Peas in a Pod
A pair of runaways, an old man and a teenager, embark on the adventure of their lives along the Appalachian Trail, one toward his end, the other toward his beginning.
A senior citizen carefully plans for a solitary life in the woods. A teenager makes a snap decision to escape his loveless foster family. Each seeks the Appalachian Trail as his avenue to happiness. They meet by chance, form a tenuous bond, and take on the Trail together. A death-defying event tests their mettle and transforms their relationship.
Noah overhears family discussions about senior housing for him. Fit and clear-headed, he devises a plan to create a different end-of-life experience. He tells his children he is headed to Vermont to sell their underutilized cabin. In reality, he invests the bulk of his wealth for his children but takes a bag full of cash to hide in the cabin.
After he returns, he surprises his children by telling them he has been investigating senior living centers, to make his golden years easier. He does not tell them that he had carefully researched all facilities and selected the one which would provide him the pathway to his new life.
The facility sits at the base of a mountain which carries the Appalachian Trail, a hiking path familiar to Noah and on which plans to reach his Vermont cabin.
Noah checks into the facility and shows it off to his children. When he determines the timing is right, he scales the fence and climbs the mountain to the Trail.
Meanwhile, John, the second principal character in this story, is traveling with his abusive foster family. They overnight at a roadside motel situated on the side of a mountain over which the Appalachian Trail meanders. When John sees a poster about the trail, he seizes an opportunity and escapes up the mountain.
Noah and John cross paths. Each is wary of the other, and they conceal their identities, Noah becoming Curtis and John becoming Billy. They form a fragile alliance and proceed northward.
Confronted with other hikers and persons at a rest stop, the pair concoct a story of a grandfather and his grandson on a hike.
Then the unexpected: Curtis is bitten by a rattlesnake. The pair are forced to switch roles. Curtis becoming a helpless invalid, Billy becoming a surgeon, nursemaid, hunter, and chef, adapting to the demands thrust upon him by the attack.
Their alliance becomes a strong bond of true family love by the story’s end.