The Lion Guard must rely on Makini's memories of her first visit to the Tree of Life with her parents to venture across a vast desert and continue on their journey.
Makini is seen activating a Moja Kwa Moja stone, indicating the Lion Guard is still on the right road to the Tree of Life. Bunga, however, wonders why the stone has a painting of a river when he doesn't see any, as the Guard is shown to be standing next to a dried up river. Ono explains that, while the river might have been big at some point, landscapes change over time or with the seasons. Ono then remembers the next landmark: a pool of water with rocks around it. As Anga leaves to find it, Makini recalls the river from her first trip to the Tree of Life with her parents, Kitendo and Fikiri, as a child.
Beshte asks Makini if Rafiki had been with her at the river before, though she explains that her parents had been taking her to the Tree of Life to meet Rafiki. Makini then flashes back to her past, remembering the fun times she had playing with her parents in the river when it had been full. While Kitendo appears to be curious and fun-loving, Fikiri is shown to be wise, telling her family to "test the water before diving in". However, she also notes that when you want to take a bath, "you shouldn't be afraid to get cold". Kitendo grabs Makini jump into the river with him, claiming his way is much more fun.
Reliving her past, Makini comes back to the present after splashing Fuli with water. As Bunga jumps into the waters, Makini repeats her mom's saying of testing the water. When Bunga asks where's the fun in that, Makini laughs, noting he sounds like her dad. Anga then returns to the Guard, having spotted a rocky pool with small boulders around it matching Ono's description, but she notes the pool has also dried up like the river. Makini suddenly remembers a nearby waterfall, though it is the opposite way from the pool. Makini begs Kion to go, who agrees saying a little detour wouldn't hurt.
Upon arriving, however, it revealed that the water has dried up as well. Makini then spots a nearby painting depicting a waterfall, recognizing it as Rafiki's. Believing it to be a moja kwa moja stone, Makini activates it, though it doesn't turn out to be one. With nothing left to see, the Guard starts heading to the landmark. At that point, Makini takes them to a rock with a hole big enough to stick your arm through. However, the rock she finds is covered with dirt. As the Guard moves on, Bunga kicks the rock in anger before leaving, causing the dirt to fall off and reveal the hole Makini had spoken about.
Soon after, Makini takes them to a mountain, claiming it looks like a monkey's face. Once again, the Guard doesn't see anything and they move on, at which point sunlight shines over the mountain and reveals the face. Finally arriving at the pool, Makini then activates the moja kwa moja stone. Ono remembers the next landmark: four white flowers in the shape of a diamond in a field of smaller white flowers. As Anga leaves to find it, Makini begins to remember another stop when the Guard shouts "NO!" to stop her, no longer willing to take any more detours, much to Makini's disappointment.
Besthe comforts Makini, saying her detours are fun, cheering her up. Makini then remembers the pool to be where her parents had told her she might be a Royal Mjuzi. Flashing back to the past, Makini remembers running the opposite way to the Tree of Life as Kitendo chases after her. After catching up, Fikiri tells Makini that Rafiki wants to meet her since she believes that she might grow up to be a Royal Mjuzi like him, though noting that only the Voices from the Past at the Tree of Life will let Rafiki know for sure. However, Makini's parents promise to always be with her, no matter what.
Makini returns to the present as Anga informs Kion she didn't find the white flowers, only finding a desert straight ahead. Makini excitedly remembers the desert, saying they have to cross it and head towards the cliffs. Though doubtful of Makini's memory after the string of failed detours, Kion agrees to let Makini guide them, noting her to be the only one of the group has been to the Tree of Life. While crossing the desert, Ono realizes Beshte is getting weaker from getting sunburned. After Anga flies over Beshte, Kion asks her to keep flying over him, using her shade to cool him off.
