Mike and I gravitated to each other as teenagers. We both lived on the edge of Laramie, the boundless prairie our backyard. We were predetermined to be wild and became perfectly matched partners in misadventure. Climbing came naturally to us, and we scaled everything in sight. University buildings, boulders, smokestacks, mountain walls—our adolescent enthusiasm and daring far exceeding our ability. Soon enough even wide-open Wyoming started feeling small. We lied about our ages, got jobs on the railroad, lived in a tent behind the Virginian Hotel in Medicine Bow, banked the cash, then left high school to spend half a year hitchhiking through Europe, Africa, and Russia, climbing and chasing girls. We got arrested in Tunisia, Luxembourg, and Leningrad. We got robbed. We slept in the dirt.
Adventure sounds so innocent to our ears today. It's good to remember that it isn't.
Terrific, heart-breaking stuff. Treat yourself.