My faith in young people is strong, but the story about Ryan Roemer and his plans to bicycle off to school — in North Carolina! — made it stronger.

The spirit of adventure is exhilarating enough, but to make room, when every ounce must be weighed in the balance of its worth with such care, for the complete works of Keats and Shelley? In hard-bound no less! Oh my, that makes me smile.

And so I will imagine a small tent pitched along a blue highway out in the great plains under a big sky, the glow of a headlamp and a young man reading the romantic poets. “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” perhaps. Or Shelley’s “To a Skylark.”

“Hail to thee, blithe Spirit.”

And traveling mercies, too.

John Nordquist