Thanksgiving is observed (among many other reasons) as a harvest festival. It also serves as a reflection of gratitude for life’s privileges, a celebration of good fortunes, and a time for sharing. Before this backdrop, 25 APRPCA members gathered on November 25 to enjoy the Second Annual Turkey Trot Drive.

Leaving the warmth of Cedar Mountain Outpost on this chilly late-fall morning, the group was checked by a local “escorting” pickup truck, affording everyone a leisurely cruise through the twisting road bisecting Ceasar’s Head State Park in South Carolina. This meditational stretch of travel allowed drivers to dwell on the Cherokee people who once inhabited the surrounding forests and hills, and revealed an occasional, inspirational glimpse of nearby Table Rock.

Eventually the escort’s route deviated from ours, creating a tremendous feeling of thankfulness among many of the participants! Ascending deftly into the heavens, indeed to the highest point in South Carolina, a general feeling of good fortune became prevalent amongst our tour. Were we not sharing the collective joy of piloting remarkably capable and eloquent motorcars through terrain for which there is no substitute? Views from the summit of Sassafras Mountain served as a reminder that nature’s beauty is itself cause for thanksgiving, and that good fortune has shone on us all in providing us the opportunity to live in what is surely one of the most beautiful regions of the world.

Descending the mountain, unchecked by escorts, and limited only by physics (and posted speed limits), the group traversed some pristine, new pavement as well as some rough stretches, providing a metaphor for life in general. Upon our safe return to Cedar Mountain gifts of food were collected to be donated to Manna Food Bank in Asheville, reminding at least one of the attendees of the balance between enjoyment and compassion. Now that seems an appropriate theme for Thanksgiving!

Doug Menchhofer