Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Donner Lake

A couple of weeks ago, I posted some photos from the Donner Summit area. Because the westbound vista point doesn't have a good view of the lake, I was not able to do the lake justice. On my most recent eastbound crossing, I corrected that.

This is one of several shots I took of Donner Lake from the eastbound vista point off I-80 just below Donner Summit. (More are in the Flickr set.)

Here's a close-up of the snowshed you can see on the side of the mountain in the previous photo. I thought this was a section that was abandoned by Southern Pacific, but just as I was pulling out of the vista point, I saw a train passing through it. I therefore have my train geography off a bit.

Looking back the other way, you see Donner Pass Road (old US 40, the original trans-Sierra route) winding its way up the mountain on the right and the section of railroad right of way that actually is abandoned on the left. (There are places on Donner Pass Road where you can stop and hike over to the now-abandoned tunnel and right of way.) The railroad now exclusively uses the long single track Summit Tunnel, which reduces the expense and difficulty of keeping the original line clear of snow in the winter, but also results in an operational bottleneck on the route.

I made excellent time driving from San Jose on Friday, managing to avoid most of the traffic tie-ups except for a small one near Reno due to a traffic accident. Because I got to Reno early, I stopped and did an errand there, and therefore didn't get back home to Fernley until a bit after 8 PM.
Tags: fernley, reno, sierra nevada, trains

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