There is a “poem” that you can find on the internet called “Over the Rainbow Bridge”. The version of it that I’m familiar with is about how when dogs die, they go over the rainbow bridge where they play and frolic with others of their kind until their owners finally arrive and they are reunited. (Here’s the link if you want to read it: https://rainbowsbridge.com/Poem.htm)
I don’t know if there is really a rainbow bridge, but I can’t read the “poem” without tears coming to my eyes because of the dogs I have loved and miss, especially my Ramses and Casper, my boxer boys. I hope it (or something very similar) really is true, because I really want to be with them again and to watch them, and all the dogs I’ve had throughout my life, playing together and never age or get sick again.
In the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco is this “rainbow” bridge. It is a very popular spot in the garden and it is hard to find it without folks on it…but it helps when some of those on the bridge are loved ones as in this photo.
Here’s to rainbow bridges…real ones, and ones hoped for!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1846, in an ominous sign of the troubles to come, the Donner party found a note warning the emigrants that their expected route through the mountains ahead was nearly impassable.
The Donner party had left Springfield, Illinois, three months earlier. Led by two wealthy brothers, Jacob and George Donner, the emigrants initially followed the regular California Trail westward to Fort Bridger, Wyoming. From there, however, the emigrants decided to leave the established trail and take a new and supposedly shorter route to California laid out by a unscrupulous trail guide named Lansford Hastings. Hastings was not at Fort Bridger at the time-he was leading an earlier wagon train along his new route. He left word for the Donner party to follow, promising that he would mark the trail for them.
Reassured, the group of 89 emigrants left Fort Bridger with their 20 wagons and headed for Weber Canyon, where Hastings claimed there was an easy passage through the rugged Wasatch Mountains. On this day in 1846, they reached the head of the canyon, where they found the note from Hastings attached to a forked stick. Hastings warned the Donner party that the route ahead was more difficult than he had thought. He asked the emigrants to make camp there and wait until he could return to show them a better way.
Hastings’ note troubled the emigrants. To return to Fort Bridger to pick up the established route would have meant wasting several days. They decided to wait for Hastings. After eight days, when Hastings had still not arrived, the emigrants sent a messenger up the canyon to find the guide. The messenger returned several days later with instructions from Hastings to follow another trail, and the emigrants complied. The alternate route, however, turned out to be even worse than the Weber Canyon road, and the emigrants had to carve a fresh road through thick trees and boulder-strewn ground.
The Donner party finally made it through the Wasatch Mountains and arrived at the Great Salt Lake. Hastings’ route had cost them 18 valuable days. Unfortunately, their difficulties were only beginning. The “short cut” to California had cost them many wasted days, and the Donner party crossed the Sierra Nevada Mountains late in the season. On October 28, a heavy snowfall blocked the high mountain passes, trapping the emigrants in a frozen wilderness. Eventually reduced to cannibalism to survive, only 45 of the original 89 emigrants reached California the following year.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women. The average American woman is 5’4” and weighs 140 pounds. The average model is 5’11” and weighs 117 pounds.