In the summer of 1972, against a background of riots, protests and the Vietnam War, three brothers, raised apart without a father, take a journey by car from Vermont to Alaska and back. Buck, the eldest and recently graduated from college, seeks a reunion with his brothers and clues about who he is and what direction he should pursue. Tim, in the middle, is looking for adventure, however risky. The youngest, Ben, is along for the company of the brothers he's missed for years.
What they tell themselves and each other is that they're going for the legendary fishing they've read about since childhood, which is the common thread they've managed to preserve between them. In the background is the hope that the trip will provide them with time together on neutral ground away from their broken home and bring them from estrangement to brotherhood. Their only plan is to get as far as their savings will carry them, leaving enough to return.
But the plan doesn't take into account the obstacles the odyssey has in store: fatigue, weather, law enforcement, each other, the monotony of a 13,000 mile road trip, and, most of all, the consequences of their choices, all of which combine to challenge their goals to explore angling's promised land and establish connections denied by their childhood.
The difference between what they plan to find and what they actually discover produces the awareness derived from hard lessons and the personal growth spawned by trial and epiphany. The journey itself becomes the gift they give each other.
After a 30-year career teaching English, writing, and outdoor education, Hugh Rogers lives with his wife, Monique, and their cat, Bagheera, in the Northwest Hills of Connecticut.