From the February 2013 magazine.

February 2013: Rocky Mountain High

He got his bike and his life back for an incredible 34 sober years on the road

I wonder how many different self-initiated plans of recovery are floating around out there. The last one I tried, about a year and a half before I actually started down the “road of happy destiny,” involved buying a motorcycle. It was a lovely-looking machine, complete with a fancy fairing, saddlebags and a trunk. I was certain that if I bought this wonderful bike, I’d have to quit drinking so that I could learn to ride it and ride it safely. I did enjoy it. That is to say, I enjoyed looking at it—parked outside my house in front of the picture window. I could sit on my couch, drink in hand, and admire it. My imagination took me on many trips through the beautiful scenery in western Montana, but I knew that I was too intoxicated to actually attempt riding it.

There it sat, but for one occasion. I ran out of beer and whiskey once around sundown and decided I would jump on the bike and ride down to a nearby supermarket. I got my helmet on and started up a short but steep gravel driveway. Barely keeping myself upright, I stalled the engine about halfway up the drive. Discouraged, I managed to coast back down the drive and park it. I got in my car and headed to my favorite bar.

-- Andy L.

Stevensville, Montana

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