On the way to Mount Hood from Portland, there’s a little gas station and cafe just southeast of Sandy on the right side of Highway 26. I’ve passed it countless times on the way to the mountain and back over the past 15 years, but never stopped there. I’m not sure why. Maybe I’ve just never needed gas or a quick bite to eat right then and there. (And to be quite honest, whenever we’re coming back from a hard day on the mountain, a day on which we’ve earned it, we’re stopping for Mexican at El Buro Loco in Welches or burgers and beers at Calamity Jane’s in Sandy)
But I’ve almost always been intrigued by the name of this little roadside stop: Shorty’s Corner.
We got one step closer to stopping at Shorty’s Corner this past weekend. Not because we headed up to Mount Hood, but instead because we were toasting the times at Wurstfest, an annual mini Oktoberfest held in tiny Mt. Angel every February.
After a few hours of music, dancing, and a couple nice pilsners from Silverton’s 7 Brides, we walked up the road for a fantastic dinner at the Mt. Angel Sausage Company. Just as we were ordering up, in came three of the members of the Greg Meier Bavarian Quartet, who’d just finished up a great set over at the fest. But they weren’t done playing yet. And because we were one of the only tables in the place at the time, we ended up getting pretty much a private, table side concert from a talented and spirited group of authentic musicians.
The tie to Shorty’s Corner came as we traded words with Meier, the accordion player and leader of the group. Over a round of “Ein Prosit” and a German-infused medley of Disney tunes, I told Meier about my book and he told us about Shorty’s Corner. His parents have owned it for 33 years.
“Stop by and say hi next time you’re up there,” he said.
Now, we definitely will.