was a sober backpacking group that went on monthly hikes into the wilderness and had a Saturday night meeting in the woods. I had always enjoyed camping and communing with nature, but my physical condition at that time was terrible and I knew there was no way that I would be able to hike up a mountain carrying a pack in that shape. I put the Trudgers out of my mind and continued on my journey for over a year, staying sober one day at a time without having much fun at all.

-- Dennis D.

La Palma, California

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