Day 6: Lessons in history - It's Something To Do - CycleBlaze

June 7, 2017

Day 6: Lessons in history

By the time I reached the quicky mart about 20 miles from Walla Walla I had already decided that it would be a short day ending with a hotel in town, so I was not in any kind of rush to drink coffee and down semi-healthy breakfast samplings.

In an adgacent table two men were chatting. I didnt pay much attention until one of them said something about a wheat combine race.

"A wheat combine race?!" I said. "When."

"This weekend."

"Shoot I will be gone by then." Then added, "i saw a tractor pull once. Thats good stuff."

From there Dave and Bill chatted about all kinds of cool stuff, like farming and skeletons found on the local military base.

"I am retired military," Dave said. "They found a skeleton dating back from the Oregon trail days. It was right near the old trail. That brought in all the archeologists. I wish I had been interested in archeology then, I would have gotten into it more."

But he is into archeology now, and history, and since retiring went back to school to study it. He recommended some historical sites that I will get to in a minute.

Bill said he has had cyclists camp on his farm, and added "You can camp there if you want."

"I don't know," I joked. "Depends on what's for dinner."

They told me about some guy they met who walked the Oregon trail. That sounds way harder than biking!

After that it was on to Walla walla but not before a couple of stops at historical sites, the main one being the Whitman museum. The Whitmans were a couple of Missionaries from Ney York who decided that it was their duty to come out west and make the Nez Perce indians into happy christians, with disasterious results for all sides, even the Whitmans who ended up being killed by indians who got fed up with the whole arrangement.

I am normally pretty neutral about the movies shown at some of the national park sites. Sometimes they seem overblown or one sided or two sided in a way that says, "we have to put something in here about the indians so we dont look one sided." But this movie was one of the better ones.

The piece included interviews from living Nez Perce. I thought the balance was right. But what I find most interesting is the summary that the reason things went so wrong dor native people in general was the belief that one side thinks they are superior to the other side.

And it sounds a little like what is happening in our society today? If America is number 1 then that presumes we are better than other people and societies. Why do we have to be better? Why not just different? And how can we be better when we still dont have showers at many of our campgrounds, when campgrounds in Europe,for examples, have showers?

In the end it was diseases that were not recognized by the Nez Perce (and other natives) immune systems that probably did the greatest harm. Sute would be nice if we can look at the lessons of the past and not repeat them, superiority complex wise.

After that I rolled into Walla Walla and the comfort in ready for a shower and a nap. There is nothing like a clean cool hotel room when you are hot, tired and filthy.

Riding in farm country now
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Dave and Bill. Two cool dudes from Walla Walla
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At the Whitman farmsite
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These people either like to txt on the top of thier house or this is and Intensive Care Unit for god?
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This was cool. Those little holes are swallow nests and swallows were flying all over the place going in and out.
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Today's ride: 33 miles (53 km)
Total: 272 miles (438 km)

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