He settled his family in San Jose, made money in real estate and gold and became one of the town’s leading citizens. HIGH SIERRA - A JOURNEY ON THE JOHN MUIR TRAIL is a first-hand experience along the John Muir Trail, through the tallest mountain range in the contiguous United States. Saving The Sierra makes Patricia R. Zimmerman's "Ten Best International Multi-Platform Web 2.0 Projects of 2009 that Torque Documentary Form" Sierra documentary available as iTunes podcast. Tempers flared and the Graves driver, John Snyder, began beating the oxen with the butt of his bullwhip. It took two grueling days to scale the summit. Mrs. Murphy said she thought she would commence on Milt and eat him. Alone among the survivors, Lewis Keseberg spoke openly of eating human flesh and was reviled as a man-eater and ghoul. Assistant Sound Editor The birds were singing from the tops of the trees and the journey was over. David desperately tries to keep his family of six together during a separation from his wife. Patricia Nelson Limerick Daniel Rhoads (Actor, voice-over): At sunset, we crossed Truckee Lake on the ice and came to the spot where we had been told we should find the emigrants. For a week they made good time, 10 sometimes 12 miles a day, working their way deeper into the rugged mountains, following the track of Hastings’s wagons. Some people came through it heroically and some of the people in that party were far from heroes and they got worse as the conditions got worse, so that it was as if the sheep and the goats, the blessed and the unblessed, sorted themselves out against a background of terrible hardship and tragedy. Punishing storms trapped the party with nearly no food or shelter for 5 months in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Using archival photographs, paintings, and maps; diaries, letters and memoirs of the party members; interviews with writers and historians; and new cinematography from across the Oregon and California trails, The Donner Party traces the emigrants’ 2500-mile journey from Springfield, Illinois to Sutter’s Fort in California. Sad news. Latest From Nevada Today. The Breens and their seven children took over an abandoned shack not far from Truckee Lake. Spencer Gentry The rest of the Californians went the long route, feeling afraid of Hastings’s cutoff. SIERRA NEVADA CLASSIC. Emigration to California fell off sharply and Hastings’s cutoff was all but abandoned. Directed by John Huston. Susana Fernandes Narrator: As 1846 began, thousands of Americans were on the move west, eager to bring Oregon, Texas, New Mexico and California into the American sphere. Three years before the Gold Rush, 87 pioneers took a shortcut westward to California, only to get caught in the snows of the Sierra Nevada. Kelsey Dorwart Joseph King, Historian: I think we’re curious, you know, about people who’ve experienced hardship, who’ve gone through terrible ordeals, and certainly the Donner Party, you know, 87 people, went through a crisis the like of which few human beings have ever faced. They roasted the meat and ate it, averting their faces from each other and weeping. Narrator: On April 16th, 1846, nine brand-new covered wagons rattled slowly out of Springfield, Illinois, and headed west. We made him a coffin and buried him at the forks of the road in a beautiful place. Such a beautiful place. The alarm went out. And for generations its been Californias backyard mountain range. Silver Award, Documentary Film Competition, 2015 Oregon Film Awards. Narrator: On May 31st, two days after the burial of Sarah Keyes, the last of the wagons was ferried safely over the Big Blue. They cursed him also for his misrepresentation of the distance across this cruel desert. 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