Posted by: GeekHiker | November 29, 2009

Quiet Thanksgiving

Perhaps I’m just getting older.  Or lazier.  Or, quite possibly, both.

Whatever the reason, as time goes by, I find myself doing less on the Thanksgiving Holiday, even while society at large seems to be pushing everything and everyone to rush around at a more and more frantic pace every year.

Sure, traveling and shopping have always been a part of the Thanksgiving Weekend in the U.S.  Still it seems like, as time goes by, its “importance” becomes greater and greater.  Not so much as a reason to gather with family and friends, but as a marker of our Nation’s very state.

Where once the T.V. reporter simply went down to the airport to report on the fact that (shockingly) “a whole ‘lotta people are traveling;” now the numbers from AAA on the specific number of people that are flying or driving are analyzed as some sort of national barometer on our well-being.  “Black Friday,” an insanity my family always avoided in favor of lounging around eating turkey sandwiches, has morphed into more than just a crazy sale day; now it’s a harbinger of how the entire country is doing economically and feeling emotionally.  The status of an entire nation, based on just how much crap we choose to buy or not buy at Target on a particular Friday.

I stopped traveling north to see The Parentage a few years ago, the tipping point for me being a drive on I-5 when traffic came to a complete standstill in the middle of absolutely nowhere.  For a couple of years The Parentage came south and we did Thanksgiving here, but that also hasn’t happened in a couple of years.

Three people, spending time in a too-small apartment, with me bouncing back and forth and having little or no time to myself (and no place to get away to), combined with several days of cleaning before and having to return to work the day after they left?  Well, let’s just say that made for one unhappy GeekHiker come Monday morning.

It’s made a lot more sense of late to simply take off a more significant chunk of time at Christmas, go up a little before and come down a little after the holiday, and avoid the whole Thanksgiving mess altogether.  The Parentage agreed, and we might try to meet up on the Central Coast some time in the spring.  Some quiet, average, non-holiday weekend.

This year, at least, I didn’t spend the holiday alone, having been invited to Thanksgiving dinner at a friends house, a pleasant change from the rather depressing solo Halloween of a few weeks ago.  There was food and, even better, alcoholic drinks.  Not alcoholic enough that I even got a buzz, but just enough to keep the conversation lively.

Friday I drove up north of L.A., into a lesser used (and thankfully currently open) section of the Angeles, up near the Fall Colors Hike area.  I wasn’t hiking this time around, however (and I hope you’ll all forgive me), but instead traveling and photographing on some of the 4WD backroads in the area.

Liebre Mountain TT 01
Road along the grassy flanks of Liebre Mountain

Liebre Mountain TT 02
The sun sets over the mountains of the Angeles and Los Padres National Forests

Originally a friend had planned to join, but couldn’t make it, so I ended up going solo.  I was okay either way, and it was kind of fun to get out, just me and the truck, for a day of climbing up and down hills.

The rest of the weekend was spent reading, cleaning, catching up on my Netflix movies, and doing massive loads of laundry.  Less than thrilling I suppose, but definitely relaxing.  Certainly more so than dealing with crowds at the airports, or being stuck in traffic jams in the middle of nowhere, or fighting to get into a department store.

And if avoiding all that isn’t something to be thankful for, what is?



  1. That’s not very environmentally-friendly, but with the weather you’ve got, I would be on the road very often. The second picture is gorgeous!

  2. “Not alcoholic enough that I even got a buzz” – dude, how much do you drink?
    i’m totally impressed that you’ve made thanksgiving at your place in the past. i don’t think i’ll ever have the ability or will to make thanksgiving dinner.
    love the sunset photo.

  3. The media likes to wring out meaning out of every insignificant and often fictitious piece of useless data they can find. If they can’t find any, they make it up. For Example: CyberMonday – what the heck is that?

    Nice Sunset picture by the way.

  4. I totally agree with everything you just said.

  5. Quiet is good! I hate crowds and avoid the malls/stores like the plague on Black Friday… Okay, not quite… I did go to REI and splurged (for the record it was not horrendously crowded) on ski clothes and stuff (darn, this is one expensive sport I am tellin’ ya!)!

  6. I had to manage 2 Thanksgiving dinners that were….eventful. I like your version much, much better.

  7. Gany – I don’t go 4WD all that often, but it’s nice to spice things up sometimes.

    BlakSpring – haven’t I admitted here already that I’m a total lightweight? That tells you something about the alcohol content of the drinks!

    Homer-Dog – Cyber-Monday is everybody shopping on their work computers instead of working, making bosses everywhere mad!

    MissMcCracken – Cool!

    K – Oh, well, REI I can forgive. 😉

    TheCoconutDiaries – LOL

  8. Well i must say, i DO love your photos. Nice.

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