Boni Baldwin is taken out of the city and thrust into an environment she dislikes-- camping. Her mother, Elsie Wiggins, is on a quest to find information on her father who disappeared fifty-five years ago in the mountains of southern British Columbia and Boni is the only one of her children who is able, but reluctant, to accompany her. The first person they meet is Rick, a mountain man who has a claim on the Salmo River and is prospecting with his grandfather for gold. He offers to show Boni around the area hoping to convince her that being in the bush is not a terrible thing. They also meet Jerry, who is the one Elsie contacted about camping on his gold claim. Jerry offers to show Elsie how to pan for gold during her stay. Boni and Elsie are threatened by other prospectors along the river and told to leave. When they don't, their campsite is trashed, twice. This scares Boni but only makes Elsie mad. No Rambo wannabees are going to frighten her away. They do discover some new clues about Elsie's father after all these years, but all that comes to an end when the man they are scheduled to interview is murdered before they get to his house. As much as they hate to admit it, both Rick and Jerry are on their list of suspects for the trashing of their campsite and for the murder.
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