Grand Canyon Historic Train Depot Project is Underway!

Editor’s note: We have been working with the National Park Foundation for years to protect and preserve America’s national parks through donations generated by purchase of select products. You’ve already read about the restoration of the Grand Helical Stairway at Many Glacier Lodge (now complete); this report concerns our second project, a major restoration of the Grand Canyon Train Depot. Here’s an update from the National Park Foundation. 

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With support from Pendleton and their licensed collaboration partners, the National Park Service facilitated the kick-off of a multi-year project to restore the Historic Grand Canyon Train Depot at Grand Canyon National Park. The full scope of the project will allow future generations to experience and enjoy this popular landmark for many years to come.

Background

The Grand Canyon Depot is a National Historic Landmark constructed in 1910, nine years prior to the Grand Canyon’s official national park designation. The depot is one of three remaining structural log railroad depots in America and still serves an operating railroad. Originally built for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, it helped establish the rustic western sense of place for the Grand Canyon. The depot is one of the park’s “front doors,” serving not only as a major arrival point for thousands of visitors each year but a gathering site for over 100 years. Today, it is threatened by serious physical deterioration and fails to meet accessibility standards and adequate function for visitor enjoyment. The restoration project is an attempt to ensure this iconic structure remains accessible and intact in preserving the history of the park.

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Project Update

Initial work began in late 2017 to produce a scope of work for updating the Historic Structure Report and completion of structural analysis on certain sections of the depot to create an informed treatment plan. The National Park Service secured professionals for contract services to complete both tasks and entered into agreements to begin these assessments. In May of 2018, a structural engineer, architectural preservationist and wood scientist began visual analysis, condition assessment, and structural integrity testing – all necessary steps to evaluate the current building condition in preparation for restoration and preservation.

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Using information gathered during the on-site analysis, the team began to determine building decay patterns and draft a treatment plan. At the same time, an architect has continued to update the depot’s existing Historic Structure Report. This report now includes current structural condition assessment and treatment recommendations, with a special focus on the exterior building envelope which includes the roof, siding, log structure, doors and windows.

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Through these efforts, the National Park Service will have a comprehensive report on the status and integrity of the depot and will have expert recommendations for restoration and repair. Once the information collection and planning pieces are complete, the project will move into the repair phase. Depending on the extent of the treatment recommendations and funding, structural repairs are expected to begin in late 2018 or early 2019.

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The depot is currently open and in use for railway passenger services under the operation of Grand Canyon Railway. The hope is that the depot will remain open for the duration of repairs. The efforts underway will result in a restored and sustainable train depot, poised to educate visitors about the rich history of the Grand Canyon for decades to come. With over 6 million visits to the Grand Canyon each year, it’s a gift that will have a resounding positive impact on the park and visitor experience.

We appreciate the generous support of Pendleton and their licensed collaboration partners on this critical project. Additional status updates will be provided in 2019 as implementation begins.

We are excited to watch the progress of this much-needed restoration in 2019, and will keep you all posted. Thank you for your support!

You can see our National Parks products here: Pendleton for the National Parks

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Supporting our National Parks: Now More Than Ever!

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Karla Morton, our favorite National Park Poet, sent this amazing shot from her “Words of Preservation: Poets Laureate National Park Tour.” This is the Pendleton Badlands National Park blanket, at home in the Badlands National Park. Karla and her fellow poet laureate, Alan Birkelbach, are 26 parks into their tour, with Hawaii and Samoa coming up soon. You can read more on their blog. We wish them well on their journey!

Along with our favorite poets, we have sent quite a few of our Pendleton National Park series blankets home to their parks with travelers, explorers and photographers. The blanket stripes and colors honor the landscapes, wildlife and ecology of our national treasures. Through licensed National Park Collection products we are proud to support two park restoration projects through a donation to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. So far, through Pendleton’s initiatives with park series blankets and collaboration partners, we are closing in on 3/4 of a million dollars for two projects!

Many Glacier Hotel Stairway Project

In the 1950’s, the stunning double-helix staircase circling the lobby in the historic Many Glacier Hotel was torn out to make room for a gift shop. In 2017, with support from the Pendleton contributions, the historic staircase was rebuilt and now stands as a landmark feature in the newly restored lobby.

Grand Canyon Train Depot Project

Constructed in 1910, the Grand Canyon Depot is a National Historic Landmark and one of three remaining stations constructed from logs in the US. Today it remains an active rail depot, seeing thousands of visitors annually from its location near the canyon’s rim inside Grand Canyon National Park. Funds will support restoration and preservation efforts.

Our original plan was to partner with the National Park Foundation for two years, in honor of their 100 year anniversary. We have extended that partnership, as the parks need our support now more than ever. Buying a blanket is only one way to support your favorite park, and you can also make donations directly.  More information on ways to give can be found here: National Park Foundation Support

As Karla said, “…these lands, while under the preservation of the government, still need champions, still need those who are willing to give their time and hearts to make sure they continue to be protected.” Let’s all do our part.

