Have you heard of the Donner Party? If you haven’t, the party consisted of emigrants traveling to California from the east coast. Winter interrupted their progress in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, however, and they resorted to cannibalism to survive the cold.

The party of families intended to miss the winter storms, but they miscalculated travel time and took a longer route. Blizzards trapped these 87 people in the mountains for four months. Seventeen tried escaping through a pass, which became Donner Pass, but only seven made it through. I wonder if these seven were fueled by the meat from other members of the party. Apparently, they only ate the members who died from the cold, so the cannibals still had a little bit of moral integrity.

Upon making it through Donner Pass, the seven survivors came upon a group of Native Americans, who nourished them back to health. White people always seem to be privileged in that way. If a group of malnourished Native Americans came upon a white missionary settlement, I can almost guarantee that they wouldn’t be fed or given shelter; unless they converted to Christianity and abandoned their “savage” ways, of course.

Out of the 87 people in the caravan, 48 members were saved through a series of rescue missions. You can now see artifacts from the Donner Party in the Emigrant Trail Museum that’s in the state park. There is many a trail to hike, but try to avoid traveling them in the winter. Know more.