Thanksgiving by kayak

Three years ago my roommate and best friend Ginger came up with the idea that we should have a community thanksgiving gathering where all of the food would come from within a hundred miles.   By embracing local food we would recconnect with the land and save a few barrels of oil too.  Our food, she told me, doesn't need to come on a truck from a thousand miles away.   Envisioning a dinner plate with a small piece of lettuce and a lonely hard boiled egg, I was skeptical.  I'm the sort of guy who thinks the natural state of cranberry sauce ought to be a purple gelatin cylinder shaped like a tin can.   Resigning myself to starvation, I was astonished that first year when dish after dish of delicious food arrived.  Bread and flour were in short supply but surprisingly the rest of the meal was actually more diverse, more delicious, and certainly more heathly than any thankgiving feast I'd ever had.

Three years later we now have a small farm, located 10 miles upriver from where the gathering is held.  This year we thought we'd up the ante so Ginger, our roommate Jesse, and myself decided to kayak to the thanksgiving feast.

Ginger grew these pumpkins specifically for the feast.

Jesse picks herbs from the garden.

This old Magestic wood-fired cook stove heats our home, our water, and our food.

I found our cat Una on the porch finishing off a nut hatch, happy thanksgiving Una!

Unsatified, her attention then turned to this giant bowl of whipped cream, and my attention turned to throwing her off the counter.

Behind schedule of course, we change into our superhero costumes.

A final check of the tides, weather, and currents.

Our adventure begins.  It's raining and 40 degrees, which I think is the coldest kind of cold.


Unpacking the food.

A steep walk up a long hill.

Giving thanks.

This is baby Yukon.   She is the reason I care about stopping climate change and kicking the corporate theives out of our government.  She deserves a future with clean water, clean air, safe food, and universal health care.   Growing our own food is just one more way we can pry the corporate claws from our lives.

Every dish has a story, a connection to a person and place. 

After eating local organic turkey basted with wild mushroom gravvy, I couldn't imagine going to grocery store.

Jesse is crazed with hunger!

Ginger is the picture of contentment.

Fred and his brother entertain us as people settle in to sing and chat and laugh together.  Too soon, however, the tides have changed and it's time for us to begin the long paddle home.

Our return journey is not without it's trials though.   Dark, cold, rain.   Three and a half hours against the current and a hideous portage through brush and knee deep mud to circumvent a log jam we just barely slipped through at the high tide earlier.   Golden raccoon eyes followed our passage, three little pools of white light slipping though the inky quiet waters. 

We finished our trip feeling strong, vigorous, and self sufficient.   We know that everyone can't live on a small farm or kayak to thanksgiving dinner, but we can all work harder to fight lazyness and live smarter.  By riding bicyles, growing a garden, and consuming less, we can give baby Yukon a world that's worth living in.

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