The path back

Originally appeared online in the teen series: Turning Point - October 3, 2017

I was miles away from any help. I’d accepted an invitation to hike in the Altai Mountains of Russia with my daughter, three friends, and three guides with horses that were carrying our tents and bags.

We were in the middle of nowhere. We’d flown, driven, and then rafted to the trailhead. And now we had been hiking for several days to the base camp below the highest peak in Siberia. The problem? Painful blisters on my toes, which made walking brutal. My hiking boots were just not right—a fact that was painfully clear to me after a long downhill section—and they were the only ones I had. With no obvious way to get out of the situation—I couldn’t ride any of the pack horses out of this distant, outback tundra, and that was the only mode of transportation there was—I was stuck.

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