After a while of apparently wandering, Kion asks Makini if she is sure of where they are going. As Makini confirms the road, Kion asks the smaller members of the Guard to stop riding on Beshte's back for the shade before getting attacked by a sand storm. After the storm passes, the Guard discovers the sand they're standing on makes a loud noise every time they step on it, causing Ono to realize it's a booming dune. When Bunga starts playing with the dune, Makini excitedly begins jumping over it as well, remembering the fun she had with her parents.
As she jumps around, some sand falls on Kion's face, triggering his scar. Now angered, Kion accuses Makini of having taken them out to the desert just to have fun, something she fearfully denies. Defending Makini, Fuli suggests giving Kion some Tuliza, who lashes out by yelling that he doesn't need it. Kion soon calms down, though, and apologizes for having yelled. Bunga then resumes jumping on the dune, much to everyone's annoyance. Soon after, though, a jerboa emerges from the dune, angry at having been woken from his daytime rest due to all the noise.
After calling out the Guard for traveling the desert during the day, finding the idea foolish, he accidentally kicks sand in Kion's face, who snarls at the jerboa, scaring him away. Regretting his actions, and feeling the desert isn't working out, Kion decides to follow their footprints back to the last moja kwa moja stone and start over. However, another sand storm hits them before quickly vanishing. However, the storm manages to bury their footprints, scatter their scent, and shift the dunes. As Ono tries to talk about the shifting dunes, Kion angrily interrupts him as he realizes that they are now truly lost, turning to growl menacingly at the Guard.
Makini offers Tuliza to a scowling Kion, though he soon spits it out in disgust, revealing the Tuliza is now covered with sand from the storm and thus inedible. Frustrated, Kion goes over their options, pointing how that they all can't stay in the sun, especially Beshte. Recalling the jerboa's advice, Ono realizes they can shelter during the day by digging a burrow in the sand. Later on, Makini watches the sunset while the rest of the Guard sleeps at the burrow. Drawing Fikiri's face in the sand, Makini wishes she could just run back to the Pride Lands and ask for her help, now doubting herself more than ever.
Wondering what Fikiri would say to her now, Makini flashes back to her past, when her mom first told her "As you move forward, don't forget to look back", encouraging her to learn from her past and her mistakes. After finding the booming dune, the family is then seen continuing their journey before arriving at the Tree of Life, where Makini meets Rafiki for the first time. In the present, Makini tells a concerned Beshte she feels she has been letting Kion down by focusing on the wrong things. Beshte encourages her to stop beating herself up over her mistakes since they all know she is doing her best.
The rest of the Guard comes up to them, with Kion agreeing with Beshte. Seeing its night now, Kion begins wondering where to go before hearing a noise from the dune, realizing someone is coming. However, it turns out to be the jerboa from before, who panics upon seeing Kion. Kion quickly apologizes for having scared him before presenting himself and the Lion Guard. Forgiving him, the jerboa presents himself as Tupp, who also apologizes for his earlier rudeness. Seeing the Guard took his advice but look thirsty, Tupp tells them to follow him as he takes them to water.
Tupp leads them to a flower, drawing puzzled looks from the Guard before revealing that the leaves collect water. The Guard take turns drinking the water while Makini cleans the sand from the Tuliza. Anga asks Tupp how he could find the plant even with the desert constantly changing, who explains that desert animals use the stars to guide them. Makini marvels at the beauty of the sky, comparing it to a field of flowers. Suddenly, Makini sees the landmark of four white flowers in the shape of the diamond in the sky, with Ono realizing that the flowers from the map are actually stars in the sky.
Tupp says those four stars are always in the same place in the sky, leading across the desert to the tall cliffs. Anga quickly spots the cliffs up ahead, along with the next moja kwa moja stone at the top. Realizing Makini had been right all along, Kion apologizes for not having believed her before. He thanks Tupp for his help, saying they can find their way from there. Now nearing the cliffs, Makini rambles on about a detour on their way back to the Pride Lands, where she can see her parents and tell them about their trip. Beshte remarks that it sounds poa as the Lion Guard continues on their journey.