Day 5– Pendleton
Yesterday was a full day trip to Pendleton, OR developed along the Umatilla River. Our bus driver was one of the most entertaining guides I believe we have ever had. She kept us all laughing the entire day and yet was so informative at the same time. Before water was easy to attain this part of WA was desert land created by the glacier floods. It was great for growing soft wheat which is what they grow here. Soft wheat is not good for bread but great for making noodles so that is why it all goes to China. Anyway since water is now available they have started growing apples. Yes we have all heard of Washington apples. The way they prune the trees is very interesting. They all look like capital Y. Reason all fruit get more sun and one doesn’t have to climb the tree to pick apples. They are also starting grow grapes and wineries are springing up all over.
We visited the underground area of Pendleton which was a network of tunnels and rooms developed by the Chinese railroad workers who settled here. It was also great for the 32 bars and 18 brothels. Also worked great for hide a ways during Prohibition. On our way to lunch we strolled the town. Cowboys rule here. Of course the Pendleton Roundup is the third largest rodeo in the country. One of the people we met on the ship is into rodeo. His granddaughter won the national calf roping last year and his brother is a steer wrestler. Haven’t talked about these things since we left Omaha. Then onto the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute. Our “Indian” guide was also a great story teller. He prefers to be called an Indian instead of Native American. Then to the Pendleton Mills. For me it was very interesting because taking the school kids on field trips to watch rug making back in pioneer days. The idea is exactly the same except designs are all done by computers. Quite amazing. Also found out where they get Virgin Wool, from really ugly sheep!
On the way home we watched a movie about the Hanford REACH Museum which highlights the history of the Hanford Nuclear Plant’s role in the Manhattan Project. This is the first time we have been on a ship with an all American Crew. It is unique being able to understand everyone.
More to Follow,
Tom & Holly