Alvin Tanninger lives at The Manor, a “budget” senior housing/assisted living facility in Brevard, North Carolina. Alvin lost his wife to cancer six years ago and now keeps to himself, but he has made two friends: Rose, a former Boll Weevil Festival Queen from Enterprise, Alabama; and Mort, a WWII vet prone to senility. Mostly out of boredom Alvin begins to piece together a plan to walk away from The Manor and go hike the Appalachian Trail, or at least a section of it. The planning and plotting almost becomes an obsession to him, and then the day comes to leave. Like the Appalachian Trail itself, Alvin’s quest takes unforeseen twists and turns that place him in life-altering and life-threatening situations. Other characters in Alvin’s tale include Chad, a college drop-out who (although uninvited) joins him on the hike; Webb, a misfit orderly at The Manor; and Alvin’s estranged and trouble-magnet daughter, Melanie.