You’re probably wondering how we got our name, The Blue Ox, aren’t you? Well lucky you, you’re about to find out. We’ve been around these parts since 1995, giving weary travelers a place to kick up their muddy boots and rest their axe.
What you’re about to read is a true story of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox – from whom we gain our namesake. The Minnesotans like to keep the gargantuan pair to themselves, saying “Oh ya you betcha, that Paul feller and his Babe stayed here their whole lives, don’tcha know.” But it’s time you know your onions, so I’m about to let you in on a secret – Paul and Babe got a little tired of potato country.
You see, Paul was a man of gigantic stature. Men of gigantic stature have gigantic appetites, gigantic hobbies and gigantic accomplishments. For example — where a normal man would eat maybe two hearty slabs of cornbread with a meal – Paul would eat three slabs, as big as your house! Four, depending on how big your house is – and not to mention the mattress-sized pat of butter he slapped on every piece.
One swing of Paul’s mighty axe could clear an entire forest. His axe handle was made from the first tree he ever cut down – well, alright, he was running away from a mamma bear, when he climbed it and it snapped under his weight. The mamma bear felt bad for young Paul in the end and the two ended up friends, as Paul’s luck would have it, and she taught him many things – which berries to eat, how to fish with his hands, all the manly nature things a forester ought to know! But this was back when Paul was just learning to tie his bootlaces, and his father realized that a normal axe would soon be but a toothpick to big Paul. So he had the old fallen fir carved and fitted with a large mill saw. And there you have it, Paul had his axe!
There’s a saying out there in the Badlands – “There is a beautiful woman behind every tree.” We figure they must have scattered, because after a few months of swinging that axe in Midwestern America– Paul had cleared several states of their trees — and consequently their tree-dwelling women.
“Babe,” said Paul, one day, “Babe I must know. What’s a logging man to do, when there are no trees left to log?” Babe, as you know, was Paul’s best friend and the one Paul went to when he had a problem. Babe had a solution. Now you all have heard of the Monteith brothers, right? They were the founders of our wonderful Albany, named after their old home of Albany, New York. Babe happened to know and love these Monteith brothers – he was part of their oxen team when they began their trek out west! Sad for them but lucky for Paul who found him, Babe got lost in the middle of a snow storm as they were passing through the Midwest. That’s how Babe got his color, by the way – he was so cold he turned blue, and he that’s the color he stayed, even when he warmed up.
Without any words passing between the two, Paul knew exactly what Babe was thinking. “Well Babe, maybe we just need to find some Oregon trees, eh?” suggested Paul. Babe nodded, his long horns stirring up the snow clouds above – and clouds don’t especially like being stirred, so they angrily swirled about with snow. Paul and Babe decided now would be a good time to head out west. “Oregon or bust!”