Because ex-con Joe Braxton is a good mechanic, his parole officer sends him to see Vivian Perry, whose school for emotionally disturbed children is going to be closed because of lack of funds. Vivian wants to move her eight students out of urban Philadelphia and into the natural environment of a Wasington State farm.
Joe is hired to fix the school's bus and drive them all across country. At first reluctant, Joe eventually bonds with the kids. And although the vulgar Joe and proper Vivian intially clash, the two of them become attracted to each other during the trip.