Atleework grew up in the dry desert lands of the Eastern Sierra Nevada in California. Swall Meadows is beautiful, but prone to extreme weather conditions, such as wildfires and blizzards. Atleework and her two siblings love the outdoors and peaceful nature of the Eastern Sierra Nevada. But when Atleework is 16, her mother dies and the family struggled to stay together.

The book moves between her family’s story and a history of the environment. Surprisingly, a large portion of the land near Atleework’s home is owned by the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which created water aqueducts to better serve LA.