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A road trip for pie was essential

This week I discovered an activity involving pie that is CL, Covid legal, while lending a spark of seeming rebellion.

No, not a pie fight, as fun as that might be. I love freedom as much as anybody, and I wanted to offer something here other than “buck up,” “remember we’re together though apart” or “change your underwear, it’s Tuesday.”

Sunday, Lane and I donned our shades and custom-sewn masks (thank you, Lynn). We wear them in the car because, though I am mostly a hermit working from home alone, Lane works in fairly close proximity with many people in a busy home improvement store. He wears his mask there too.

Whatever is open, that’s where you’ll find people lining up to buy “essentials.” With the current restrictions, we will ferret out what we’re allowed to do and give it our doggondest. Folks are not just repairing leaks and faulty wiring. They’re building decks and skyscrapers, dams for their garden, split-level treehouses, the pyramids, erecting gazebos with electrified bandstands, requiring several pallets of concrete for emergencies, and creating man-caves and she-sheds presumably so they can practice safe distancing from their spouses.

Anyway, these stores are slammed. Please folks, for a little longer, wear a mask. For Lane’s sake, for my sake, for all the cashiers’ sakes, for my unborn readers’ sakes, and for the hundreds of others shopping alongside you. It’s not a big ask, even if you think it’s hooey and you look like a jerk. A mask may not be required for that. Whoops, what did I say?

For the record, I hate wearing one too. Who likes it?

So, on to our diversion. I saw that Beckie’s in Union Creek had resumed pie-baking. Just what my virus news-sodden brain needed was a comfort pie nab from good old Beckie’s. I leaped at the chance to drive my sleek Giovanni along the dogwood trail with visions of a very berry dancing in my head.

It felt great to be on a caper, which recently has taken the form of post office forays and bank jobs, I mean, drive-thrus. Union Creek seemed like Disneyland. I cranked the tunes and, though it took a while to realize we were the same people, we soon got the hang of grooving and even singing despite the masks. I did feel self-conscious and like I needed to explain our situation when smiling, maskless travelers came along, but there were so few of them. Every time I looked over at Lane, I wondered what planet we were on, but the road stretched before us, and there was a mission ahead.

Lane and I bellied up to the chuck wagon and ordered our BBQ chicken with beans and coleslaw. Drinks came with the meal, so we treated ourselves to root beer. Yes, sometimes it’s the little things. The man handed us our food and a ticket to pay inside, where I collected a pie with my name on it. There was no one else around, so we found a picnic table alongside rushing Union Creek. The weather turned sour for the planned hike, but for several minutes, we enjoyed a diversion.

As I write, Beckie’s has just added a take-out window. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Monday, their starters, hamburgers, sandwiches, baskets and pie are available. You can call your order ahead at 541-560-3563. The BBQ chuck wagon next to the lodge/store is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Monday, offering chicken, ribs, sandwiches and sides. If you need a longer escape, Union Creek rustic cabins are open and offering a special “mystery deal” for stays from May 6-22. See their FB page or website (www.unioncreekoregon.com) for details.

By the time we returned to my place, the sun had warmed the valley to a comfortable 75 degrees. I can’t recommend red wine with pie, but we were distanced, maskless at last, and in celebratory mode. We lounged on the deck with a thick slab of berry pie feeling like we’d gotten away with something.

Peggy Dover is a freelance writer. Reach her at pcdover@hotmail.com.