Buddy Millar was the kind of driver who avoided traveling on a main road with other cars. This distaste for sharing the highway often took him rough-wheeling across the prairie or into a labyrinth of faded gravel tracks. Some of these roads were shortcuts but most were long, and a few were serious bad dirt.

He had grown up thirty miles from Greybull in a hamlet without traffic lights and learned to drive at age eight on the perimeter roads of his parents’ sugar-beet farm.

An hour after his high-school graduation Buddy’s father handed him a beer and said, “Well, what’s it goin a be—college or a job?”

“Job,” Buddy said.

The shining light in the family was his cousin Zane, a wildlife biologist assigned to Denali National Park. He came back to Wyoming every year at Thanksgiving to see family. At thirty-eight he was still single, and Buddy, who didn’t like him, thought he might be queer. He kept looking for telltale signs but Zane was a good actor. His “area of specialty,” as he called …