Thursday, August 20, 2009
Visitors can try their hands at using an atlatl from 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the at Whitman Mission National Historic Site, 328 Whitman Mission Road.
The atlatl is an ancient hunting weapon that was used possibly as early as 30,000 B.C. Darts thrown with the extra leverage of the atlatl have a greater velocity and can be thrown farther and with more accuracy.
Over time the dart and atlatl were replaced by the bow and arrow. There is a resurgence in this ancient technique as it has found new popularity as a contemporary sport.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday Mike Denny will conduct a bird walk around the grounds. Admission to the evening bird walk is free. Participants will gather in front of the Visitor Center and depart from there.
Last summer Blue Mountain Wildlife brought several live birds of prey to Whitman Mission. This was so popular they were invited back and originally scheduled for this weekend. However, due to a schedule conflict, their visit has been rescheduled. The birds of prey will be at the Mission from 1-4 p.m. August 29.
The Whitman Mission Visitor Center is open seven days a week. Summer hours for the building are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The park grounds are open until dark. Park fees are $3 for adults, $5 for a family and children under 16 are free. Evening events are free. An annual pass good for the whole family is only $10. Whitman Mission is located seven miles west of Walla Walla off U.S. Highway 12. Visitor information may be obtained any time by calling 509-529-2761 or by visiting the park Web site at www.nps.gov/whmi.