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Fall in Love

by Laural Porter

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 4:27 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:33 PM

I fell in love with Falls City.
It's a small timber town about 90 minutes from Portland, west of Dallas.
It's on a dead end road... but it dead ends in some of Oregon's most beautiful country in the coast range.

It's not just the towering Doug Fir trees of Black Rock Mountain that cast their spell, but the people of this one street town.

Nels E.G. Olsson runs the "A and E Hometown Grocery Store".
He bought it from his Dad, also Nels, who was widowed a few years ago.

Nels and Nels told photojournalist, Kurt Austin, and I all about their hometown.
Once a busy timber town, the lumber days have lost a bit of luster.
Sure, there is still logging, but a new activity is adding some fresh polish to Falls City.

Mountain bikers by the hundreds are discovering Falls City,its fine people, and Nels' grocery store.
They're coming from all over the country, and Canada to ride the trails of Black Rock Mountain.
And these aren't your ordinary mountain bikers, they're freeriders, hard core, extreme mountain bikers.
And some of the nicest people I've ever met.

Nels, Junior took us up the mountain and showed us around Black Rock Mountain's biking trails.
We were also accompanied by volunteers from the "Black Rock Mountain Biking Association".
In partnership with the Oregon Department of Forestry, BRMBA designed, built, and maintains the trails.
They have a real sense of pride about the outrageously creative, and challenging mountain biking features they've built.
With names like "The Stimulator", "The Wall", and wild log rides in Granny's Kitchen; the ramps, jumps and "skinnies" offer
bikers thrills and adrenalin rushes at every turn.

The bikers are courteous,friendly, and respectful of the environment.
You won't find any trash in this thousand acre woods, and the bikers keep it that way.

I discovered Falls City, and Black Rock Mountain recently when Kurt and I drove down to do a story on the Freeriding mountain biking craze.

We left with new friends, a fondness for a beautiful corner of Oregon,and a deep appreciation for the freeriding mountain biking community.

If you get a chance, take a day trip to Falls City, and stop in at Nels' Hometown Grocery Store.
He'll whip you up one of his famous mochas, and give you a map directing you to Black Rock Mountain. (With bike trails for all biking abilities.)

You can also watch our story on the Falls City Freeriders on Monday, October 15th at 6pm. Or check it out later on

Here's a link to the Black Rock Mountain Biking Association website.

I think you'll fall in love,too.