Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Pendleton blankets’ Category

Why We Do This: Historic Wooden Boats on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon

A heartfelt series of guest posts from our friend Greg Hatten begins this week.

7_Day-4-Izzy

March of 2014 was a deadly month in the Grand Canyon for river runners.   The water level was well below average and even the most experienced boatmen saw water dynamics they had never seen before.  Low water created new hazards – holes were deeper, drops were sharper, jagged rocks that rarely see sunlight punched holes in our boats and holes in our confidence.

An accomplished group of nine kayakers just a few miles ahead of us lost one of their team mates to the river below Lava Falls.  There was a another serious accident in the group two days behind us midway through the trip.

Some of our wood boats were damaged, a few of our rubber rafts flipped, oars and ribs and teeth were broken, a helicopter rescue was required for a member of our team on Day 4. After 280 miles and 24 days on the water, we reached the end of the Grand Canyon and all agreed we were ready to do it again…as soon as possible.

8_River-Rats

 

Who are we and why do we do this???   

6_the-line

 

We are a band of wood boat enthusiasts who came to the Grand Canyon in March to re-run a famous trip from 1964 with our wood dory replicas, our canvas tents and bedrolls, our Pendleton wool blankets, and a couple of great photographers to capture the adventure.

5_camaraderie

Fifty years ago, that trip played a crucial role in saving the Grand Canyon from two proposed dams that were already under construction.  If THAT trip had not happened, THIS trip would not have been possible and our campsites would be at the bottom of a reservoir instead of beside the river.  River running on the Colorado through the Grand Canyon would’ve been replaced by “Reservoir Running in Pontoons,” as most of the Grand Canyon would’ve been hundreds of feet under water.

2_shallows

We are celebrating the success of the trip of  ‘64 and paying tribute to those men who left a legacy for future river runners like us to run the big water of the Colorado through the Grand Canyon in river boats.  We are brought together by Dave Mortenson, whose dad was one of those pioneers.

“Who we are” is easier to answer than “Why we do this.” There are moments on trips like these, when we are at the crossroads of chaos – where adventure and wonder intersect with danger and consequence – and the outcome is uncertain. THAT’s what makes it an adventure.  I can only speak for myself – but here’s my shot at answering “why…”

I do this because the Grand Canyon takes my breath away.  The first time I saw it from the bottom looking up, I fell in love with this place and was absolutely amazed by the size and beauty of the canyon.  Everything is bigger, deeper, taller, more colorful, more powerful, more everything than anyplace I have ever been.

3_sensawunda

I do this because the Colorado River tests my physical ability as a boatman like no other river I have ever boated.  This is one of the most powerful rivers in North America and when that strong current bends the oars I’m rowing and I feel the raw force shooting up my aching arms and across my tired back, I’m electrified and anxious at the same time.

I do this because the rapids on this river test my mental ability as a boatman.  My friend and veteran Canyoneer Craig Wolfson calls it “Nerve.”  Scouting severe rapids and seeing the safest “line” to run is one thing – having the nerve to put your boat on that line is another.  Most of the difficult rapids require a run that puts your boat inches from disaster at the entry point in order to avoid calamity at the bottom.  Everything in your “experience” tells you to avoid the danger at the top – but you mustn’t.  Overriding those instincts and pulling off a successful run is a mental tug of war that is challenging beyond belief.

I do this because of the bonds we form as a team of 16 individuals working and cooking and rowing and eating and drinking and laughing together for 280 miles.  We problem-solve together, we celebrate together, we look out for each other, and we find a way to get along when every once-in-awhile the stress of the trip makes “some” of us a little “cranky.”   Sometimes, we experience the most vulnerable moments of our lives together.  These people are lifetime friends as a result of this adventure.

 

And finally – I do this because it brings out the best in me.  My senses are better, my mind is clearer, my body is stronger and I like to think I’m friendlier, funnier, more generous, and more helpful down in the Canyon.  It makes me want to be this open with people up on Rim when I get back to my regular routine.  It’s hard to articulate but for me, the place is magic.

Greg Hatten

4_crew

Coming up…

Next….. You can read in detail how we carefully “scout” and how we the run the violent rapids of the Colorado in hand-made historic wooden boats made of ¼” plywood.  If we make a mistake we pay a heavy price – which you will see in “Running A Rapid.”

Finally…. You can read about camp life on the Colorado.  What it’s like to sleep in the canyon for a month.  How we cook, clean, relax, and get re-charged for a challenging day on the river.  There are beautiful night-time shots for you to enjoy in “Camp in the Canyon.”

