A Day off in Walla Walla
We got the hook up in Walla Walla thanks to bicycle enthusiast Rebecca aka RJ! She doesn’t even live in Walla Walla, but through the magic of http://www.warmshowers.org (which everyone reading this should sign up for immediately) she found us the sweetest little organic farm on the outskirts of town for us to set up our tent.
West End Farm grows flowers, vegetables, has chickens laying eggs, baby turkeys for eating (eventually,) and three hard working farmers. http://westendfarm.ipower.com/aboutus.htm. Alice, Jesse, and Dana greeted us with a great meal on Thursday night and gave us a spot in their tent village, which is a summer addition to the farm to keep them cool at night.
We got to sleep in on Friday morning, and when we finally emerged from our tent, we headed into town to the famed Clarette’s for a ‘Big Walla Walla’ breakfast. No, we weren’t planning to bike that day. But yes, we ate all of that breakfast.
After filling our bellies with fuel for our rest day, we headed out in search of wine. First we visited Dusted Valley Winery (“Washington Winery of the Year”, ahem), where we tried a Yakima Valley Viognier, a rose, several Syrahs – one Columbia Valley and one Walla Walla, and a Cabernet Sauvignon. With already stained lips, we headed to Trust Cellars (www.trustcellars.com), where we met Lori Brooks, co-owner with her husband, Steve. Lori poured us a tasty Columbia Valley Riesling, a Cab Franc rose, a couple more Syrahs, and and a Cabernet Sauvignon blend. We are certainly not wine conoisseurs, but it sure tasted good to us. What we enjoyed the most about Trust was hearing about the guts it took Lori and Steve to switch gears mid-life and start a winery… hence the name. As Lori put it, “You can’t write ‘balls’ on a wine bottle.” Also, she gave us some temporary tattoos. Cool.
That night we cooked dinner for our farm friends in their outdoor kitchen and enjoyed the farm until the hungry mosquitoes showed up. We all went bed early so we could wake up for the Walla Walla farmers’ market (some to work and some to eat). We roamed around the stands and ate breakfast burritos and sweet scones contemplating the innappropriately sappy and slow rock synth-ey music selection of the lone musician performing at the market (hopefully we will be able to post a video soon.) The West End Farm’s stand was blooming with flowers, and they gave us some great recomendations for produce for our dinner. We rode out of Walla Walla with our grocery bags full of peaches and squash and began rolling toward Portland . . . seriously . . . it’s on a sign. We are that close!
Lastly, for those of you concerned about our lack of discussion of the famed Walla Walla sweet onion, have no fear! They were everywhere, but all came in large bags that were just not fitting for such light travelers as ourselves. Luckily, we headed out of Walla Walla on an onion route and we were able to pick up a sweet one from the side of the road (it tried to escape from the bins on a truck.) We cleaned it off well, and it proved to be a nice addition to our squash and pasta. Ah, the joys of Washington.