Posts from the ‘Pendleton Woolen Mills’ Category
A heartfelt series of guest posts from our friend Greg Hatten begins this week.
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.
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.
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 River running on the Colorado through the Grand Canyon would’ve been replaced by “Reservoir Running in Pontoons,” as most of the Grand Canyon would’ve been hundreds of feet under water.
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.
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.
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.”
Calgary Stampede Indian Princess Carly Weasel Child has been having an exciting year. Here she is on a shoot for Avenue magazine at the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park on the Siksika Reserve, where Carly is from. She’s wearing a dress made by Janine’s Custom Creations with Pendleton wool.
Pattern mixing can be subtle, daring, or just plain fun. Here are some celebrities doing the complicated work of mixology.
Of course, it helps to have personal stylists. Here are some stylists and bloggers who work their patterns perfectly.
Give you any ideas? We hope so. We’re mixing it up for Spring at http://www.pendleton-usa.com; tweed with polka dots, plaids with our very-Pendleton Native-inspired patterns.
When Ty Bennet sent us photos of this beauty, we were impressed by this beautiful Packard.
According to Ty, we were looking at the following: 1948 Packard 8 Station Wagon Woodie Woody. Restored. Excellent condition. Lexington Green Metallic paint. Powerful and Smooth Straight 8 engine.
High Speed rear gear for modern touring. Plaid highlander style interior. Real Wood Northern Birch rails over maple panels. Burl wood grained dashboard and door trim. Radial wide white wall tires. Ready for Summer touring.
Ty sent nice photos of the exterior, and this car has beautiful lines and trim.
But here’s a little more visual information on the interior of the car:
Yes, that is very definitely a Pendleton fabric, a traditional tartan. We’ve worked with truck and car companies on co-branded interiors in the past, but we don’t have any information on this particular car.
Our president, Mort Bishop III, shed some light. He explained, “I am not aware of this project for Mr. Disney. However with our Pendleton exhibit and store in Frontierland we worked closely with Mr. Disney…Pendleton was one of the 3 original lessees in the park when it opened. It would not surprise me that we provided fabric to him for his Packard.”
This car is labeled as part of a Frontierland exhibit, so we don’t know if it was driven much, or just displayed. Perhaps some of our fans might have old photos of this car on display?
Ty sold the car to a private party at auction. Someone has a nice touring vehicle!
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.
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.
And, they have an accurate shirt label guide on the last page.
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:
Thanks, Buffalo Exchange! If you are a vintage shopper, please check them out.
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?
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.
More information here.
This beautiful car is part of the new Portland Express, or, as 1859 magazine calls it, “The most Portland train car ever.”
With an array of makers’ good that include Pendleton wool slipcovers, typewriters, bottles of Oregon rain, chocolates, papers and more, this is one club car you won’t want to miss. Check out more photos here.
The Portland Express celebrates the AMTRAK expansion between Vancouver B.C and Eugene, OR. Details on booking here.
We have been making our Grateful Nation blanket for most of a decade, and for part of that time, we also made a Grateful Nation Vest. It honored veterans in two ways; by visually commemorating each of this century’s service ribbons, and by donations to The Fisher House Foundation. The Fisher House Foundation provides residences near military and VA medical centers for families of ill or wounded veterans and service members. A portion of the sale of each blanket goes to the Fisher House Foundation, as well.
Cue Chris Winters, a Puyallup tribal member and veteran who understood that we were no longer making the vest, but wanted to know if we had fabric available. He sent photos of his own vest.
Said Chris, “I am on a Tribal committee and we not only wear Pendleton vests for ceremonies. ..we gift your native blankets to guests, elders, and returning warriors.” Chris is very involved in IUPAT, a Washington State organization that offers outreach, support and training for Native veterans. This group marches in local parades honoring servicemen in their Grateful Nation vests, decorated with the medals earned by veterans who have served our country.
The role of Native Americans in our military cannot be understated. Books have been written and movies made about Native Code Talkers in both World Wars. The percentage of Native Americans serving in the military is higher than any other minority group in America.
We’re bringing back the Grateful nation vest this next fall, in 2014. We thought you’d enjoy seeing the vest worn in Tacoma, Washington area parades and ceremonies by Native veterans who have served our country well.
Here’s the blanket in the IUPAT office.
Click below for more information about the blanket and the meaning of each service ribbon stripe. Read more