Cresting the summit into Horseshoe Bend with gusts of warm wind whipping through the open car windows, the urge for ice cream hit. There were probably a few options at the approaching Chevron station, we mused, but Drumsticks or Push-ups just weren't going to cut it.
That's when Wired Bean's Coffee River espresso stand came into view off Highway 55 like a mountain mirage. A hand-lettered sign advertised homemade ice cream in three flavors: key lime pie, fresh huckleberry and, oddly, black licorice.
Intrigued, we ordered a scoop of the black licorice, which owner Rindy Quijas said she makes with a syrup procured from a specialty online retailer.
Grabbing a seat on an adjacent wooden porch swing stationed behind the stand, we dug in. Though the ice cream was the color of wet ash in a drowned campfire—a transfixing gray-ish purple—it had a subtle and surprisingly refreshing licorice flavor. And, oh boy, was it creamy.
We didn't try the huckleberry or the key lime pie, but there's no doubt we'll be back on our next trip up to McCall. It's not a proper road trip without the windows down and ice cream dripping down your arm.