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California

The Sierra Nevadas form a natural barrier along California's eastern border that forced most early emigrants to swing north into Oregon or south through Utah and Arizona. Impatient to make their fortune, many Forty-niners followed a more direct route, struggling across at Truckee Pass -- which is the path Charles Crocker followed when he broke through the Sierra Nevadas in 1868 to create a transcontinental railroad.

California

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Sierra Nevada Mountains

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