A home styled story of the Colorado gold rush in 1859 takes eleven year old Joel away from his Iowa farm family for some adventures with his wanderer uncle, Jake. Starting out for Pike's Peak in the spring, Joel is kept on tenterhooks by the mysterious provisions Uncle Jake has loaded into his wagon. Then as they journey West, the new friends made add experiences as valuable as the gold they find. The mysterious load turns out to be well-stored provisions that come in handy in time of need. Warm and light.