On Top of Grass Mountain

I was bitten by a horse fly or some kind of damn fly… ouch. There, now I’ve complained about everything bad that happened this weekend. I’m so glad I got that off my chest, I was trying to look tough and not complain.


When I first met my current sponsor he let me know right away that he escapes from the Phoenix heat each summer and goes off to New Mexico – it’s a good thing to know if you’re looking to get spiritual direction from a guy that he’s not going to be local for half the year. He’s a good sponsor, a good example of AA in action and I’ve shared things with him that I’ve not shared with another living being – so he matters a little bit to me (ok, a lot). Even before he left in May he suggested I come out and visit, spend a few days at his cabin and take a break. I thought that might be a good idea, and at his suggestion asked one of his other sponsees (Scott) if he’d be interested in joining me, he said yes and we tried to get a few others to go as well, but only had one taker who had to back out at the last minute due to health issues.

When I first started planning this little excursion I wasn’t sure I could get time off from my new job (only been there since February). But I asked and they were very kind to me and gave me the time off in a very nice way. I really love my job, in case you haven’t heard me talking about it recently.IMG_3662

One of the objectives of the trip was to attend my sponsors Home Away From Home Group meeting on Thursday nights so tickets were purchased to get us into Albuquerque in time to make his meeting with him. Had the flight not been delayed a little bit we would have even made it to dinner before the meeting – but that was not to be. Instead, the Sponz picked us up and had beef brisket, extra moist beef brisket and turkey, corn …. a bunch of food that we ate on the way to the meeting in Pecos about an hour away from the airport.. He thought for sure we’d be late, but we made it just at 7:00. Good little meeting – a newcomer, cheesecake bites, and the topic was ego… I enjoyed it and it just felt good to be in a meeting with the Sponz again. A fellow sponsee was there (wearing a Breaking Bad t-shirt) a local there, so nice to meet him. The meeting space is pretty unique and I hope you all see it someday in the Grapevine.

IMG_3677The cabin, where he and his lovely wife spend half the year, is about 45 minutes north of Pecos on the mountain. They have two lovely dogs – Kinzee and Carella (I’m probably spelling them wrong) who hung with us on all our hikes and walks, full of love them dogs. Three horses that aren’t penned in, they kind of go where they want to go and visit other horses up there – all very friendly and beautiful. We saw deer, squirrels, quail? hell I don’t know… I’m a city boy. It was so quiet up there, so different to not hear cars tires on the pavement, my music playing in the background

Friday morning after breakfast we went for a short hike around the neighborhood to see where his family lives – he has several that have cabins and land all around him. He shared legacy, history, funny stories – it was nice. We did a little riding on ATVs up the road a bit and met a cousin who taught us about “dotting an eye” and had a few funny stories.

After some more food and a nap maybe, we had a little meeting – the Sponz had picked up The Best of Bill a little copy for each of us and we read on Faith, Fear and Honesty over the weekend – was quite cool. We all shared a little something and asked questions of one another – I liked it.

Day two we set off early to conquer a physical mountain – Grass Mountain – we set off at almost 8 a.m. for the top of the mountain. The cabin is at 8800 feet, the top of the mountain is 10000. To be honest I was huffing and puffing quite a bit and the Sponz (quite a few years older than I) didn’t seem to be that much at all. The dogs of course were running all over the place happy as can be making us all look bad. It wasn’t straight up, we zig zagged almost all the way but it took us quite a long time to get up to the top (1 1/2 hours according to the photo tags). Once we were up there though it was quite breathtaking to look all around us and see all the valleys and mountain tops. I was quite impressed. I imagine the view up there at night, away from all the lights of civilization would be pretty majestic.

Friday night looking up at the stars on the back porch I asked Scott and the Sponz to do a 3rd step with me, was pretty cool thing. I saw a shooting star or two and it was a significant night for me. We shared more, got closer and I felt a kin to those two men.  We created a new word – Fearitual – we’re working out the meaning, but at the time it seemed pretty significant. We ate entirely too much, too often and didn’t have enough naps.. (are there ever enough naps?), played poker, changed lightbulbs… I learned more about both of them and even about myself in relation to the rest of the universe out there.

At the beginning of the weekend we asked for the wifi password and the Sponze haflheartedly looked for it but we did without. My phone is a tool I use when I don’t want to participate with the world not getting to use it was hard for me, but good for me. I had to listen to the silence around me and pay attention to the others with me – it wasn’t as bad as I usually imagine it to be.

There were a hundred things that happened and I could delve into each and write about it here but that’d take a long time I think. It was over too quickly, aren’t those special moments always too short. I really needed this weekend, I needed to have the time away with like minded individuals that I could share with and listen to. I think I’ll see if I can go back next summer for a few days too. IMG_3749

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