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Fine day for a blackberry shake and pink tutus

I’ve lately felt the call of the wild. Big-city living can take its toll. This morning I hightailed it up the mountain to peaceful Butte Falls.

Everything between here and Butte Falls is gob-smacking green right now or about to be. Except for livestock, blooms and the bark on Ponderosa pines, a hundred shades of verdant countryside threatened to mesmerize as Fiona and I sailed up Butte Falls Highway. Treat yourself. Indulge in a country drive during this season of ahhh.

The plan of the day included taking a different road from Butte Falls to Prospect for a special event at the high school where pink tutus were involved. I timed my arrival in Butte Falls to pull up at the Sugar Pine Company Café at lunchtime. I ordered my usual chili with cheese and onions and added a blackberry shake for dessert on Travis Connick’s Facebook recommendation. I’m glad I took him up on the added fortification, because after driving through town and turning left onto the Prospect-bound road, I was seven miles into the woods when I noticed a dwindling fuel level. As the gauge’s squares vanished, I decided I best turn around.

Using binoculars, I found no gas in Butte Falls, though I’m told it exists. I shot all the way back down to the Midway store. The nice gas filler-upper suggested I take Crowfoot Road from there, so I turned toward Butte Falls and made a left on Crowfoot, a windy, woodsy pathway that dropped me out on Highway 62 near the fish hatchery. Good. I had my bearings, a full tank for Fiona and me, and some shake remains.

The sun felt robust, near 80 degrees, and me with a silly sweater on. I did have the forethought to pack a t-shirt, so I stopped at the Historic Prospect Hotel to change. By now it was naptime and boy, was I feeling it. I mean, the scenery, sunshine, a full tum-tum, and I began searching out a hammock. I had an hour to wait. I found a nice, quiet church parking lot, lowered the windows for a breeze and heard Mill Creek riffling along out there. I laid my seat back. No sooner had I settled, when a girthy, threatening-sounding insect zeroed in and began using my shoulder as a climbing wall. Then a car pulled into the lot. Folks got out and asked if they could help me. After all these years, I doubted it. They eyed me in a friendly yet dubious manner. It’s a cynical world during these times. I assured them of my temporary notion and that I didn’t plan to set up housekeeping or a Kool-Aid stand or anything. I moved on.

Finally it was time to visit Prospect High School for a jog-a-thon being held to help support mental health. My Fab Five cohort, Carroll Newcomb, a teacher there, had boldly posted she would be jogging in a fuchsia tutu along with her corgi, Lily, in matching ballet attire. You know, yesterday if you’d told me that I’d be standing in the Prospect High School athletic field watching Carroll jog (walk) with Lily in matching pink tutus, I’d have said, where’s my tutu? Sometimes wonderful stuff occurs at a moment’s notice, and you thank God you were juxtaposed properly for the quirk-scope to include you.

I spoke with Prospect senior Maylee Breiholz, impressive organizer of the jog-a-thon. “My senior project is to raise money for the nonprofit Mental Health America. Mental health awareness is super important to me so I wanted to ask my peers to join in, and that’s what we’re doing here today.”

Maylee had given an effective presentation to the school explaining her goal. “I always get emotional talking about this stuff.” More than 100 participants signed up. Maylee plans to attend Northwest Christian University and study music and psychology.

I joined Carroll and Lily in a victory lap and smiled all the way home.

Peggy Dover is a freelance writer and wanderer. Reach her at pcdover@hotmail.com and on Facebook.