JOE WALKER was a famous 19th century explorer, known for founding and naming Independence, Missouri. He was the first Euro-American to enter California across the Sierras; and the first to see Yosemite. In 30 years of leading men into unmapped wilderness, he was renowned for never losing a man. Thirty years after his first California expedition, during the middle years of the Civil War, 65-year-old Walker took an expedition of untrained men into the Arizona wilderness to prospect for gold. He led his men into the midst of the war between the U.S. Army and the Mimbreno and Chiricahua Apaches. Walker's story is about relentless enemies - old age, leadership, racial animosity, war, the passing of an era, and a man's rage to make his life significant, in spite of failure.