Most Thanksgiving traditions involve eating a week’s worth of food in one sitting, and watching dull pro football games on television. I’m not knocking that approach. No one loves the Thanksgiving feast more than I do, especially if creamed pearl onions, oyster stuffing and real cranberries are on the menu. And I seldom turn off a football game, no matter how lopsided or poorly played.
But there’s a decidedly healthier tradition that has gained a foothold in many communities: The Thanksgiving morning run. Some of these turkey trots and other events have been around a long time, but during the last 5 to 10 years they seem to have exploded in popularity.
Redding’s Turkey Trot attracted more than 2,000 people to the 6-mile run and 2-mile fun run and walk last Thanksgiving. In Sacramento, the Thanksgiving morning Run to the Feed the Hungry has grown in 17 years from a few hundred runners to about 30,000 participants.
You need to get in on this action, burn some calories, meet up with friends and feel less guilty about the gluttony later in the day. So that you don’t have any excuses, I’ll just put a link to the entry form for the Redding Turkey Trot right here.
If you’re going to be in Siskiyou County for the holiday, then sign up for the Turkey Trot near Fort Jones.
Celebrating the holiday in Southern Oregon? Register for the event in Medford.
You’ll also find Thanksgiving morning runs in Weaverville, Eureka, Quincy and probably just about every other town. Give thanks that you are able to get out there.
• The winter season has officially arrived at Lassen Volcanic National Park, where Highway 89 through the park is now closed because of snow. You can now drive only as far as Manzanita Lake at the park’s north end, or to the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center at the south entrance. From those points, snowshoes or cross-country skis are necessary for exploring in the park. The other option is to hang out at the warm visitor center, watch the park film, and gaze out the window with a cup of hot coffee in your hand. These webcams provide views from the visitor center and near the north entrance.
• Veterans Day – this Thursday, November 11 – is a fee-free day at Lassen and all other national parks. Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is included in the free day.
• That’s a very green thumb and a big heart you’ve got, Shasta County. Local food pantries reported getting more than 14,500 pounds of fresh produce from backyard gardeners this past summer as part of the “Plant a Row for the Hungry” campaign. The donated fresh veggies and fruits not only provide nutritious food for folks in need, but they also permit the food banks to stockpile canned foods for the winter and holidays.
• The Shasta Regional Community Foundation has created the “Fund for Community Good.” Money in the fund will be spent on the most critical community needs as they arise, rather than for pre-determined programs or causes. “This fund allows us to be flexible and responsive,” said Kathy Ann Anderson, CEO of the foundation. “It’s great to know that donors have this avenue of giving and trust us to grant these funds where most needed.”
• Every Friday is Black Friday at Turtle Bay’s museum store, which is offering 20% off all purchases on Fridays in November. Turtle Bay members will get a full 25% off. The store – located at the Turtle Bay Exploration Park entrance, across the street from the Redding Convention Center – has a nice selection of educational and unusual toys, jewelry, must-have Sundial Bridge merchandise and more. You don’t need to buy a Turtle Bay park admission to shop at the store.
• Ted Dawson, a native Wintu, is scheduled to discuss “Acorns: A Native American Staple” at 1 p.m. this Sunday, November 14, at the Horsetown-Clear Creek Preserve west of Redding. There will be an opportunity for you to grind acorns with mortar and pestle, an activity that is a lot harder than it looks. Parking for the preserve is just off Clear Creek Road, about seven miles west of Highway 273. Call 241-2026 for more information.
Paul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and figures six miles is worth at least two pieces of pie. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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