Cherish your memories this Thanksgiving

From left, Sunny the dog, Moira and Levi Painter enjoy a backpacking trip in the Sawtooth Wilderness. Trips such as these create lasting memories for families to be truly thankful. (Jerry Painter photo)

If you’re picking up this paper early enough, stop right now and speed down to Freeman Park and join the Race to Feed the Hungry 5k, which begins at 9 a.m. The fun run does two things very well: It unites a community in burning some calories before folks overload themselves and it helps stock the food banks here in Idaho Falls.

The weather should be awesome today to accommodate everyone.

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When I ponder the things I’m thankful for — and there are a million — I’ve been settling in on sweet memories.

I recently sat over burritos with friends catching up on adventures and sat rapt over the retelling of a two-week backpacking/packrafting/big wall climbing adventure to the Cirque of the Unclimbables in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. We oohed and awed at the adventure told by this woman who climbed the 2,000-foot Lotus Flower Tower with friends. Some of us added it to our tick list.

Each year I try to make a few new lasting memories to toss in my jewel box. Some are so precious and brought out so often they have become polished to a bright glow. I can’t recall them without having a warm, satisfying reaction inside.

Everyone should have such jewels.

Have you noticed that when outdoor people get together, they often ask “How was your summer?” What they’re really asking is “Tell me about your adventures.” What follows is usually an exchange of some of their recent big trips. Bring out the memory jewels, rub them till they shine and share the light.

This year friends have shared with me their trips to Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, Ironmans, century rides, ultra marathons, cross-country rides and climbing adventures. It’s a positive exchange of energy and psych. Sharing and reliving these memories helps you to remember them and keep them fresh.

I’m thankful for a great family reunion in the Sawtooth mountains near Stanley this past summer. Kids still talk about the hikes, lake swims and epic meals consumed.

I realize that a person needs to make a living. But at the end of my life, I expect I’ll remember the fun adventures with family and friends and not the workday grind of sitting at a computer.

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If you’re in Teton Valley on Tuesday evenings and own (or want to rent) a fat bike, Fitzgerald’s Bicycles in Victor is holding Fat Tuesday until Dec. 26. Folks can gather at the shop at 6 p.m. for a fat bike ride in the valley with a post-ride hangout at the shop.

Fitzgerald’s is at 20 Cedron Rd., in Victor. Call 208-787-2453 or go to fitzgeraldsbicycles.com for more information.

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Harriman State Park in Island Park is reporting snow but says “Don’t bring your skis to Harriman just yet.” The ground still needs another big storm to get things covered for skiers. We’ll keep you posted.

If you need a skiing fix, your best bet will be checking out the commercial trails at Grand Targhee Resort.

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