Honk if you’re into Indian artifacts

SUNDAY, APRIL 15, 2007

When my friend Jeff picks his daughter up from school, he sometimes crosses paths with one of the other fathers.

They’re not pals, really, and I’m guessing this is why: This particular gentleman has chosen to express his personal system of belief with a “honk if you’re horny” directive on his back bumper.

And he didn’t wait until he stumbled onto a professionally produced bumper sticker at the auto show or a Gas ‘n Go somewhere in rural Tennessee. No, sir. He painted that sentiment on his bumper himself.

Dude, your kid’s in school. She can read.

Let this be a lesson to us all: We leave things behind for future generations. Just for a minute, think about what they might find.

I’m pretty sure you’ll find something more edifying than a hand-painted bumper sticker at Fort Walla Walla Museum’s new two-year exhibit, “Lloyd Family Collection of Indian Artifacts: Positive Intercultural Relations in Southeastern Washington.”

It’s a cumbersome title, sure, but not enough to mortify the junior Lloyds or relegate them to permanent social Siberia.

The 19th and 20th century objects tell the story of the friendship between generations of a pioneer family and the area’s early Native Americans.

“Albert Lloyd originally came to the area to fight Indians,” says Laura Schulz, collections manager for the museum. “He ended up creating a treaty with Big Thunder.”

The agreement allowed the Lloyds and the Palouse Indians to co-exist peaceably on a piece of property the Lloyds farmed and the Natives used as a campsite.

You’ll see gifts the two groups exchanged between 1909 and 1948, including photographs, beaded bags, belts, moccasins, vests and decorative necklaces.

The exhibit also includes twined baskets, receipts, letters and Indian attire made for Wes and Ina Lloyd’s young son. The inclusion of a woman’s twined hat fills a gap in the museum’s Indian collection they’ve been trying to bridge for a number of years.

For more information about the exhibit, which runs through Oct. 31, 2008, visit www.fortwallawallamuseum. org or call (509) 525-7703.

Calling all mountain men

Hey, guys – pour yourself a stiff shot of testosterone and celebrate your manliness with Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s “Mountain Adventure Package.”

You’re not suffering any sexual identity issues, right? You just like to four-wheel in a Hummer and ziptrek across the treetops. You’re not trying to prove anything. And you appreciate this kind of frank talk:

“Forget sissy spa sabbaticals. Leave the lady friends at home and get ready to rock, Whistler-style.”

That’s from the Fairmont’s news release about this muscular, clench-jawed confirmation of your virility. (I have to tell you, though – if you call them “lady friends,” you won’t have any for long.)

The Fairmont stands ready to welcome those they’ve termed “retrosexuals” with a bed (which seems pretty sissified, if you asked me), breakfast buffet and a $100 credit toward the “extreme” activity of your choice for a package rate starting at $198 Canadian.

Activities vary by season, but your options include horseback riding, the aforementioned Hummer expedition, ziptrekking and heliskiing.

They also have a much-praised golf course (Golf Digest gave it a “must play” rating), but that hardly qualifies as an extreme pursuit. You are staying at a place called a “chateau,” however, so it’s best to put all the chest-thumping aside.

Make your reservations at www.fairmont.com/whistler or (800) 441-1414.

Ohme, oh my

Here’s another opportunity for those who like to head for the hills, but with a lot less posturing.

Ohme Gardens sits on a rocky bluff just north of Wenatchee, and according to the information they sent my way, the nine-acre spot is one of the most famous alpine gardens in the country.

Closed for the season since October, the gates open back up today, admitting you to winding paths, clear pools and views of the Cascade Mountains, Columbia River and Wenatchee Valley.

The Ohme family devoted 60 years to the project, and today you’ll find a huge variety of plants and flowers including heather, white mountain avens, wild strawberry, bleeding heart, thimbleberry, creeping thyme and wild violets, to name just a few.

There’s a complete list and additional information at www.ohmegardens.com. Or call (509) 662-5785.

Regonal events

•TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival, through next Sunday, Whistler, B.C. Now in its 12th year, the festival promises 50 live concerts, pro ski and snowboard camps, “legendary arts events, burn-the-candle nightlife and the best spring skiing and riding in the world.” ( www.whistler2007.com/ 604-938-3399, ext. 28)

•Annual Essexpress Railfan Weekend, May 4-6, Essex, Mont. Train lovers, get on board for train chasing, history seminars, slide shows, and more rail-related fun at the Izaak Walton Inn. ( www.visitmt.com/ 406-888-5700)

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