There was the time I accidentally took a 13-mile logging road instead of a paved one, way up in Maine, the 70 hours without sleep, shark fishing in New Jersey then spending a night in the surf in Montauk, the fireworks on the 4th of July in Washington D.C. and the tiger shark that tried to eat my amberjack in Virginia Beach. There was the 103-degree day in Florida, the night in Islamorada trying to catch juvenile tarpon from a dock after a six-pack, unsuccessfully. There was the way the San Antonio riverwalk looks like a corridor of light after too much rum. There was the fresh lobster in Maine, the homemade peach cobbler in Georgia, the oysters in Apalachicola, and the "Po' Boy" in Louisiana. There was the time I was pulled over three times in one night trying to get to South Padre Island, Texas, and the (not one, not two, but) three squad cars that ejected me from a parking lot once I did finally make it there. There was the hardest rain I've ever seen in Texas, and the storm that made the braided line rise in the air and the outriggers hum in Florida. I've caught the largest fish (a blacktip shark) and hardest fighting fish (amberjack) of my life, and my first salmon on the fly.