Dan's Outside

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Donner Pass With Hoover Middle School

For the second year in a row I accompanied students from Hoover Middle School on a one-day trip to the Donner Pass area north of Lake Tahoe. The trip is organized and led by retired super-teacher Ed Hodges, who taught science at the school and led the hiking/biking club for over 30 years. These days Ed may be retired, but he is certainly not resting – he continues to work with the school and he is an avid researcher of California and Nevada pioneer history; which brings us to the purposes of this trip.

We started at 4:30 a.m. in San Jose and headed east toward the mountains, arriving at Donner State Park in mid-morning. There Ed gave the kids a tour and related the story of the ill-fated Donner Party and their tragic winter in the snow at this location. After the tour the group walked to the west end of the lake and had a picnic lunch. Then they walked up the old highway to the summit of the pass, leaving the road to briefly travel “cross country” near the top so that they could walk through one of the old railroad tunnels.

A good number of these kids had never been there before. In fact, quite a few had never been to the Sierra at all or even seen snow. Not surprisingly, there was a great deal of snow ball throwing all day long. :-)


April 29, 2007 - Posted by | Trips

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