While James is making his way to Oregon, Kate and her family struggle to survive the harsh Eastern Oregon climate and a conflict involving her uncle and benefactor, Lewis Harrington. A dispute between her uncle and an unscrupulous business partner leads to Uncle Lewis' death. Kate carries the double burden of trying to obtain justice for her uncle and the woes of his business problems.
James, the son of a Tennessee slave owner, through fate, finds himself traveling with an African-American mountain man named Wilford Johnson. At the onset, the two men are uncomfortable with each other, but after sharing the dangers of the trail, a measure of understanding develops between them. James finds that not only is he undertaking a journey of many miles but a journey in his heart as well.
James and Kate are reunited in Oregon, and aided by Wilford, they face the final showdown with those who murdered her uncle.