Thanks!

Here in the US, today is Thanksgiving.  A day to give thanks.

Scenes like this help affirm to Goddess and I that we should give thanks every day.  And we do.

These two scenes are from yesterday morning, Thanksgiving Eve if you will.

We had hiked out the afternoon prior with the intent to camp out and test some equipment in the cool.  It wasn’t cold, but cool.  The morning low temperature was right around freezing.  Not too bad, especially considering that we were at 6,500′ and it is late November.

Grouse Gap Sunrise

Not a bad way to crawl out of the sack.

Although it was much, much better less than 30 minutes later.

Shasta Sunrise

Giving thanks?

We have plenty of reasons to be thankful.  Most of all for the opportunities that have led us to where we are and the opportunities yet to come, including a long walk next year that will keep that mountain, Mount Shasta, within view several times during approximately 300 miles of hiking.

Mount Shasta View

Although this was taken only eight days ago, it sure seems a lot longer than that.  It’s been a busy week, but a good week.

That and the fact that I know the view looks nothing like that this morning.  Yesterday we received 4-6″ of snow in just a few short hours and we’re 5,500′ below the summit of Mount Ashland, from which this photo was taken.  I know the mountain received quite a bit too, as I was able to watch it all day on a webcam.  By mid-afternoon, a few hardy folks were up there in the middle of it, strapping on their snowboards and trying to eke out a run in the few inches of snow covering the rocks.

They weren’t having much success.

Anyway, this picture was taken on Thanksgiving afternoon.  It was a balmy day in the 50’s.  Enough to get us sweating on the approach to the summit, which sounds more impressive than the reality that we parked about a mile away from the summit, just a couple of hundred feet lower in elevation.

As you can see, a beautiful day.  A grand view of Mount Shasta, some 54 miles distant, as the crow flies.

Mount Shasta View

It was a great Thanksgiving, spending the day with friends we haven’t seen since 2006, all of us taking pics and looking at things in our own unique ways.  It’s always fun to see how two (or three or four or more) people can stand side by side, take pictures and come out with significantly different images.

For their take on the view, please browse over to their post at Welliver Photography.

Thanks

On Thanksgiving Day, just as any other day, there are many things that I am thankful for.

But one group of people that I am most thankful for are my brothers and sisters downrange, spending time away from their families.

Sure, they chose to be there.

But they chose to be there so that their families would be safe at home.

So that complete strangers would be safe at home.

Strangers that are free to protest anything that moves.

Because that’s they’re right.

A right protected by a few.

Those brothers and sisters are their protection.

But those brothers and sisters need protection wherever they are.

They get it through training and preparedness.

But all of that won’t protect them from everything.

But these bits of concrete help.

I swear that if I never saw another t-wall, as they are called, it would be too soon.

But if asked to serve again, to serve my brothers and sisters, I will.

Knowing that these walls help protect me.

T-Walls

Goddess and I won’t be partaking in too many Thanksgiving Day activities, instead choosing to push them to Saturday so dear friends can participate.

But we will spend the day thinking of those brothers and sisters whom we are thankful for.

Waiting

One of the things that I love about Germans (and Europeans in general) is that they get out and do things.

Even if the weather is what some, if not many, would consider horrible.

Last winter I was out on a 20 mile run through the snow, on a day when the high reached only +8°F (-13°C), and the forest and trails were packed with people of all ages, out to get their walk in, or slide along on their cross-country skis.

But these two were out on a day when it was 34°F (+1°C), rain mixed with snow.

And she was looking quite bright.  OK, at least her umbrella was.

BTW, this was Thanksgiving day.  A gloomy, rainy Thursday.

A day that Goddess and I were thankful to share, exploring the Weinachtsmarkt and side alleys of Speyer.

Sharing glüwein, bratwurst and laughs.