The year is 1900. Fleeing from a stormy marriage, Essie, a Midwestern farm girl, joins up with prospectors bound for Nome, where the golden sands teem with dreamers, schemers, and high rollers. Feisty and resourceful, Essie soon makes money caring for horses and delivering mail to the miners' beach diggings. Soon, too, Essie is drawn to Nate Deaton, the idealistic foreman of the Cape Nome Company. Nate's Eastern background is in direct contrast to Essie's down-to-earth Minnesota upbringing, but there is a deeper problem: Leonard, Essie's stubborn and volatile husband, is sure to come after her.