Chasing Ghosts in the Bighorns with Greg Hatten

A Bighorn Adventure

Editor’s note: What did you do over the long weekend? Enjoy the adventures of our friend and Pendleton ambassador Greg Hatten, who took the Bighorn blanket home to the Bighorn Wilderness. 

Greg’s Journey

The Bighorn Mountains of Montana are larger than life – just like the mountain men and trappers who explored them in the early 1800s.  Many of my favorite characters from that wilderness era explored the rivers, forests, mountains and meadows as they crisscrossed their way through territory that is now called Wyoming and Montana. On a recent trip west, I set out to chase the ghosts of Jim Bridger, John Colter, Hugh Glass and retrace just a few of their paths.

A camp cot set up on the banks of a river, with a wooden boat on the river, and a Pendleton Bighorn blanket on the bed.

Much of what I saw looked the same as it did over 200 years ago – especially the skyline with the snowcapped mountains that stretched high in the blue Montana sky.  I found a clearing and camped with a view of the mountains – it snowed that night.

Photo taken inside a handmade wooden drift boat, showing the Pendleton Bighorn blanket on the boat's seat, against a backdrop of Montana mountains.

I rowed my boat down the Bighorn River where the water was icy cold and clear. It reflected the blueness of the sky in a hue that I had only seen one other place…Crater Lake Oregon.

Photo taken from within a hand-built wooden drift boat, showing a folded Pendleton Bighorn blanket on the seat, and gear packed below the boat's prow, which is poised above the waters of Montana's Bighorn river.

One night, I camped beside a small stream running fast with snow melt in the Bighorn National Forest and the trees were so thick it blocked out the night sky but felt warm and safe next to the cold water.

A camp cot and folding camp chair on the banks of a rushing river, under evergreen trees. I Pendleton Bighorn blanket is on the cot.

It was a trip back in time and my boat was the time machine that took me there. Quite a trip – quite a place.

Greg Hatten

 

The Blanket

The Bighorn blanket, by Pendleton Woolen Mills. This design is a geometric pattern of navy blue, red, and tan.

Bighorn

In 1825, the Bighorn River called famed mountain man Jim Bridger to build a raft of driftwood and ride it through the foaming rapids. Part of the river was dammed to create Bighorn Lake, but the spectacular canyon it carved remains, named for the Bighorn sheep that travel its rocky, treacherous paths. Located in Montana and Wyoming, about one third of the park unit is located on the Crow Indian Reservation. One quarter of the Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range lies within the Bighorn Canyon Recreation Area.

See it here: Bighorn Blanket

PWM_USA_label

 

One thought on “Chasing Ghosts in the Bighorns with Greg Hatten

  1. Pingback: Heroic Blankets for Independence Day | Pendleton Woolen Mills

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s