 

Grand Canyoneers

Our friend Greg Hatten is back on the river and we will have great footage to share soon. He’s traveling old-school in a hand-built wooden drift boat, camping under the stars with a Pendleton blankets.

In Greg’s words:

Last year we honored the historic 1962 river trip on the Grand Canyon by replicating the boats (the Portola & the Susie Too) and the trip in every possible detail.  We took thousands of pics, and NW Documentaries shot hours of video.  

Guess what? We are doing it again…. we received a special use permit to return to the canyon and replicate the 1964 trip which was one of the most significant in the life of the Grand Canyon.  It was on this trip, led by Martin Litton in the Portola and PT Riley in the Susie Too and accompanied by the leading environmentalists of the day, that writers, photographers, videographers, and poets captured the story of the Grand Canyon was captured, romanced, and publicized globally. This put a STOP to the impending congressional vote on the Southwest Water Plan which would have authorized several dams and turned the Colorado River into a “trickle” –  destroying the Grand Canyon National Park. 

Today, those boats are known as “the boats that saved the Canyon” and that trip – which resulted in the book Time and the River Flowing by Francois Leydet and the short film “Living Water, Living Canyon” by David Brower and the Sierra Club are credited with preserving one of our National treasures. 

They are on the water now. More to come!

Buffalo Exchange

A brand builds a base in many ways. Pendleton has been around long enough that we have fans who’ve been shopping with us since the second World War. We also have generations of brand fans who have come to us through vintage shopping.

That’s why were were especially excited to be featured in the in-store publication of Buffalo Exchange.

WEB_coversThey have a nice write-up about our brand history, with photos featuring apparel from our mens, womens and The Portland Collection, as well as some of our blankets.

WEB_Buffalo_Exch_Wtr13_feat_a

And, they have an accurate shirt label guide on the last page.

WEB_Buffalo_Exch_Wtr13_feat_b

We’d like to point out that the “2000s” example is from The Portland Collection. On Menswear, the label you’ll see is more like this one:

PendletonLabel2

Thanks, Buffalo Exchange! If you are a vintage shopper, please check them out.

sbox-40thAnnv2014_0203

Visit Pendleton’s Past in Downtown Portland

Through February 28th, Pendleton’s history is on display at the Oregon Historical Society. This beautiful building on Portland’s South Park Blocks is very near Portland State University and the Portland Art Museum. Sounds like a great day downtown, doesn’t it?

OHS-2013-038

The exhibit is a fun way to learn just how Pendleton is woven into Oregon’s history. The desk on display was an old oak roll-top from our corporate headquarters. It was reserved for use by the mill manager when he made his way to Portland from Washougal. Our current manager may have opened a laptop on it a time or two, but times have changed and the desk sat unused for decades.

As we approached the 150th anniversary of the opening of Thomas Kay’s mill, our visual manager, Shelley Prael, decided to incorporate the desk into a display at a sales meeting. When she opened the drawers, she found them full of items belonging to Thomas Kay’s nephew, C.P. Bishop, who used the desk in the old Bishop’s store in Salem.

Numerous treasures, including his college yearbooks, journal and eyeglasses, were accessioned into our archives. But don’t worry, some are on loan to the exhibit, along with other artifacts and a timeline that takes you from 1863 to the present.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

More information here.

The Wilderness Collective

This post looks back to this past summer, when we helped outfit The Wilderness Collective for a trip to the Eastern Sierras. For this trip, they rode in on horse, braving rain and rocky trails for the reward of some serious fishing and camping away from the distractions of modern life.

The Wilderness Collective’s tagline is “Legendary Adventures for Men.” The gear is high-end, the aesthetic tends towards the curated, but there is no denying that these adventures are the real thing.

Watch the film below. Don’t you want to go?

FilmStill

WILDERNESS COLLECTIVE | WC-004 Eastern Sierra

The real stars of the film are the horses. They patiently pick their way across this stunning landscape, shod hooves on sharp rocks, to take the Wilderness Collective into seriously rugged territory. These horses definitely earned their Pendleton saddle blankets.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You can read more about The Wilderness Collective and see films of their other journeys here.

Three Corn Maidens

ThreeCornMaidens

The Three Corn Maidens blanket is part of our series for the American Indian College Fund. The Three Corn Maidens design tells the story of the Pueblo people’s belief that just as the sun gives life to the corn, the Corn Maidens bring the power of life to the people. The blanket was designed by Isleta Pueblo artist Mary Beth Jiron as a celebration of her acceptance into the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Jiron attributes the concept to visions she had and the desire to tell a story from her own culture in which corn is the staff of life and often the center of ceremony. Three Corn Maidens is the second design in the American Indian College Fund’s series of student-designed blankets. The Three Corn Maidens design won first place in the student blanket contest.

