From the January 2017 magazine.

When earth meets sky

Lonely, rattled and wanting a drink, a hiker gets a welcome surprise at 9,000 feet

When I was in my fifth year of sobriety in AA, my life began to unravel. My health, finances and career were threatened. I remember resenting AA because I believed that if I stayed sober and attended meetings, my life would be great. Life on life’s terms was not what I had anticipated. I was living the metaphor of the “burning bridge,” unsure where I was going but with my heels burning where I stood.

So I took a leave of absence from work and began a cross-country expedition to see the America I thought I had missed. The plan was to hike as often as I could in the National Parks or any wilderness trail that presented itself because I had always found solace in nature. I had friends in AA scattered across the country and I put them deliberately in my path.

-- Bob W.

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

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