Tamsen was opposed to leaving the main road to take the Hastings Cutoff. Sadly, she never made it to California. Instead of evacuating Truckee Lake with the second or third relief party, she chose to stay behind to tend to her dying husband. When she finally left the cabins at Truckee Lake and attempted to walk out on her own, she made it as far as the tents at Alder Creek. There she either died or was killed by Lewis Keseberg.