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Chimposiums are the 1-hour educational workshops offered to the public by the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI), at Central Washington University. They cost $10. A graduate student from the university led the workshop we attended. She told us about how one of the four chimpanzees in their sanctuary, Washoe, was the first nonhuman ever to learn a human language, American Sign Language. Washoe came to them from the U.S. space program, and they’ve learned a lot about chimps from signing with her. Their interactions with her have been going on since 1966, making this the first and longest study of its kind. We also learned a little about the illegal bushmeat trade and efforts to prevent the extinction of free-living chimpanzees. We had about 20 minutes to watch and interact with the chimpanzees, through some glass windows of their space.
At first Loulis, one of the male chimps, made some aggressive territorial gestures at us through the glass. However, after we continued to sign friendly things to him (they had just taught us a couple of such signs), he ended up being the individual who stood at the window the longest to interact with us. He was quite interested in our shoes! I wish so much I had a picture of him to show you, but photos aren't allowed.
CHCI has a different attitude than zoos do regarding the breeding of captive chimpanzees – CHCI is against it. They don’t believe it’s in the best interest of chimpanzees to be born into captivity and never be able to live free. This was a completely different idea than I had been exposed to before.
Their website is a wealth of information! They also offer longer, more intensive Advanced Chimposiums for $100, to those who have already attended a regular Chimposium. The one-hour session barely begins to touch upon the issues.
Updated Apr 8, 2005
Address: Corner of D Street and Dean Nicholson Boulevard
Phone: (509) 963-2244 for reservations
Lion's Rock is located just north of Ellensburg. It's has a nice little camping area, offers lots of hiking opportunities and provides an excellent view of Mount Rainier on clear days.
Written Jul 6, 2004
The Restaurant is based off globally inspried dinning. The best place we ate at in Ellensburg. Everyone in my party loved the meal. The food was great. Everyone there was very nice. Made us feel very welcome there. Would go back there in a heartbeat.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 412 N Main
Valley Cafe has been described as the best restaurant in Ellensburg. I don't doubt it - our food was just wonderful. When I was here for lunch they had several pastas, salads, and soups on the menu. Their wine selection was also quite nice. At dinner they also usually feature the lamb that Ellensburg is known for around these parts, among other entrees.
The cafe dates back to 1930. It was remodelled in the Art Deco style in 1938 and still bears the subtle, understated Art Deco touches throughout - look at the lighting, the mirrors, the curve of the window, etc. A counter runs down the length of the restaurant, with mahogany booths and a mahogany bar back. Quite nice, and not stuffy at all.
Written Apr 8, 2005
Address: 105 W. Third
Phone: (509) 925-3050
Actually went here for lunch! But, The Tav is the place to go on a Friday/Saturday to meet friends, shoot pool and drink beer!! Most well known watering hole among professionals, students, working stiffs, moms, tourists, etc.
Dress Code: Come as you are...
Written Jan 24, 2006
The best way to get to Ellensburg is on the interstates that intersect here. If you are coming from Seattle, hop on I-90 East. From Spokane, hop on I-90 West. Or from the south get on I-82 and head on over the hills.
Ellensburg is fairly easy to get around. Just get on main street and head North.
Written Oct 4, 2002
Ellensburg is nearly always very windy. The sign was setup as a joke which isn't really a joke. In the winter the wind cuts right through you.
Written Jul 6, 2004
Visit the Washington Wine Country near Yakima, 35 miles to the south with tasting rooms for Washington Wines. The wineries of the Yakima Wine Country are becoming increasingly renowned for their red wines.
Washington Wine Facts
* Ranks 2nd nationally in premium wine
* Averages 17.4 hours of sunlight per day,
about 2 hours more than California's
prime growing region.
Number of Wineries
2003 - 250
2002 - 208
1999 - 144
1993 - 80
1986 - 38
1981 - 19
Updated May 3, 2004
The Gorge Amphitheater is a popular place for outdoor concerts, located among the vineyards in Central Washington just off Interstate 90 close to the town of George. The amphitheater is on the cliffs overlooking the Columbia River gorge. 40 minutes from Ellensburg.
gorge concert calendar 2004
Updated Apr 24, 2004