Many years ago Danny and I explored Donner Lake and the visitor center that is there. We have always loved the lake up there and have taken the kids a few times. The kids love to hear the story about the Donner party, but this is the first year that they really understood the desperation that these poor people were in. In the years past it’s been an “Ewww, they ate each other”, but it has grown into “can you imagine being so hungry that you would be able to do that”. We explained to them that the people involved were embarrassed by the whole thing and refused to ever talk about it afterward. I think Emma and Tanner understood the situation a whole lot better this year, there is definetly a reverent feeling about the place.
The visitor center has a museum and a self guided walk that shows cabin sites of the pioneers that stayed there, and has a large monument that shows the deepness of the snow that year. There are many stories of survival and as many sad stories as well. Maybe we’ll have to camp there next time.
The kids were taking pictures of wildlife, National Geographic Kids is having a photo contest and they are going crazy with taking pictures of wildlife. I’m not sure that a chipmunk is too exotic, but there were signs up that said that they carried the plague, now that might be a little more exciting…
We didn’t wear swim suits, our intent was not to swim, but everyone of us got in the water, the little girls didn’t even bother to leave their clothes on, but then again they are cuter then I am naked.
The lake was more crowded then I have ever seen it, and I think I have a theory as to why. Last year Lake Tahoe banned two cycle engines and I think they all moved over to Donner Lake. There were a lot of Wave Runners, and Jet Ski’s they looked like a lot of fun. I think I’ll have to look into a cabin rental it would be a close and easy vacation for the family.