In a matter of a few weeks, two people disappear in the wilderness of the Colorado Rockies under circumstances so mysterious and potentially frightening that the forest manager, Juan Zamora, dare not disclose what he knows, not even to his wife. He has reason to believe the missing people might still be alive but living under circumstances he couldn't even imagine. Were they taken, and if so, why? He seeks council with a select few, including a wizened Navajo man on the reservation in New Mexico who he believes might understand his dilemma. The trail leads them to something even more mysterious; the disappearances may have something to do with the human destruction of nature. Eventually, Juan's thoughts turn to an even bigger problem; if someday these two people did return, how could they be reintroduced to society, given where they may have been and what they might know.