In the summer of 1800, 13-year-old Pierre La Page never thought he'd be leaving Montreal to paddle 2,400 miles. It was something older men, like his father, did. But when Pierre's father has an accident, Pierre quits school and enlists to become a voyageur for the Northwest Fur Company. Without his wages, how would his family survive the winter? As the youngest member of the brigade, it's not easy for Pierre. Treacherous waters, aching and bloodied hands, and the relentless teasing from the seasoned voyageurs make him miserable. But Pierre knows there's no turning back. He has no choice but to endure the trip to Grand Portage and back.