Happy Thanksgiving!

11/22, 1039.8, 57/39, sunny, NE10-20, Thorofare Creek - We slept wonderfully late, until almost 7am, letting the sun lighten the sky while we were still snug in bed. I made coffee and bacon, eggs, greens, and toast and the stove warmed the boat some. We lit the oil lamps too.

After breakfast, Dobbs rowed Murphy to shore and I reclined at the table reading. Dobbs returned with Murphy and then decided to go off exploring the mostly abandoned canals and basin we pass the entrance to when we come in here. We’ve always been curious about them. The basin is visible from the top of the dune, as are a few buildings. Dobbs discovered a large schooner at a dock on the first canal to the south. Then, in the last canal on the left, back toward the basin, Dobbs met “River John”, THE local (he’s it). His old fuzzy black dog “Pap” came out the dock to muster his best hoarse barks at Dobbs while also getting petted. River John kindly asked if there was anything we needed, did we have enough food. He said he had a snake all fileted up and ready to go for Thanksgiving dinner later on. “Really?” Dobbs asked. “No! I’m just kidding!” replied River John, laughing. He told Dobbs about how the canals were dug in the 1960’s but the development never took off. Only a handful of houses were built and no more can be now because the land is protected. River Johns owns three of the houses and rents one as an AirBnB. He’s lived here 28 years, miles away from anything mostly but sand, woods, wildlife, and water. He told Dobbs it’s best to be in after dark to avoid running into feral pigs or coyotes. During floods, he said snakes (some of them venomous) congregate on his porch and he has to carefully shoo them off with a broom. Dobbs asked, “Don’t you worry about snakes coming into the house to be warm?” “Well,” he said, “I keep a hog snake in the house to keep the mice down.” “Really?” Dobbs asked. “No! I’m kidding!” he said. Dobbs defended his asking by sharing that we allow black snakes in our crawl space and shed to keep the mice down. We got fellow “swampbilly” points for that, I think.

While Dobbs was away I worked on our travelogue. When he returned, he told me all about his exploration and meeting River John and then laid down for a nap. By then the sun was shining into the boat and we could leave the hatch boards out.

Around 12:30pm, I started preparing our Thanksgiving dinner - turkey browned and then finished in the pressure cooker, stuffing and gravy, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce. It all turned out beautifully - the nicest Thanksgiving meal I’ve ever prepared. We feasted.

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To aid digestion, Dobbs rowed us to shore and we walked the 2-mile long Larry Paul Trail.

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The trail traverses several different ecosystems - pine forest, loamy woodland where Spanish moss drips from every tree limb, scrubby upland where red oaks grow small in sandy soil.

The variety of mushrooms we spotted was impressive.

We could see upturned ground all around trees, where pigs had rooted.

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One deer crossed our path and we came upon a dead pig (bad mushroom perhaps?). It’s a very nice, well-maintained trail, and it’s so quiet here. It’s pretty obvious that there aren’t many people around.

Dobbs rowed us home and we had pumpkin pie for dessert. I worked some more on our travelogue and colored while the videos uploaded. Despite a forecast for strong wind, it’s still calm here, with just the occasional breeze moving the boat. I’m sure the large dune to the northeast helps.