We left Coeur d’Alend Idaho this moring on our way to Walla Walla Washington. I didn’t see anything too special about Walla Walla but I knew I wanted to say that I had been there! It is just something about the name that entices me I guess. We did find two places to visit. The first is Whitman Mission National Site. Although all they had of the mission itself was the excavated foundations the mission history was very well documented and worth the visit.
It was started in 1840, that was before the mass migration via the Oregon trail. The mission was started by a husband and wife who had a great desire to bring the Gospel to the Indians in the area. They were funded by a large religious group in Boston. The mission lasted until it met it grim demise in 1847. It seems that although the Whitmans were anxious to bring the Bible to the native Americans they, as typical of almost all missionaries during that period, wanted to bring it on their own terms. And their terms were that the Indians must give up all their traditions and culture and take on the white man’s ways. That included giving up the nomadic life and becoming farmers. Since the tribes had been nomads for hundreds, if not thousands, of years that was not a possibility. After about four years the Whitmans became discouraged and began turning their mission into a supply post for the many people then starting to use the Oregon trail. When measles wiped out almost half the Indian populations and scarcely affected the whites a small group of the Indians believed that Dr. Whitman was poisoning them. As a result they came and murdered the Whitmans and several other in retaliation. Long story short this almost doomed several tribes in the area as all were blamed for the actions of a few.
I guess hindsight is better then foresight but I don’t understand why Christians, even today, have to add cultural restrictions when bringing the gospel of Christ to others. If they had just restricted their mission to the gospel they might have been more successful. But I am getting into outreach and theology here and since I am on vacation I will stop here.
The other place we stopped at in Walla Walla was the Fort Walla Walla Museum. Regrettably the museum had nothing to do with Fort Walla Walla but was mainly just a collection of antique farm implements collected from around the area. I guess they thought they were justified in naming it Fort…. Museum since it was on the same ground as the original fort. Long story short, if you ever get to Walla Walla don’t waste your time here.
After the museum we hit the road again and soon passed the Oregon State line. We are now settled down in a very nice, and very reasonably priced, lodge on the Columbia River about 150 miles east of Portland. As shown in the photo above We are about 20 yards from the rivers edge. It is soo nice here it will be hard to leave in the morning.