RORY: I never realized Luke’s was a hundred miles away.
LORELAI: We’re lucky it wasn’t snowing. It would’ve been The Donner Party all over again, but with slightly better hair.
The Donner Party, sometimes called The Donner-Reed Party (!!!!!), was a group of American pioneers who migrated to California from the Midwest in a wagon train. Delayed by a multitude of mishaps, they spent the winter of 1846–1847 snowbound in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Some of the migrants resorted to cannibalism to survive, eating the bodies of those who had succumbed to starvation, sickness, and extreme cold.
Rescuers from California attempted to reach the migrants, but the first relief party did not arrive until the middle of February 1847, almost four months after the wagon train became trapped. Of the 87 members of the party, 48 survived the ordeal. Historians have described the episode as one of the most fascinating tragedies in California history and in the entire record of American westward migration.