760. Walla Walla, Walla Walla County (WA27)

Walla Walla is one of those places that I had heard of but never imagined going to, considering its primary claim to fame as the corporate home of the Little Giant Vacuum Cleaner Company. But there I was, and its courthouse was lovely. Not Pasco lovely, mind you, but lovely. A nice classical structure for an important city (at least regionally, anyway).

It was a great tragedy to discover upon arrival that Bonnie Raitt was playing in town that evening. It was undoubtedly sold out and would have cost more than I was willing to pay for a concert ticket at the time.

What possible connection could Christopher Columbus have with Walla Walla? Other than (I assume) having a statue of him given to the county? Color me completely unsurprised to know there is some controversy surrounding the statue’s presence. While one can laud Columbus for discovering a “new world” (one that had previously been discovered by the Chinese, Welsh, or, more realistically, the Vikings), one cannot ignore the fact that there were already people inhabiting that world, so it was only new to him. And at a time when Europeans were capable of and surrounded by acts we today would consider appalling, Columbus’s contemporaries considered him a bit of a monster. When he was first pushed forward to join the American pantheon of heroes, they could never have known the horrors he had perpetrated. Who would even speak of such things if they didn’t have to? My point here (and I do have one) is that I certainly didn’t expect to find a statue of him here. But all that (the entire last paragraph to the contrary) is entirely beyond my scope.

The cache was another that was listed as a small, but I myself would have considered it a micro. Though I couldn’t help but think it was a mundane hide, I had to give it extra marks for being consistent with its theme. Besides, it was big enough to put a small trackable in it. Therefore, it was good enough for my purposes, so I shouldn’t judge so harshly (and yet, I did). Uncharacteristically, I would not go after another cache this day. For a couple of nights on this trip to the Pacific Northwest, we (my traveling companion Buckandi and I) would be visiting and staying with friends of Buck’s. The first night was back in Port Townsend, and the second would be here in Walla Walla. We stayed at his friends’ small winery, ate good food, drank wine made from their grapes, and enjoyed the beautiful views from their home. As I have noted before, heroes have friends, and I was lucky to enjoy the fruits of traveling with a hero. We slept well and then awoke in the morning. I took a momentary aside to help another visiting friend in Seattle with an Unknown Cache since I am more versed in the Pixies than he is. He, too, is a hero. Soon enough, Buck and I were back on the road, kicking up dust on the way to…

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