History of the Sunset Beach Trudgers

Ever wonder how the Sunset Beach Trudgers came to be? Here is a little history of the group and how they are thriving into the next phase of their evolution.

In September of 1986, a man by the name of Jim H. was reading the Grapevine and discovered a group of backpackers Trudging through the mountains on the east coast of the United States. Jim recently started attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings at Thursdays in Sunset Beach. With the inspiration from the East Coast backpacking group and the foundation in his sobriety rooted at Thursdays, Jim decided to start his own backpacking group.

The Sunset Beach Trudgers were Established in 1986. Jim and the other first Trudgers began to reconnect with their higher power in the clarity and grace of the mountains. Their first hike and meeting was held in the San Gabriel Mountains. There was a tremendous outpouring of support and attendees. From there, the group would meet at Thursdays in Sunset Beach, every 2nd weekend of the month to take off to the mountains!

In 1990, the group had grown dramatically, with the event of Jim’s family growing, a gentleman by the name of Alton S. took over as the Trudgers’ official Secretary. Alton had a rebellious and fun take on the group. Not only would they take the trips into the mountains, but they would have long day hikes (24-26 miles) up Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Sunset Boulevards.

In 1993, a Trudger by the name of Dennis joined the group of 12 people and had his first trip up to San Jacinto. From 1993-1995 Dennis spent quite a bit of time in the spiritual experience of the Trudger Backpacking trips. In 1995, Dennis had the opportunity to take over the group as the Secretary.

Dennis was extremely passionate for the group. He created a ‘Come All’ mentality. With his direction, the group focused more on the support and access for the Newcomer. They trudged mountains such as San Jacinto, Little Jimmy, and Horse Thief Canyon. Rain, shine, warm or snowing, the group made their way to the outdoors with their houses packed on their back. Under the guidance of Dennis and a fellow Trudger named Scott, the group grew from 12 Trudgers to over 80 Trudgers.

From 1995 – 2015, the group became a treasured experience to hundreds of AA newcomers and Trudgers. In 2015, the group was put on hiatus as the commitment of Secretary had been held for 20 years. The group trudged on occasionally throughout 2015 – 2019 and maintained a contact list of about 80 Trudgers, as well as the original website. But, for the most part, throughout the 4 year hiatus, an occasional seasoned Trudger would post an announcement on the website to take a trip out.

In 2019, a fellow Trudger by the name of Rosie T. invited 8-10 members of her home group to accompany her on one of the traditional yet, unofficial Trudgers trips. Amongst those individuals was a new Trudger named Jackie B.

Trudger (L) & Dennis (R) – Circa 2006

During the summer of 2019, Jackie B. and this new group of Trudgers were inspired by the ideas, purpose and spiritual experience the predecessors had before. Through the support of Dennis, Rosie T., and the other seasoned Trudgers; Jackie B. has become the new secretary of the Sunset Beach Trudgers. Through new technologies and a fresh start; The Sunset Beach Trudgers are actively being lifted off of the ground and renovated to its prior thriving existence.

Coming in strong to 2020, we are absolutely thrilled to introduce to you the new Sunset Beach Trudgers. We will be tackling new adventures, continuing the practice of connection to our higher powers through a nature catalyst and and helping another Alcoholic to achieve sobriety. With your continued support, our group has the beautiful ability in the grace of the mountains, to live a sober life and helping another alcoholic to achieve sobriety. Please join us in our next trip!

“We shall be with you in the fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.

May God Bless you and keep you-until then.”Pg. 164 Alcoholics Anonymous