Adversity can crush the human spirit, or it can help us find the strength we didn't know we had.
In 1844, two years prior to the Donner Party, the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend company left Missouri to be the first wagons to cross into California through the Sierra Nevada. They enjoyed a safe journey, until October, when a strong mountain snowstorm forced difficult decisions.
The party split into three directions. Some went overland around Lake Tahoe, others were left to guard the heaviest wagons. The remainder of the party, including eight women and seventeen children, huddled in a makeshift cabin at the headwaters of the Yuba River where they waited for their rescue. The coming months were the longest, and at times, terrifying. These intrepid pioneers found what truly matters in times of trial with friendship, family, and enough courage to overcome their fear.