Fourteen-year-old Josh Townsend isn't happy that his family has moved from the city to New Mexico, and he reluctantly goes to work helping 16-year-old Thomas, a Navajo boy, with a buffalo herd. The work is exhausting; while Thomas, who can't wait to leave and go to the city, doesn't think much of Josh, he does try to explain the importance of the buffalo to his people. Meanwhile, Josh, a terrific mountain biker, gets mixed up with nasty biker Kyle and his buddies. In an effort to curry favor with them, Josh takes them to a sacred spot, which Kyle and buddies proceed to trash. Not only does Josh feel guilty, but Thomas is furious with him. To teach them a lesson, Thomas' grandfather, John Blackhorse, sends the two boys on a vision quest with surprising results: Thomas dreams of being a warrior, hunting bison and taking care of his tribe, while Josh dreams of a hawk who encourages him to fly.