The Mug Comes Home

As of September 7th, the wait is almost over. It was twelve short years ago when I first stopped at "The Blue Banana" in Lostine, Oregon and purchased a medium Mocha. It feels like the proverbial blink of an eye looking back now. To commemorate that distinctive moment on CycleOregon XVI, I also bought an azure plastic coffee mug with an insulated stainless steel liner, a travel lid on top and the "Blue Banana" logo on the side. I stopped at the small roadside coffee vendor in the center of town that crisp, clear morning both to take a picture of the eight foot tall blue banana out front and get a hot mocha from inside. The blue mug acquisition was just a whim. Lostine is not a large town; there are Mugno stoplights, only three or four blocks either way, the houses are loved and well-tended. It’s nestled in a narrow agricultural valley, up next to the Lostine River, along Hwy 82, between Enterprise and Wallowa, in northeastern Oregon. I didn’t predict the forthcoming moment back then, the day in the future when I might possibly return. But for some reason and not with a conscious intent, I’ve kept that mug safe in my cups cabinet and occasionally in my thoughts for these past dozen years. When I watched the CycleOregon route announcement this past February and saw we're going back to that delicious "Hells Canyon" route from 2003, I easily and warmly remembered the mug. I went straight to my cups cabinet, dug around, found it there in the back and I held that mug, smiled and recalled that crisp clear day. The mug hasn't been used very much, but it did need a little repair. A rusted rivet on the bottom has now been glued and the liner resealed. I will be carrying my mug back to Oregon next week, to CO XXVIII, back to the Blue Banana in Lostine. It will be with me for my morning coffee and with me on my bike, every day. This mug is coming home!
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