My dad decided that going to visit his friends in Corvallis, Oregon for Thanksgiving would be a fun adventure.
We were to meet at his place in Oakland, California and then drive up that Thursday morning. He figured that traffic would be light and it would be a lovely ride.
My dad got ideas in his head like this and wouldn’t be dissuaded and it sounded like fun, so I went along with it.
I’m not sure why we didn’t prepare more.
With an 8.5 hour drive one way, it would have made sense to bring snacks.
Instead, we threw a couple of overnight bags together, tossed them in the car, and got on our way.
We started early, so that we would arrive before the 3pm Thanksgiving dinner.
Driving up the coast would have been a beautiful drive, but it also would have taken almost twice as long. Instead, we shot straight up I-5 through Redding, California and Ashland, Oregon. Somewhere around 10am we started to get hungry. After stopping at a couple of closed fast food restaurants, the hunger pangs really started in on our bellies.
Now, my dad suffered from the particular type of low-blood sugar that made him cranky. Very cranky. After an unsuccessful hour of searching for an open eatery, he was getting downright unpleasant.
The closures were confounding us. We felt like some terrible luck had befallen us.
And then, as if lightning had struck the car, at the same time we yelled out, “Because it’s Thanksgiving!” Our eyes connected and we burst out laughing.
Dad almost had to pull over the car he was laughing so hard.
Soon after this realization, we managed to find a gas station that had some candy bars and snacks, so we loaded up on those and headed on to Corvallis to a wonderful Thanksgiving feast and traditional football with some of my dad’s oldest and dearest friends.
I usually spent Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family.
This was one of the few Turkey Days that I remember spending with my dad.
It was wonderful.
Happy Thanksgiving, Pop.
I miss you.