Donner Pass

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The location of the Donner Pass is just to the right, and straight up, from California's inland sea of algae and Passenger Trains to Nowhere (shown in green).

The Donner Pass is a mountain pass over the Sierra Nevada into California. It is an important port of entry into California for those who are not stowaways on sloe boats from China. Immigrants whose geography is as bad as their linguistics refer to this range as "The Sierras," which is Spanish for "the mountainses."


The Donner Pass is 7,089 feet above sea level, or 7,395 feet if your feet are on top of one of the two snowbanks overhanging Interstate 80 at the end of an average winter's snowfall. By comparison, Wikia City, where all the jobs are, is at 0 feet (or, on top of the snow: 0 feet).


Zebediah Donner (left) and Eucaipha Pass were such cordial partners that they would go on to grace famous packets of cough lozenges.

“Mister Donner, I presume?”

~ Mr. Pass on dinner

The Donner Pass was named for Mr. Donner, it goes without saying, who was the leader of a party of emigrants. His partner, Mr. Pass, was also consulted about the details of naming the place for him, but he merely said "Pass" and they moved on to Donner, though ultimately there was a compromise.

In 1846, they wintered up in the Sierras, a choice of venues about as promising as going down into the Marianas Trench to "have a wee nip." Their poor choice became evident as it began to snow, a desperation that is felt even now when snowy Sunday night traffic on I-80 succumbs to valley girls who are better skiers than drivers. The Donner party famously was stuck there all winter without resupply. Those who survived ate tube steaks, which continue to be known as Donner Kebabs.

On January 13, 1952, another group got itself stranded up in the Sierras when a raging blizzard slowed down the locomotive City of Wikia City and eventually had it going in circles. Unfortunately for the narrative, a caravan of automobiles carried them the few miles to Nyack Lodge before they could experiment with cannibalism.


In 1869, the transcontinental railroad crossed the Sierras at the same place. It went on to become US-40, and then I-80 as America "doubled down." Barack Obama would later call this the "intercontinental railroad," though this has not yet been built, which is not Mr. Obama's fault but that of the tides. The transcontinental is rarely mired in snow for three months; still, any dish featuring the meat of a mystery animal is to be avoided when visiting the club car.

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