Another Way to Run

Stunning shot of the snake river in grand canyon

Horseshoe Bend, Grand Canyon | KeYang, Pixabay

The carabiners jingled on his backpack as the elevation flattened. He drank, the water sweeter than the finest whiskey. He wiped his mouth and smiled as he screwed on the lid. There was a time he would have laughed at that notion.

He’d been sober four years now. In 2014, he’d quit running from himself—casting aside the drink that had kept him from being a good husband. A good father. Instead, he focused on restoring his health, walking–more and more.

Last year he’d hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. The year before it was the Appalachian. This year it was Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim before heading to Switzerland for the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Deep in the canyon, the river laid bare eleven epochs of time—digging down, to the very core of it. Something in him nagged, and he began to wonder: was walking just another way to run?

149 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

My husband and I hiked halfway down the canyon on our honeymoon. Completing the hike is definitely on my bucket list. It’s a stunning spot. One of my favorite places!

Truly sorry I have not been around much lately. I have been suffering from the most debilitating insomnia. I’ll fall asleep okay, but then wake up at 3:00, 2:00, sometimes even 12:30 am, and then be completely unable to get back to sleep.

Last night I slept 10 1/2 hours and it feels amazing. So amazing.


  1. Great story. Vivid moment of realization, well-told. You wonder what he’ll do next.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My guess is he’ll write. Maybe cyber-thrillers for teenagers that don’t sell.


  2. Great last line, and well-foreshadowed by the earlier description. I was just thinking hmm, he’s doing all of this to be a better father and husband, and yet he’s out here alone, leaving his family back home in order to pursue this new dream?


  3. They often say you replace one addiction with another. This one is a healthier choice over cigarettes or soda… And if he does it just enough to ensure he is a good and happy husband and father, then….
    Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really like the way you create a strong sense of this lone figure surrounded by the vastness of nature. He has so much time to reflect on his life. I think you express the thread of his thoughts with subtlety – good writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Francine. I hope you’ll consider joining us this week on Pegman!


  5. You make such a smooth transition from the sweet water to the history of alcholism. Great last line as said above. He is becoming self-aware.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think he is, at last. Thanks for reading and for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As Dale says, many people replace one addiction with another – let’s hope he can take this one in moderation! I like your thinking at the end – is he still just running? Because there may have been reasons for his drinking that he hasn’t quite yet addressed. He can’t keep running forever. Beautifully written and thoughtful, Karen. I’m glad you slept better – I feel your pain as I’ve been in that insomniac zone, going crazy through lack of sleep, barely functioning. May you sleep well and often!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was inspired by someone I knew, although I’m sure it happens a lot. Thanks so much for reading and your kind words. I hope you are sleeping well these days and your insomnia is in the past!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a hard thing to change long term habits, let alone a physical addiction – I hope the person who inspired this is winning. Thanks for the sleeping wishes – I’m much better than I used to be but never sleep brilliantly. Surviving though. Best wishes


  7. peterkirsch

    Great imagery and symbolism, both serving your character remarkably well.

    Pleased to hear you got some sleep. I hope it continues.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words and well wishes.


  8. One poor addiction for a far better one, we are all restless souls, a great take and what a photo? I can’t believe it’s real.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. I found the photo on Pixabay. I’m not sure if it’s 100% real myself.


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