And sometimes the rough bivvies pay the biggest dividends. On my first trip out West, just after college graduation, my buddy Bill Leonard and I stuffed his Datsun b210 hatchback full of a month’s worth of camping gear and blasted out of Greensboro, North Carolina. We crashed at a friend’s apartment in Memphis the first night, then drove nonstop 18 hours and 1,000 miles across Arkansas, Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and New Mexico, to just over the Arizona state line. Exhausted, we pulled off the interstate onto a service road and stashed the car behind a billboard, just like we’d seen in cartoons. We rolled our sleeping bags out on the bare ground and fell asleep with 18-wheelers groaning in our ears. I woke up spooning with the Datsun’s rear tire. My vertebrae felt like they’d rusted together. But when I sat up, the plains around us were speckled like the flanks of a trout with pronghorn antelope all the way to the low rise of hills to the west.