Thirteen year old Mary Ellen has begun to feel particularly restless with her life on Waltons Mountain, fearing that she will stay there forever, but she longs to travel, even just to Virginia Beach to see and taste the ocean. She literally bumps into a young folk singer who wanders around trying to collect folk songs from all over the place, and finds that his lifestyle is far more appealing than her own. She spends the day with Jamie, taking him to meet old Maude Gormley, who knows many of the songs of the mountain, even though the rest of her family are busy picking apples for a nearby orchard owner. They fear that they won't make their deadline though, when John Boy falls and breaks his wrist, and Mary Ellen, although feeling guilty about her attitude still doesn't really want to help. Instead she decides that Jamie's life would be better for her and she runs off to be with him.
Jamie calls her a kid though and so she runs off from him as well, but fortunately John Boy finds her and takes her home again. Even though she hasn't helped a great deal with the apple picking, the family all pitch in part of their earnings to pay to send Mary Ellen to visit Washington, which seems to cure her longing for other places for a while.
- Merie Earle as Maude Gormley