In 1841, several groups of people want to be the first to take a wagon train to California. Each of the small groups assume they are the only people making plans for such a trip. Father Joseph McCoy is the leader of one of the small groups planning the trip to California. His people have an edge on the others because of their famous mountain man and guide. Another of the small groups is led by a committee of highly ambitious men organized under the name of the Western Immigration Association. They have an edge on the others because of their meticulous planning and organization. Rufus Kelsey is the leader of another of the small groups. He is the head of a rough and tough hillbilly clan, and their edge on the others comes from their reckless desperation. All these people mix and match on the way to California. Romance and adventure can be found in every wagon as these people from all walks of life face one test after another in their quest to live the American dream. Throw in a herd of cattle traveling with one of the wagon trains, and you have a powerful story of men and women willing to face unknown hardship in order to find happiness and prosperity. Their story is one of steamy romance and raw courage that brings the settling of the west to life. At its simplest form, this book is the story of a small group of exceptional people.