Tennessee or Bust

Tennessee or Bust! We should have a sign tied to the back of Mom’s Memorial Prius.

In a way it seems strange taking a trip in reverse of the one that so many have taken to reach California.

Yesterday we stopped at a small park a little ways from Donner Lake and the town of Truckee. The park preserves the small valley on the Aspen Creek where members of the Donner family were stopped in their attempt to reach California by a snowstorm. Everyone knows the story of their battle with cold and starvation through that enormous winter. How Elizabeth Donner and Tamsen Donner starved to save their children. And how on the arrival of the rescue party, Tamsen refused to leave her dying husband, and was never seen again. Some say the group resorted to cannibalism to survive, some say they didn’t.

Donner Party
Campsite of the Donner Family

In the sagebrush there is a small pine tree dedicated by the Donner descendants to the pine tree that had formed the core of their make-shift shelter. The dedication tree stands alone on the slope, looking dead and mournful.

Oola noted this critter close by the dead memorial tree, It appears to be a moth. Anybody know what kind?

Donner Family camp
Moth at Donner family Camp

As it was getting late, Oola and I found a place to camp on Prosser Creek, which has been dammed to form a reservoir, and which is to all appearances nearly empty, due to the drought I guess. I was busy pitching tent when Oola declared the sky to be on fire.

Sunset at Prosser Reservoir
Sunset at Prosser Reservoir

We lay in the tent listing to the sound of distant thunder.

In the very early morning I watched Venus make her appearance over the rim of the Eastern mountains. After packing the tent, etc., I watched a family of young white pelicans take flying lessons from mom. One of them looked a little confused — or resistant to education —  but they were all beautiful.




By jandove


1 comment

  1. Hi Jan,

    What wonderful photographs.
    Do not know the type of moth.

    I have to write some with out seeing what I am writing and click “Return.” Strange way to write a comment. BUT, I can write them
    again, so I guess that is all that matters. Spelling might be not
    so good.

    Been to Donner Pass, but never spent the night there.
    Wait…think I stayed at a State Park.
    Would have been early 80’s.

    Too strage. Mind bending to type blindly!

    Travel well.



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