Onja Claibourn is almost fifteen. Her world is one of sage, buffalo bills, brown-eyed susans, cactus, flax, buckbrush, foxtail and orange moss - the world of the valley just beyond the family farm. Onja and her horse Ginger spend their summer days in exploration. But things begin to change when Onja discovers first an archeological dig and then the startling fact that there is a plan to dam and flood her valley. She cannot contemplate this change to the landscape she loves so much. And when she also discovers sixteen-year-old Etthen, working with the archaeologists, she begins those first faltering footsteps toward a totally unfamiliar landscape - romantic love.