Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Quick Coffee Run

Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am to be living where I do. It had been a couple of long days since I last rode my motorcycle when my Brother In-Law called. He asked if I was interested in going for a short ride for some coffee. "You bet I do", was my quick answer.

We headed out from My house on the outskirts of Salem, Oregon. He on his Buell Odyssey and I on my Sportster. The destination was The Silver Creek Coffee House in the nearby farming town of Silverton. Silverton is just 13 miles east of where we started. The ride took us through beautiful farm country. The sun was riding low in the sky to our backs. Taking a short detour off the main road we stopped at the Gallon House Bridge. The bridge spans Abiqua Creek and is Oregon's oldest remaining covered bridge, built in 1917. The traffic on that country road is rare and slow. We parked our bikes right on the bridge and got off to look around awhile.

The bridge was named for a nearby house that used to sell whiskey by the gallon. Silverton was a dry town back in the old days, so the nearest place to get alcohol was to cross Abiqua Creek and buy it over at the Gallon House.

On to Silverton. With it's population of just over 7,000 this small town has maintained the flavor of perhaps the 1950s or early 1960s. No cookie cutter strip malls, factory outlet stores, McDonald's, or Walmarts here. All the downtown business is local and unique. About 10 other bikes were parked on the block where we parked. We weren't the only ones with the idea.

The Silver Creek Coffee house is located in an old building with well worn wooden floors. They had the usual house coffees and all those fancy lattes, mocha's and cappuccinos. My brother In-Law got an iced mocha and I got an excellent big cup of organic house coffee. On nice days I prefer to sit outside and there are a few tables out front overlooking the parked bikes and the goings on about town. We opted for the terrace on the back of the building though with it's umbrella covered tables overlooking the swiftly moving Silver Creek.

We talked about bikes, trips we had taken, trips planned, and trips we probably won't get to in our lifetimes. Then it was time to go. We aimed our bikes into the now setting sun. In a short while we were on the outskirts of Salem again, the strip malls and fast food chain stores started appearing. I gunned the engine and went even faster, wanted to get past this mess of modern businesses. I glanced into my mirror, Starbucks loomed like a monster chasing me in a bad dream, I glanced again and it was falling behind, getting smaller, unable to keep up.

Home again and not even gone long enough to get my Wife mad. She had barely even noticed I was gone. Yes, it's a good place to live, a place where even a short ride is a good ride.

No comments: