In the spring of 1904, Ruth Andrews travels with her family in a covered wagon from a whistle-stop in Colorado into the mountains and to her family’s new home in a log cabin. She learns to ride a pony, shoot a rifle, cook on a campfire, and take turns doing chores.
On her journey to the canyon her father bought from a mountain man, she helps her family overcome tragedy and start a new life far from the safety of her former Ohio home. She meets a boy her age and they become best friends.
She was eight years old. She had two brothers and two sisters. One of her brothers was her twin.


Ruth was up with her mother very early that same morning. Claire was in her nightgown and making coffee for herself before she got dressed. Ruth came down in her nightgown and sat down at the table.

When Claire left the stove with her cup of coffee, Ruth was there, looking at her with sleep-filled eyes. Claire sat down at the table across from Ruth.

Claire whispered, “Ruth, what are you doing up so early?”

Ruth answered, “I’m worried. When Chad took us up to the frozen waterfall the other day, we were singing on the way home. He wasn’t singing with us. He was frowning and thinking. Then he made up his mind about something and he sang with us the rest of the way home. It worried me.”