A.J. was pulling hard on a large rake to clear some brush beside the path near the boulder when Adam came up silently behind him in the deepening shadows of the afternoon.
“Aren’t you glad I’m not a rattlesnake or a mountain lion?” Adam chuckled.
“Rattlesnakes and mountain lions don’t wear hiking boots,” A.J. laughed as he turned to face Adam. “I assume you’re here to climb?”
“Well, to tell you the truth, I was hoping you might be able to climb with me today.” Adam glanced up at the boulder. “No deep discussions or lessons, just you and me having some fun reaching the top together. You in?”
“Sounds great,” A.J. replied brightly. “I’ve ...