Dinner Bell

A Call to Yesteryear

By Julie Conrad

Photos courtesy of Julie Conrad

Smelling the sweet scent of overripe huckleberries, I ditch my car and walk along the lane where our old cabin still stands, although our family doesn’t own it anymore. I’m at Wagon Wheel Bay, on the west side of Payette Lake in McCall. Quite literally, I’ve been drawn into the forest by the bushes surrounding me, full of giant huckleberries so ripe and heavy they fall to the ground at the slightest touch. In my childhood years, I spent every summer and nearly every weekend during the winter months here at Wagon Wheel Bay.

Lost in time and memories, I stand in the forest picking the sweet gems for nearly three hours, next to a babbling brook. The soft rustle of the giant swaying pines and the sound of songbirds and chipmunks surround me, transporting me back to simpler days. I realize I’m picking berries from the very same bushes I picked from with my mom and dad, under the same giant pines, next to the same crystal-clear brook.

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