I gave him a weak smile and said good night. But later as I tossed and turned in bed, I couldn't chase away the apprehension I had about the high driving ahead. The more I tried not to think about it, the more my mind kept going back to that helpless feeling of panic I had on the first leg of the journey. My fear seemed to possess a life of its own. You're being childish , I chided myself. This is ridiculous ! If I could just close my eyes and relax, I thought, the renewal of a good night's sleep would drive the fear away.
 But it didn't go away. All through the flatlands of Arkansas, Oklahoma , north Texas and New Mexico it lay like a coiled snake inside of me. When we approached the high plateau of northern Arizona it began to stir. As the grades grew steeper and the curves sharper, my sense of control faltered, "It's all in your head," I kept repeating desperately. "There is no danger. It's all in your head."
 Yet I couldn't defeat the terror. Mile after mile it was like an invisible force drawing my attention toward the edge of the road where the soft shoulder gave way to thin air. I tried everything I could think of. I cranked up the radio. Sang songs. Recited poetry. All to no avail. The palms of my hands were so sweaty that I had to squeeze the steering wheel to keep my grip.
 I kept closing the gap between my car and my brother's truck, inching toward the reassuring glow of the taillights like a frightened sheep following a shepherd. I could see Mac watching me in his rearview mirror , and that night at supper in Kingman, Arizona, he said, "Leigh, you're tailgating . You're much too close for these mountain roads." He studied my face for a moment, then added, "Tomorrow will be the last day of high country. Just try to hang in there. We've got this far okay. You know there's nothing to be afraid of."
 I understood that. I had to go on. But the prospect of hairpin turns and sheer drop-offs made it impossible for me to eat any supper. Mac tried to keep the conversation breezy, but it didn't help. I excused myself early and went to bed, exhausted.