CRESWELL – Hannah Cooper was in her early 20s and taking a break from her music career when she decided to take a cross-country trip.
On her bicycle.
”I had always wanted to do something like that,” said Cooper, who will play at the Blue Valley Bistro in Creswell on Friday night at 7 p.m. ”I love cycling, I love what it does for culture and community. I had moved to Eugene, and my partner and I talked about it and we decided to do it.”
Their 6,000-mile trek started in Oregon, went south to San Diego, took a southern route across the U.S. to Florida, then finally went north to Lynn, Mass., where they visited Walden Pond, whose shoreline provided the backdrop for Henry Thoreau's famous book, ”Walden.”
”We did a lot of exploring and my partner wrote a blog about natural foods,” Cooper said. ”The whole trip was very enlightening.”
Though she has released just one full-length album -- ”I'm Right Here” -- Cooper has made a name for herself by winning first place for Best Folk Song (”The Hickory Tree”) at the 2017 American Songwriting Awards.
While this will be her first Blue Valley appearance, Cooper played in Eugene twice over the summer -- at the Oregon Country Fair and at Sarver Winery.
She said she has always revelled in the showmanship aspect of performing.
”Show tunes have always had an influence on me,” Cooper said. ”My dad took us to musicals as kids, and I still adore them.
”But yes, being onstage is magical.”

IFYOUGO:
WHAT: Hannah Cooper performance
WHERE: Blue Valley Bistro, 116 Melton Road
WHEN: Friday, Nov. 15, 7 p.m.
COVER: $4 to $5 cover