Field & Stream

1. The Road Trip from Hell Was Paved with Good Intentions

Twenty years later, I remember the silence inside the car as we retreated home. The radio was on, but the three of us were quiet, and had been for some time. Sunrise was a few hours away. Joe was half-asleep in the back of the minivan, and I rode shotgun while Andy drove. He’d been driving for nearly 10 hours straight. We’d offered to give him a break, but he wouldn’t budge. Maybe driving provided him with a distraction to forget, temporarily, the last 48 hours.

The closer we got to home, the deeper the reality of our defeat seemed to sink in. So, I decided to try and lighten the mood by breaking the silence. I turned the radio down, then said, loud enough for Joe to hear in the back, “Let’s

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