"Soon we will eat the frozen cattle.... And then, when that is gone, what shall we eat?
Shall we eat the snow? Shall we eat the ice? Shall we eat the bark on the frozen trees?
What shall we eat?"
Spring, 1846: Douglas Allen Deeds dreams of starting a new life out West. When the opportunity to join the Donner Party Expedition arises, he leaves the life he's known behind to set out on the nearly 2,000-mile trek from Independence, Missouri to sunny California.
But progress is slow. Brutal heat, poisoned water, and rough terrain slows the expedition down. Soon they have a choice: continue on the known but grueling trail, or take a shortcut that would cut 350 miles from their journey-but take them through unknown territory. Is it worth the risk?
Winter comes quickly in the mountains, and the wrong choice could leave them stranded in the Sierra Mountains when the snow comes, with no shelter, supplies, or food.