Donner Party Redefined

         The Donner Party was a group of people that had many problems; following false short cuts, looking for directions from strangers, and the huge gaffe when they decided to go through in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The group of people lead by George Donner, made constant mistakes so that by the end of their journey, more than half of their crew were dead. It’s said that most were killed by a blizzard in the Sierra Nevada, but some say otherwise…

         A 2,500-mile journey that would normally take about four to five months, now takes close to a year. On April 16, 1846, the Donner Party dleft the station from Springfield Illinois. As they went along their  original route, going south, then east an
d while on their trail and decided to take a stranger’s advice and change route.  Would that ludicrous mistake change their lives forever? They would have to cross the Rocky Mountains, Salt Lake, and if they weren’t too smart, the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

         They weren’t too smart! They had to go around the Great Salt Lake. That lake is 21,500 square miles long! It is about 55 times larger than Dallas! It made their trip slower by about two weeks. They did not have a very large food supply so by the time they reached the
border of California and the edge of The Sierra Nevada Mountains, they were very low on food. George Donner had a
brilliant idea of just going through the mountains during the fall, almost winter. He read a book recently on shortcuts (that had never been tested) so that lead him to that idea. His original plan was to go around the mountains but his new shortcut was supposed to cut 100 miles from the journey but it just made it longer, much longer.

One shortcut, blizzard, and a short supply of food made his trip just 60 feet deep in his bizarre, rookie mistake of snow. As they were passing through the mountains, they became abruptly stuck by a ginormous, overflowing swimming pool of snow. Eventually 60 feet of snow trapped them in the mountains, unable to leave. They ran out of food in less than 30 days and had to start to eat their own animals. By the time that December came they decided to send 15 people to go find their leading group.  A couple of months passed and almost all possible food was gone. What did they have left?

         People were dying off like dust in a storm and a new possibility for food was approaching… were people and option? To them, it was a option, a disgusting option. By Christmas, they ate their first person; Merry Christmas everyone! I can’t imagine a more disgusting way to celebrate Christmas. Can you?

         After five months they finally rescued the survivors, 47 out of 91 that made it to the Sierra Nevada Mountains survived. Many stories are told on how the Donner Party resorted to cannibalism. Some horror stories say that they killed each other for food but they were never certain. Hopefully, humanity kicked in and they waited… hopefully.

         Now, there is a lake named after that crazy bunch: “Donner Lake”. I have driven by a-1that lake. It gave me the chills. I can’t imagine how many John and Jane Does are decomposing under the snow and soil. Now that I have given you this information, would you want to see it in person? I’ve seen it once and only once. That is perfect for me!


“Great Salt Lake.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2016. Staff. “Donner Party.” A&E Television Networks, 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.

“Donner Lake | Wikiwand.” Wikiwand. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.

“The Tragic Story of the Donner Party.” The Tragic Story of the Donner Party. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2016. Staff. “Donner Party.” A&E Television Networks, 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.

Andrews, Evan. “10 Things You Should Know About the Donner Party.” A&E Television Networks, 14 Apr. 2016. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.

“The Tragic Story of the Donner Party.” The Tragic Story of the Donner Party. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.


One Comment Add yours

  1. The topic was very interesting to read, I like the use of your words and how you organized the topic. It seems like you did a lot of research on your topic and it payed off.


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