As Frank’s mom would say, Happy Turkey! And the hikes to work off all that food.

We had an early Thanksgiving dinner at Frank’s mom’s – it was just our little family, nice and quiet and with way too much food. Bonnie and Wyatt had one of the most productive conversations about politics she’d ever had, and we also set up the Christmas tree in record time, which – between that and the food – led to a funny tableau:

Wyatt had the great suggestion of getting some holiday season exercise in Sabino Canyon. We took Bonnie to the dam and checked out the water flow, which was nostalgic for the brothers – there’s just something special about a riparian area. We also got a little bit lost, aka, had an adventure.

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Day-of Thanksgiving was at Bonnie’s parents’ house in Phoenix. They had most of the usual crowd, including Uncle Michael and Aunt Carol all the way from Arcata, California, and lots of old friends, but a few of the usuals were missing this year. It was still a nice crowd of about 15 people, and it was baby Ronen’s first Thanksgiving! Bonnie made a delicious new recipe, a vegan shepherd’s pie. Although it didn’t taste much like a shepherd’s pie, it was delicious in its own right and was quite the crowd pleaser!

The hike to work off those calories was at North Mountain, a hike on one of those mountains that pop up like islands out of the ocean of city that is the Phoenix metro area. You can take an asphalt walkway all the way to the top, like Tumamoc Hill in Tucson, but there’s also a nicely challenging rocky route part of the way up from an alternate parking lot at the base. At the top of this mountain, though, there’s a power station of some sort instead of ecological science stations.

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