Avoiding Interstate I-80, I look for the original route over the Sierra Nevada at Donner Pass, elevation 7,056 ft (2,151 m). This pass was originally used by the California Trail, then the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1868, and later U.S. Route 40. The rail line here, requiring tunnels and snow sheds, was the final link allowing commercial traffic across the Sierra. Snow sheds, visible here, are still used here to protect trains from avalanches. Many years ago I took this train in the winter, with magnificent views of the "snowy range".
All images copyright © 2014 F.W. Vollmer and may not be used without permission.