The infamous Donner Party left from my home town of Springfield, Illinois in April, 1846. So when we were in Truckee, we felt compelled to visit the monument to the ill-fated emigrants. They suffered many delays and didn’t reach the Truckee Pass until October 29. It was already buried in 22 feet of snow. The monument was built to the same height as the snow that stopped the group in their tracks. They were forced to camp here for the winter. Out of the ninety travelers, forty-two perished by the end of the winter from starvation and exposure. It is a sad, cautionary tale to respect the power of nature. To see my favorite photos of California, please visit my website, wavetailart.com.