Many of us here in New England are eating our greens and hydrating tonight as we prepare for our “Turkey Trot” 5K, 10K, what-not on Thanksgiving morning. But long before the trend of squeezing fitness into our day of glutenous eating, the turkey was the one who got in some exercise before the big feast – literally. Some 200 years ago, Vermont turkeys travelled to Boston on foot in what was called a “Turkey Drive”. The drive would collect thousands of turkeys from all corners of the green mountain state and were often herded by farmers’ children who acted as the drovers. Though the trip was a slow one (a mere 10-12 miles a day) and often experienced casualties, it was an autumnal tradition that lasted for almost 100 years. How New England to be droving 1,000 plucky turkeys (who were often roosting in inconvenient places like the side of the road or in a covered bridge) versus the iconic cattle drives of the Midwest. Happy Thanksgiving to you all, I hope you enjoy your morning jaunts and the luxury of eating a turkey that led a leisurely happy life on a kind farm in Vermont.
Thanks to Vermont Public Radio, the source for this fun story.