Friday, January 27, 2017

January 27, 2017. Lake Tahoe, CA

This morning Bill and I picked up Malorie and Julie and we went to the Donner Monument. The monument is on the site of the Breen cabin, one of the cabins used  by the Donner Party in the fateful attempted crossing of Donner Pass in 1846. The base of the monument is as tall as the snow was deep that winter--22.5 feet.

Julie, Malorie and I went into the visitors' center at Donner Monument State Park and watched a movie about the Donner Party and their horrific experiences and final rescue. I bought a copy of the diary written by Virginia Reed Murphy, who was 12 years old when her family joined the trek west that eventually split off from the main wagon train to take a shortcut across the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Their party of 87 people settled here for the winter when they encountered massive snowfalls and could not continue.

After we left the State Park we drove up Donner Pass Road, to get a look at the pass, but the snow was so deep that the road to the pass was closed. Of course I climbed the barrier of snow to see the other side. It is still a desolate place. The road the Donner Party could not find in 1846 now a paved road, buried under the snow, invisible and impassible now just as it was then.

We turned around at the barrier and headed back toward Truckee on Donner Pass Road. This motel advertised that it had vacancies.

We got to Truckee and had lunch at a cool little diner on the main street and then headed back to Squaw Valley. I touched bases with Dianne, who finally arrived, and we made plans for tomorrow.

I walked out behind our hotel to take photos of the path to and from the hot tub and the hot tub itself. Pretty crazy, out there in the deep snow, but it sure felt great!

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