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On a daring journey through the unforgiving landscape of the desert Southwest, a fearless adventurer faces his harshest test yet

When the legendary, Bible-toting mountain man Jedediah Smith puts together a brigade of fur trappers for a trip into the uncharted territory of Mexican California, Sam Morgan eagerly joins up, bringing his Crow Indian wife, Meadowlark, along for the adventure.
Captain Smith hopes to find the Buenaventura, a mighty river believed to connect the Great Salt Lake to California, but when the river proves to be a myth, the expedition becomes a test of sheer will. Struggling through the Mojave Desert, the starving trappers must rely on the kindness of Indian tribes willing to share their food. When Sam and his companions finally reach the San Gabriel Mission in southern California, they are greeted with suspicion by the Mexican government and are forced to flee back into the desert.
To make matters worse, Meadowlark endures a life-threatening childbirth. Heading for the safety and comfort of the mission at Monterey, Sam recognizes the poignant truth of something his mentor, Hannibal McKye, said long ago: “Life is like a golden bear. It’s magnificent, it’s beautiful, and it bites.”


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