Ten years ago a group of friends from the Dolphin Divers of Sacramento, a recreational scuba diving club in California, decided to break from their traditional Thanksgiving festivities and do something a little out of the ordinary. Some of the group members wanted to get away from the normal family get-together, while others who had no family in town recognized the opportunity to go diving instead. Corinne Fuerst and her husband organized the first trip, and the following eight, as well. Over the years the event has become much more popular.
"Some years there are a lot of attendees, other years, less... Typically we have about 20 or so people on Thanksgiving Day itself and the group tends to get a little bit larger come Friday when more people arrive to enjoy a three-day weekend at the Coast," says Corinne. "We have about four or five core couples/families that come back year after year."
So what is there to do on an atypical Thanksgiving camping trip such as this? The Dolphin Divers have been to several different campgrounds over the years, but the one common denominator of every trip is that is that the campground they choose has to have places for abalone diving, SCUBA diving and crabbing close by. And in their downtime, the Dolphin Divers go for long walks along the ocean or the river (depending on the campground where the event is held), and, of course, prepare for the big Turkey Day.
"Our Thanksgiving Day dinners are pretty much like a traditional Thanksgiving Day - turkey with all the trimmings and fixings, side dishes, desserts, you name it - we have it all," says Corinne. "We typically go around the dinner table, hold hands, and take turns saying 'thanks' for something in our lives."
In Corinne's experience, it has paid to plan in advance. Rain gear and surplus firewood are key essentials, along with camping gear, SCUBA and free diving gear, and regular camping provisions. "Other than hoping for dry weather at the North Coast and knowing that you cannot please everyone, the only real challenge is organizing a great Thanksgiving Feast - making sure we don't end up with five of the same dish. There is nothing like having a great Thanksgiving dinner prepared and consumed in the great out-of-doors, with the sound of the ocean as your only "music", and the laughter and the banter of those your are celebrating with. That is the greatest reward."
There is still time to put a little 'trip' in your tryptophan this year. Find and reserve a campground that suits your desired activity, invite all your family members, and provide the vital information to make it easy for everybody to be there.
Whether you choose to camp along a mountain stream, go hiking along a beautiful wooded trail, embark on a canoe excursion, or just set up a tent and build a fire in the park near your house, remember the focus of this holiday: to spend time together with the people you love and give thanks for the things you appreciate.
We at CampingRoadTrip.com are thankful for all of our supportive friends and families. Best wishes this holiday!
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