Sunday, October 2, 2011

Walla Walla Part Two

The weather was so delightful this morning, that we decided to spend one more day in Walla Walla (henceforth referred to as W2). I shall now hit the highlights of the past two days. Yesterday's key learning is to take a picture of the signs at the vineyards so that it's possible to remember all of the places visited. I failed to do that. Sorry.
These are flowers behind a winery from Friday.

Saturday morning we walked into downtown W2 for coffee and breakfast. This nice lady is almost 90. She trained as a nurse in W2, spent her working years in Seattle, and is now back here because she wanted a smaller scaled, slower pace of life. She was interesting to talk to. She thinks the wineries are good because they've brought tourists and their money to W2; but the down side has been skyrocketing land and housing prices, difficulty in parking downtown, and the Macy's is not really marketing to the locals, but to people from Seattle who are here visiting. I really enjoyed talking with her.

Then we walked around downtown for a bit. This is one wall of the Odd Fellows Temple.

A theater downtown.

Then it was off to the farmer's market.

There was a big 4H stand. There were chickens on leashes and bunnies. All of the animals were very well behaved.

After the tour of downtown, it was off to the wineries. The airport in W2 used to be a training base for B17s during WWII, the 91st bomb group was the first to train there. There are many old small buildings left over from that era. The Port of W2 has been successful in getting many of the wineries to open tasting rooms in the old buildings. We visited several before going out to the incubators.

This is a genius public-private partnership. New vintners can spend up to 6 years at a low rent in one of the five incubator tasting rooms. Each year the rent goes up, and after 6 years, they move up and out. It gives people new to the industry a chance to perfect their craft and build a client base. It helps the industry and it helps the individuals. One of the guys we talked to is a 6th generation resident of the area. His dad is a wheat farmer, owns thousands of acres of land, some of which will be turned over to grape production in the future.

Here are Jim and Jim in front of CAVU. Much wine was purchased.

Flowers in CAVU.

Then we drove out to Pepper Bridge. It's just gorgeous out there. They have a large facility with a great deck. You drive in through apple orchards and vineyards. Beautiful, just beautiful. This is the view off their deck.

After Pepper Bridge we drove over the border into Milton-Freewater, Oregon to the Tero winery. They also have the stunning scenery.

We walked out to an orchard adjacent to the vineyard to look at the McClellan Fuji trees. It's amazing how many apples are on one tree.

Given that it was such a nice day, a small plane was flying low and slow over the area. Look at the size of his tires, he can land on the dirt.

We went out to dinner at the Whoopemup Hollow Cafe in Waitsburg. The population there as of the 2010 census was 2,013. It's out in the middle of wheat country. So what would you expect to be eating for dinner there? I was expecting big grilled steaks and no vegetables. Wrong. It's upscale Cajun inspired Southern dining. I had ravioli stuffed with ricotta and pureed potatoes in a red broth with crayfish, escarole and preserved lemon slices. It had a sneaky kind of heat that built throughout the bowl of wonderfulness. My face was all sweaty by the time I was finished. It was so good. Kim had a Cuban inspired shrimp stew which she liked very much.

This is dessert, which we split. It's bourbon glazed peach bread pudding with vanilla ice cream. It was so good. It's amazing to me that Waitsburg can support this restaurant, and two other upscale bars out in wheat country.

So today, we got up with the intent of driving to Portland (where it is raining), looked out the window and decided that the weather was better here. We went out to the Whitman Mission National Historic site. The mission was founded in 1836 by Dr. Whitman and his wife. They were Presbyterians, sent from the east to convert the Cayuse. This is the view from the memorial dedicated to the Whitmans.

This is the pond on the site with turtles.

When the Whitmans arrived in 1836 the Cayuse population was about 400. The were nomadic hunter gatherers. Dr. Whitman attempted to teach them to read the Bible and to farm. He knew that given the number of settlers coming in to the area, the nomadic way of life would be unsustainable, due to the Northern Europeans' penchant for fencing off the land. The Cayuse were not really interested in learning either topic, and were very unhappy about the number of people who were staying at the Mission.
All that remain are the foundations of the buildings. This is the Mission proper where the Whitmans lived.

In 1847 measles came with the continuing influx of settlers. The Cayuse had no immunity to it, and 50% of their people died. The Cayuse thought that Dr. Whitman had not done enough to save them, and retaliated by killing Dr. Whitman and his wife, and 11 other settlers. The buildings were burned, and the remaining settlers fell back to Fort Walla Walla. Oregon was declared a territory so that federal troops could be utilized to find the 5 Cayuse suspected of the murders and hang them.
The Oregon trail went right by the Mission. The western expansion continued along its route.

Afterwards we drove out to Whitman college and looked at it. It's a really pretty campus. Whitman is a private liberal arts college. Here is one of their attractive buildings.

So, that was W2. Tomorrow we are going to Portland for a couple of days. Hopefully the weather will be better than the forecast.

1 comment:

  1. I love bread pudding and yours looks deelish. As do your photos. I'm living vicariously through your photos and blog. Love love love it!