One fall morning Jerry Ellis donned a backpack and began a long, lonely walk: retracing the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the nine hundred miles his ancestors had walked in 1838. The trail was the agonizing path of exile the Cherokees had been forced to take when they were torn from their southeastern homeland and relocated to Indian Territory. Following in their footsteps, Ellis traveled through small southern towns, along winding roads, and amid quiet forests, encountering a memorable array of people who live along the trail today. Along the way he also came to glimpse the pain his ancestors endured and to learn about the true beauty of modern rural life and the worth of a man's character. Jerry Ellis is the author of Bareback One Man's Journey along the Pony Express Trail, and Marching through Georgia: My Walk with Sherman.