A combo of Donner lake and mountains
left hwy approach... right rainbow bridge& lake
Donner Lake lies on the eastern side of Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of Northern California. It was near Donner Lake that the ill fated Donner Party camped during the winter of 1846 & 1847 when their covered wagon emmigration to California was stopped here by heavy snow. Though figures vary almost ninety wagon train emigrants were unable to cross the Sierra Nevada before winter, and almost one-half starved to death.
Whenever I visit this area
My whole demeanor changes
I can't explain the reason
Except to say I'm humbled
Whether by lake or in woods
I sense a calm reassurance
Even when the wind whispers
Voices through the trees
I feel at-one-ment with those
Who so tragically lost their lives
They dared a hazardous trek
And never realized their dream
But, I see them in a place of peace
I sense it in my heart and soul
The Pioneer spirit is god driven
Though at times defeated by nature
Yet, our Creator completes all things!
Below the poem by John Denton.
"The second relief party found the poem written on the leaf of a memorandum book by the side of Denton's lifeless body. The pencil with which it was written lay also by the side of the unfortunate man. Ere the lethargy of death stole away his senses, John Denton's thoughts had been of his boyhood's beautiful home in merry England. These thoughts were woven into verse. Are they not strangely pathetic and beautiful?"
"Oh! after many roving years,
How sweet it is to come
Back to the dwelling-place of youth,
Our first and dearest home;
To turn away our wearied eyes
From proud ambition's towers,
And wander in those summer fields,
The scenes of boyhood's hours."
"But I am changed since last I gazed
Upon that tranquil scene,
And sat beneath the old witch elm
That shades the village green;
And watched my boat upon the brook
It was a regal galley
And sighed not for a joy on earth,
Beyond the happy valley."
"I wish I could once more recall
That bright and blissful joy,
And summon to my weary heart -
The feelings of a boy.
But now on scenes of past delight
I look, and feel no pleasure,
As misers on the bed of death
Gaze coldly on their treasure."
By John Denton