Thanksgiving at Turtle Island Preserve

Thanksgiving at Turtle Island Preserve

Thanksgiving in November, 2004, I went to dinner at Turtle Island Preserve with Eustace Conway, his girlfriend Autumn, some of her family and several TIP staffers with their family and friends. It was a convivial bunch.


For me, going to TIP is like being a Lost Boy going to Neverland with Peter Pan. I can do what I want, when I want, and it is all fine. Since it was a holiday, there was an ample collection of beers, wines and local brandies cooling in the creek that runs by the kitchen.

We went for a morning horseback ride upstream from base camp. Afternoon time was spent sighting in several high powered rifles - a .30-06, a .50 caliber black powder and a Chinese SKS (similar to an AK-47 but not full auto). Then some of the men went deer and squirrel hunting to add to the larder. We did not have squirrel today, but the last time I was there, the cook was skinning a freshly shot squirrel in the kitchen for the next day's supper. My group saw several squirrels, so I took a shot with my 20 gauge Remington 870 pump, but I made no hit. The other group saw deer but also got no hits.

For dinner, provided by TIP, we had had fresh trout, caught from the spring-fed pond downstream from the kitchen moments before being baked. Yum! My favorite game dinner! The trout were supplemented with duck caught in the meadow above the barn and dispatched on the spot by a hatchet, then roasted with herbs & savory stuffing. Rounding out the meal were baked sweet potato casserole, fresh greens salad from the garden by the kitchen, and pumpkin cake that was super sweet and dense - like a brownie. Scrumptious! There were many other dishes provided by visitors.

We were truly thankful for our many blessings.

Bob Laney

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Bob is the site curator and writer of Blue Ridge Outing. Since starting the Blue Ridge Outing travel blog in 2002, Bob has written, recorded and documented countless expeditions in the US and around the world.

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