Sixteen year old Larry leaves his sister and father to fly away with friend ""Bomber"" on a modern pioneering expedition to the Northwest in search of a new ranch. The boys and their new Indian friends make several exciting attempts to corral a herd of wild horses, and succeed only when the horses choose the corral in escape from a hungry wolf pack. A trip to an Indian ranch reveals the lost cattle, belonging to Bomber and how all Larry needs is his ranch. Undertaking a search beyond the mountain peaks for the ""Shangrila"" meadow once glimpsed from the plane, Larry's mirage turns into mere muskeg. His disappointment is relieved by the truer challenge of developing his own land, real and tangible, land he receives from a neighbor in exchange for wild horses. A formless plot is counter-balanced by superb regional descriptions of the desolate and primitive but wildly beautiful Northwest.