Frosty Wooldridge

CONNECTING THE DOTS

More About: Entertainment: Outdoor Recreation

Part 4: Bicycling Coast to Coast Across America 2012

You gotta laugh at life to make it more fun!
 
"When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man's convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man's brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle." ~ Elizabeth West 
 
After freezing our butts off coasting down from Santiam Pass, we lost a lot of altitude, and we gained a lot of rain and cold, too. We reached a Subway Sandwich store where we devoured a “salad in a bun.” They also featured hot broccoli soup with bread. Nothing like dipping a piece of bread into hot soup and plunging it into your mouth when you’re shivering and wet. It’s like pouring heaven into your body.
 
That brings up another point about long distance bicycle touring. Nothing is average! Nothing is taken for granted! Nothing is ordinary. Breathing feels good and you notice it. Eating takes on a whole new understanding. You feel your body at work.
 
Food tastes like a gourmet dinner even if you are eating a PB and J. A drink of water refreshes like nothing else. A shower provides an exhilarating experience of heaven on earth as it washes away the day’s sweat, dust and strain of pedaling a bicycle. Bicycling lets you know you are alive in a way that brings joy, exhaustion, peace and a sense of purpose.
 
We camped out that night in the rain in an open field with trees all around us. We heard the raindrops pepper the tent before falling asleep. We smelled the fresh, clean air enter our lungs. We quickly dropped into the serenity of deep sleep. A few owls hooted as I dropped into dreamland.
 
Next day, we headed for Redmond, Oregon. Only 20 miles! We would build up a breakfast appetite second to none in those 20 miles. We would be ravenously hungry. We would devour any breakfast table adorned with food.
 
We dropped into a canyon to cross the Deschutes River. Right out of a picture with gray rock, red bushes lining the water and green trees bursting everywhere! Such beauty! We felt enormous appreciation for the beauty we pedaled through in Oregon.
 
As we entered the city limits, I asked a lady, “What is the best café diner in town for breakfast?”
 
She said, “Hands down, the One Street Down Café!”
 
That got my attention.
 
“Wayne, let’s head over to the One Street Down Café.”
 
“Sounds great to me,” Wayne said. “I’m hungry enough to eat everything in sight.”
 
We did find it a challenge to locate the café since it wasn’t on the main drag. We kept asking directions until finally, on 7th Street, we cruised north until we arrived at a burgundy painted house. A black iron fence surrounded the building. In the courtyard, we saw steel black tables, umbrellas and chairs for summer dining. Apple trees bloomed pink and white. The green lawn livened up everything before us. We saw an “Open” sign in the window. “Good food served here.” Also, “Wifi hotspot.” They opened 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week. Very classy!
 
I walked in to see a beautiful interior of delightfully painted walls in sublime colors. On the left, a waterfall fell down a glass sheet in the most visually sublime manner. Black tables with copper tops scattered around the room. Beautiful paintings enlivened the walls. The 60s music came from a 40 year old turn table with a 78 record on it. The Beatles sang to us.
 
“We heard this is the best café diner in the entire State of Oregon,” I said.
 
“We’ll have to prove it to make it true,” said one of the ladies serving us.
 
We sat down as she set out the silverware and water glasses. Really nice!
 
“Wayne,” I said. “Look at this napkin and silverware. It’s tied up in a string and you have to pull the string to release it.”
 
“Pretty darn classy,” said Wayne.
 
“This is the first time in my life that I have ever seen silverware and a napkin tied up like this,” I said. “This place is special.”

Wayne order oatmeal, toast and fruits. I ordered pancakes and hash browns.
 
When they arrived, I had never seen a better presentation of food. Wayne’s oatmeal featured nuts, raisins, currents and brown sugar. He watched a “castle” of fruit built up in a special glass goblet.
 
“Wow,” said Wayne. “This is top drawer.”
 
My pancakes arrived with incredible butter, maple syrup and green leaves.
 
“These potatoes taste like a million dollars,” I said.
 
Kathi, the owner, came out to speak with us. Lovely lady and the wait staff was mostly her daughters and other family members. All very attractive! We talked about the ride and her incredible presentation of food.
 
An hour later, we sat back with joyfully full stomachs.
 
I have to say that this café represents the best and most unique eating I have enjoyed on six continents. It’s fresh, clean, organic, tasty and the atmosphere is fabulous. In my own appreciation, the One Street Down Café is the Mount Hood of eating experiences in Oregon. It is as sublime as the deep woods of that state. It sets the benchmark for culinary excellence.
 
We left with full tummies, full hearts and warm feelings. I will always remember the One Street Down Café as the finest culinary establishment of my travels on six continents.
 
Three cheers!
 
Laugh, love, pedal, eat voraciously and live it up,
 
Frosty Wooldridge
 

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