Walla Walla means wineries, a Pioneer Village and a walk on the Oregon Trail.
Hello from Walla Walla, the desert city on the river. Five days of cruising the fast-flowing Columbia River aboard Un-Cruise Adventures’ S.S. Legacy carried us through three unique geographic zones: a temperate rain forest, Columbia River Gorge and now, a desert.
Unseasonably warm, dry, sunny autumn weather greeted us as the S.S. Legacy docked in the heart of Walla Walla, Washington. As always, there was a motor coach awaiting our 9am arrival.
Pioneer Village and Museum
Our day began with a visit to Fort Walla Walla and the Pioneer Village and Museum that showcased life and times in this area between the late 1800s and into the early 1900s.
Museum docents dressed as pioneers handed us a map and diagram of the outdoor “village” to wander through at our own pace. Fifteen original buildings from within a 30-mile radius have been carefully relocated to create this “living” museum.
Pretty interesting and a bit weird with all the carefully constructed plaster people and animals going about their daily business.
By noon we were getting hungry. Back on the bus to visit Dunham Cellars for a wine tasting and lunch. Washington wines were becoming one of my favorites.
The second winery was The Foundry and a look at the touring art exhibit of contemporary Chinese artist, A.I. Wei Wei.
The story of the Whitman family is filled with adventure and tragedy. Marcus and Narcissa Whitman were missionaries that wanted to bring their religion to local Indian tribes. They set out to cross the plains and begin a new life in the wild west.
As a result of extreme cultural differences and the missionaries attempt to convert the Cayuse to Protestantism, the Cayuse tribe went on the attack and killed the Whitmans, seven young brothers who lost their parents en route, plus other settlers who were in the encampment at that time for a total of 16 people. The result of this massacre changed the military’s attitude towards that tribe and retribution was carried out in swift action.
The memorial is set just above the area where the Whitmans set up their home and established a way station for other pioneers to rest and recuperate before completing their journey across Oregon.
On the Oregon Trail.
Take a few minutes to listen to the movie in the museum for insight into the tragic events that took place there. Walk along the wagon wheel tracks, explore the foundation ruins of the Whitman’s home, and leave a few minutes to climb the hill to the towering Obelisk and evocative view of the surrounding countryside.
It’s Cocktail Time!
As always, we were back onboard by 5:30pm so as not to miss a moment of our cocktail hour.
But everyone attends the afternoon cocktail party up in the Main Salon.
Tired but looking forward to tomorrow’s day trip to the middle-of-nowhere Maryhill Museum and more, I took one more sunset photo.
Day 1: Aboard the S.S. Legacy to cruise the Columbia and Snake Rivers
Day 2: Bonneville Dam and towering Multnomah Falls
Day 3: A relaxing “sea” day on the river.
Day 4: Jet Boating through Hell’s Canyon
Day 5: Walla Walla Wineries, the Whitmans and the Oregon Trail (That’s this one!)
Day 6: Maryhill Museum, The Dalles and a real Stonehenge
Day 7: Following Lewis and Clark to Fort Clatsop and a visit to Astoria, Oregon