Larry reached the height of the pass and pulled down his scarf to feel the cold air on his face. His breath condensed as he stood in the snow and looked across Europe, laid out before him like an ancient map. Smiling, he pulled his scarf back up and kept walking. When he sat for lunch, he found someone else coming up a different trail. They got to talking and shared their food and drink, including a drop of whiskey from one to the other and a spot of rum in the other direction. Without ever discussing the matter, they walked on together. They traveled sometimes in silence, other times talking about family, work, retirement, love, life, and travel. Now and then their discussions turned into arguments, debates over various matters of political philosophy or practice. Each enjoyed the companionship immensely.
They traveled together for the remaining three days of the journey, and when their paths diverged in Zermatt, Larry said, "I don't think I'll ever forget this, Walt."
Walt agreed. "You see what happens, Larry?" Larry raised an eyebrow. "This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps." They hugged and parted, never to meet again.
This story is inspired by this clip.