I'll never forget the first time I ate there. I was with my two children in the late afternoon and WE WERE STARVING! I couldn't believe our good fortune when I remembered that I put my credit card in the zippered luggage attached to my bike.
"Hey, kids, do you want to eat here?" I asked.
"Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" they shouted in unison.
At that time, my family was on a tight budget -a seemingly endless one- and eating out was a luxury. I will never forget how juicy and delicious that hamburger tasted! I highly recommend that if you ever want to get a full-flavor taste out of a hamburger, bike the trail for several hours. You will be low on protein, carbs, fats and calories and hamburger will taste like prime rib steak!
What I liked so much about this restaurant is that there was such a mixture of people. It is the same today! You always have the bicycling families, each with their own unique bicycles. You can tell a lot about a person by the bicycle they ride. Then there's the town folk who stop in to get a bite to eat because, well, that's the only place in town to dine out. What is most fascinating to me are the motorcyclists! One moment you're having a nice quiet and scenic meal, and the next moment the peace is broken with the loud, ear popping drone of Harleys, Yamahas, Honda's and choppers pulling into the gravel parking lot mounted with motorcycle men and their motorcycle mommas on the back of their 'hogs'. It's a sight to see. Everyone stops eating when this happens and looks at the parade of tricked out cycles with riders in their best leathers and tattoos.
Writers are usually keen observers of people in their element. Eating at the Little River Cafe is a mecca for writers who want to add characters into their stories who are of the cycling kind, motorized and non-motorized. Although the patrons of this little restaurant are diverse, they all seem to mingle well. The motorcyclists seem to be business professionals who want to get out of the corporate world and walk on the wild side on the weekends. Most of the men wear colorful bandannas knotted at the nape of the neck, leather boots, tight jeans with metal studs here and there, a few tattoos on the arms -not really too obvious-, denim shirts unbuttoned lower than usual, a few hoop or stud earrings and leather hand gloves that they pull off as soon as they dismount their rides. The passenger women, to my surprise, are dressed modestly and have complimentary styles of clothing to their men, however they don't have tattoos -at least not in visible areas. The first thing they do when they dismount their bike is to pull out that ponytail and let their hair flow like Godiva. Not many of the motorcycle mommas have short, coiffed hair. The men seem to be losing their hair, but their ladies have an abundance of it. The motorcycle couples enter the bar with greater strides than most people. I don't know if it's the boots or just the swagger they've all adopted. Once seated, they project a polite manner like the rest of us. The rest of the diners breath a sigh of relief when they realize that these bikers are the upper crust of the motorcycle world: They have no guns, no bats, no Chinese stars, no brass knuckles, no numchucks, no drugs and no cigarettes.