August 1999 found us boys taking a chance on camping at Donner Lake. We all love the Tahoe area, but thought this less-visited campground might be a nice change of pace. And nice it was! We had our campground loop pretty much to ourselves, enjoyed fishing at Donner Lake and a pond behind the campgroud, hiked, biked, toured the visitor center and had an all-around great time. The weather was great…shorts during the day and most of the evening, as long as we warmed ’em up around the campfire. Chris and Sean are enjoying this early-evening fire, while dad, no doubt, slaves over the camp stove, perhaps frying up a freshly-caught trout.
As hinted above, we did catch fish. (Surprised?!) This was the boys’ first experience catching the ubiquitous rainbow trout. It was a great time, even if we only caught two or three fish a day. (On our return to civilization, we had the opportunity to reel in some bluegill at a friend’s pond. Way cool!)
Chris even prepared our catch for dinner one night. With Chris it was not so much as cleaning the fish, but more of a dissection. After a few attempts, he was almost an expert at gutting those trout. (Next stop for Chris: an Alaskan fishing trawler!)
Of course, no visit to Donner Pass and Donner Lake would be complete without learning of the area’s history. Sean and Chris looked like ants standing at the base of the main memorial to the Donner Party. Look carefully at the photo album. The snow at the time of the Donner Party’s ill-fated trip was as deep as the top concrete edge of the statue base! The visitor centers is to what would be the right of the statue (as you are looking at it), and there’s a great self-guided trail starting at it’s back door. Well worth a visit! That’s about it…