The year is 1806 and Josh is a city boy, just turned eighteen. He had never owned a horse, shot a gun, slept in a tent, built a fire or cooked a meal. And what an adventure awaited him. Wolves and bears, miles of buffalos, herds of deer and elk, the West as it was two hundred years ago. Leaving St. Louis on a warm fall day, riding his newly acquired horse Blaze and leading two heavily laden pack horses, he traveled north for many weeks before turning west following along the Missouri River. Then the weather changed dramatically; rain, thick with snow and a hard cold wind blowing out of the north. Try as he might to keep them moving, their pace slowed and they finally came to a halt. Josh sat for a long time staring west knowing that once stopped it would be months before he could get going again. If he survived the winter that is he reminded himself. Ahead there would be miles of prairies and high mountains. And somewhere far ahead was the Pacific Ocean!