It may not be shocking to most of you, but Donner Lake is frozen over. Approximately 4 inches of ice covers the east end and makes it completely walkable, even skate-able. According to my research Donner Lake froze over in 2013 and before that, in 2007. This has undoubtedly happened countless times in the history of the universe which makes it a totally normal thing in that scope (and to some of you, your lakes and ponds freeze over every winter without fail) however, I have never seen this personally. Almost every person I talk to says, “I’ve never seen that before, either.” And most likely that is because they are not permanent residents in Truckee and/or don’t visit Donner very often.
None of that matters. What matters is that it was a very surreal thing to walk completely across a body of water that I normally paddle across and swim in. So surreal that I went back in the house to grab my camera and do it again. There is a freedom in stepping out on that ice. Maybe it is the sense of adventure or danger or awe or perspective. Whatever the case, it was tangible. So tangible that my daughter and I ventured out again at dusk into the rapidly thickening fog. So tangible that she said, “I could be here all night. Can we sleep out here?”