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In the 1840s, a hardy caravan of pioneers set off from St. Joseph Missouri to head for the promised land of California. Lured by glowing tales of teeming game and fertile land as far as the eye could see, these westward heading migrants had no real sense of how to get to their destination, no good maps; did not know the best trails over the mountains. These men, women and many children embarked on what would be one of the most harrowing and horrifying adventures in the history of America. Crossing the Wasatch and then the Great Salt Desert, losing possessions and people all along the way, the party finally got trapped near a lake high in the Sierra Nevadas as a brutal winter set in and supplies ran out. What happened next is described in detail in DANIEL JAMES BROWN’S terrific new history THE INDIFFERENT STARS ABOVE: THE HARROWING SAGA OF A DONNER PARTY BRIDE. If you have always wondered what life was like for these pioneers, do not miss tonight’s show.