Don’t Believe Everything You Read
September 19, 2007


Our weather remains boring. I wouldn’t put too much merit in a certain cable outlet that produces forecasts as it trumpets rain chances on Thursday. The data doesn’t support it. In fact, we will stay dry for the rest of the week through the weekend. Look for afternoon highs near 90 and lows in the 60s.

On This Date In History: In the early stages of this blog last spring I told you about the Donner Party. Well, their troubles began on this date in 1846 when they believed the writings of a charlatan. A guy named Lansford Hastings had penned a book that touted a short cut to California for overland travelers. What he didn’t write about was his vested interest in people coming to the Sacramento Valley. Jacob and George Donner had read the book and thought it was a good idea as they led their band of 89 emigrants across the plains toward the Sierra Nevada in the summer of 1846. But I guess they didn’t read the fine print, if there was a fine print to read. While it was true that mileage wise, it was a shorter route to head through a mountain pass near Lake Tahoe, there wasn’t much of a trail to speak. There were boulders and a stretch of desert. On this date in 1846, after many days of arduous travel, they were running out of food and supplies so they sent two men ahead to California who were to return with more food. Meanwhile, the “Hastings Pass” proved almost impassible and the desert that Hastings said would take two days to cross actually took six. The settlers had to abandon furniture, family heirlooms and livestock as they got gobbled up by mounds of sand.

In mid October, one of the men returned with supplies and a couple of Indian guides but the Hastings short cut had taken so much time that the expedition was doomed. On October 28, they got socked in by a mammoth snowstorm and they got stuck near what is known as Donner Pass…made infamous because the members of the Donner party turned to cannibalism to survive the winter before the few that were left emerged in late spring.

Perhaps this is the greatest example of why women should be left to the planning of a trip since men never ask for directions.

By the way, Webhog wanted me to address the OJ Simpson saga…after consultation with Snow White, I’ve decided that too would be the wrong way and my fate may resemble that of the Donner Party if I followed that path.. You can get your fill on cable tv news for the next 6 months.