If you’d like to support that AICF through a blanket, you can see all the designs here. Since 1995, Pendleton Woolen Mill’s support of the American Indian College Fund (the Fund) has helped more than 400 students pursue their dreams of obtaining a college degree through the Pendleton Woolen Mills Tribal College Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to American Indian students attending tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) in Washington and Montana, and the Pendleton Endowment Tribal Scholars Program, which provides scholarships in perpetuity to Native students attending TCUs throughout the United States.

“We are always inspired by the individual stories of struggle and triumph of the students who receive the scholarships,” said Robert Christnacht, Pendleton Home Division Manager. “Pendleton is honored to be able to contribute to the long-term growth of the tribal college system through the American Indian College Fund.”

 

Lou Doillon via Garance Doré

Here’s Lou Doillon perched on her Chief Joseph blanket from fashion photographer, illustrator, and writer Garance Doré. Beautiful!

Lou courtesy Garance Doré

Pendleton’s Day of the Dead Blanket

Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is celebrated on October 31st and November 1st and 2nd.  In Mexico, celebrants build ofrendas, altars to the deceased, with photos, candles, and the favorite foods of those who have moved on. In Brazil, families visit churches, then visit cemeteries. In Spain, celebrants enjoy festivals and parades throughout certain neighborhoods. Wherever the holiday is observed, the spirits of the departed are welcomed back to this world with specific symbols; calaveras (sugar skulls), masses of stylized flowers, and dressed skeletons.

PWM Day_of_the_Dead_WEB

The roots of the holiday go back more than 3,000 years ago, to the age of the Aztecs and a ritual that celebrated the goddess Mictecacihuatl.  The skulls and flowers symbolized death and rebirth. In the 15th century, Spanish conquistadores were aghast at a ritual that seemed to mock death. In an attempt to make the ceremony more Christian, the Spaniards moved the event to All Saints’ Day, but the symbology remained, growing more fanciful and varied through the generations.

The central figure of our Day of the Dead blanket represents the colorful wooden skull masks or calacas that celebrants wear as they dance to honor their dead relatives. The wooden skulls, decorated sugar skulls and marigolds are placed at gravesites and altars for the departed. The blanket’s bright colors and festive images of flowers and mariachi musicians capture the spirit of the celebration.

PWM Diego_Bear_WEB

We have a related pattern called Sugar Skulls based on one of the elements in the Day of the Dead blanket. It’s used in fabric, a spa towel, an array of bags and Diego the bear. Our patterns capture the spirit of joyful welcome as celebrated by people all over the world during Dia de los Muertos.

400px-Catrinas_2

Bugaboo x Pendleton, the Park City launch.

7w1rRqc3ooTKUgopvg1ogori0Oy2TZFk1S8OCoH49OE[1]

Here’s a video of Bugaboo’s Park City launch of the Bugaboo Buffalo, a stroller model that goes here, there and everywhere. The video shows just what terrain this model can handle. You can see Pendleton here and there, especially during the indoor marshmallow roast. And of course, here, during the bongo party.

1b4b79b01a6111e392c922000a1fb771_7

Here’s the video.

Our special collaborative models are available at www.bugaboo.com.

Bugaboo5

#discoverthebuffalo

Pendleton x Ural Motorcycles

Ural Gaucho Rambler

Pendleton is delighted to show you the Ural Gaucho Rambler, our collaboration with IMZ-Ural, one of the world’s oldest motorcycle manufacturers. The Gaucho Rambler pays homage to the famed Southwestern cowboy, or Gaucho.

Ural specializes in retro-inspired three-wheelers. This sidecar model is painted Pacific Blue with a sun-weathered canvas draping to echo the colors of the western sunset.  Each bike carries a specially labeled Journey West blanket robe for warmth under the starry night skies. Because every cowboy should have the means to rustle up some grub, each bike also includes a mess kit with coffee pot and cups, plates and a skillet.

JourneyWest_Front

“Ural and Pendleton are two companies which at different points in time ventured out to find home in the American West, both of which endured many challenges and yet all the while maintained their authenticity,” said Madina Merzhoeva, Ural’s VP of Sales & Marketing. “This year Pendleton’s anniversary celebrates 150 years of weaving textiles in America and Ural marks its 20th year in the US. Paying homage to our beginnings and the pioneering spirit is what connects the two brands and inspired this collaboration.”

The partnership of historic brands was a natural fit. Only 50 units of the 2013 Gaucho Rambler will be manufactured, so saddle up and have some fun while you can.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 116 other followers