Monday, January 19, 2009

January 19 - The Nevada Party

Much of the Donner party met their evolution by a namesake lake in the eastern Sierra. Would they have had our technology and weather, as we sail along a reverse course through the Sacramento Valley,

up to Auburn,

past the hydraulic-scarred hills of Gold Run (the last vestiges of mild-climate California),

into the open splendors of Emigrant and

Yuba Gaps,

beyond Cisco Grove sledding,

and Rainbow Lodge dining (in the winter?),

to Donner Summit (as opposed to Pass), where the snows of this winter are ominously gentle,

reflecting Russianly off trees and


near the crossing of the Pacific Crest Trail.

From here at Castle Peak,

it's a plummet down the Donner Canyon Grade looking back towards the Trail's rocky precipices

and ahead to the line of snowsheds of the old Central Pacific,

to where Truckee Meadows spead out

near the Boca turnoff (seemingly innocent now, but often the coldest area of the contiguous U.S. in the overnight of summer months).

Down Truckee Canyon --

past Farad's spindly pines

craggy turrets,

and rickety aquaducts --

the naked desert opens up at Verdi (hardly composer Joe Green!),

near the rocky suburbs and

arrogant puny high rises of Reno,

to where we meet Megan and Mike,

for Megan's birthday celebration,

as the skies glow.

Somehow there's time to watch a program on multiverses (Megan's fascinating selection -- how close, with multiple stanzas in certain vocal compositions....) and to finish up the second movement of

Sex and the Orchestra upon return....