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Introducing the Olympic National Park Blanket!

Pendleton is proud to unveil our latest national park blanket, celebrating Washington state’s Olympic National Park.

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The colors of this blanket pay homage to the Olympic National Park in our neighboring Washington State. This unique region is famous for its varied ecosystems—from rugged coastlines and dense old-growth forests to glacier-capped alpine peaks and lush rainforests.

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Happy Birthday Teddy Roosevelt

In honor of Teddy Roosevelt’s birthday, we are taking a look back at the origins of one of the world’s favorite toys; the Teddy Bear, a quiet and cuddly friend to children for generations. But do you know where the Teddy Bear got his name?

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President Theodore Roosevelt was invited to go bear hunting in November of 1902 by Mississippi Governor Andrew H. Longino. The hunting party hunted in the woods near Onward, Mississippi. When the President, a noted sportsman and accomplished big game hunter, had not located a bear, the hunting party decided to take matters in hand. His assistants cornered a black bear and tied it to a tree. All President Roosevelt had to do was fire a single shot to bag his trophy. But Teddy Roosevelt was offended by the lack of sportsmanship in this enterprise, and refused to take his shot.

Of course, the public loved this story.

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New Parks, New Cans – Pendleton and ROGUE ALES

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This summer is a fantastic time to celebrate your favorite National Park with Pendleton Pale Ale – now available in Crater Lake, Rainier, Grand Canyon and Yosemite park cans!

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Our friends at Rogue have outdone themselves with this delicious brew.

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So the next time you’re headed out for a picnic on your favorite national Park blanket, take along a crisp pale ale and raise a toast to America’s Treasures!

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Cheers!

Poets Laureate National Parks Tour

FullSizeRender (6)Ed. note: Today’s post is a special feature in honor of National Park Week. We have had the pleasure of working with Karla K. Morton and Alan Birkelbach, two Texas Poets Laureate who are currently on a Poets Laureate National Parks Tour.  Karla took the time to answer our questions, and even shared some poetry. Enjoy!

  1. What does it mean to be Poet Laureate?

Both Alan Birkelbach and I have the great honour of being named Texas Poets Laureate, a lifetime title.  Alan was named in 2005 and I was named in 2010. A Poet Laureate is the highest rank you can go in a state as a poet, and almost every state in the US has one.   Here in Texas, there is no pay, no set criteria, so we do what moves us.  This Poets Laureate National Parks Tour is truly what moves me and Alan.  We are poets of nature.  Our work holds a great sense of place.  And above all, we are passionate when it comes to preserving such beauty.

  1. How did you become Poets Laureate/Poet Laureates?

In Texas, there is a call for nominations every two years (since that’s when the Texas Legislature meets).  All the nominations are sent to the Texas Commission on the Arts.  Those that meet the TCA’s long list of requirements are invited to submit their portfolio/resume/list of works.  Out of that great list of people, the TCA narrows it down to a group of up to ten.  Then, the names go to a group of people educated in literature around the state who make the final decisions.  Those judges are kept anonymous to keep the politics away!  So, as you can see, just being nominated in Texas is a great honour, but to be selected is truly a dream come true. 

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  1. Please tell us more about your Words of Preservation: Poets Laureate National Parks Tour.

I first learned about the upcoming 100th Birthday of the National Parks in 2013.  I knew I had to do something to celebrate.  Knowing there had not been adventurer writers dedicated to the Parks since the days of John Muir and Thoreau, I came up with the idea of visiting at least 50 of the 59 Parks, writing poetry, taking pictures and putting them in a book, with a percentage of the sales of that book to go back to the Park System.  I asked Alan Birkelbach to join me to increase the historic significance of the project – to have the works from not one, but two Poets Laureate!

He immediately agreed to do this with me!  Already, the result is wonderful – to witness and take part in this wonder, and see it reflected in two different ways.  This is the magic of poetry and the magic of nature – everyone who experiences it takes from it what they need.

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  1. The National Park Foundation has been encouraging people to #findyourpark  throughout their centennial celebration.  What are your personal Parks and why?

 We had to begin our Tour with Yellowstone, since that was the first official Park designated, but we both have a hard time choosing favorites.

I feel drawn to the magic of Yellowstone, the silence of Joshua Tree and the intimacy of the Guadalupe Mountains.

Alan is still in a state of wonder about Yellowstone, especially Lamar Valley, and a part of him is still trying to ponder the mysteries of Mesa Verde.

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about your background? Literary, education, anything of interest.

I studied Journalism from Texas A&M University, which is a good profession, especially for poets, since every word counts, but I have always written poetry.  I have to write.  I am pulled to it in inexplicable ways.  Being named Poet Laureate of Texas is one of my greatest honors.  It allows me to be the ambassador of the written word in ways I have always dreamed.

Alan started writing poetry when he was twelve.  He says his biggest regret is that he started so late!  He started writing more seriously in the late 70’s and received his degree in English from North Texas State University (now called University of North Texas).  He personally knew some of the earlier Texas Poets Laureate and is still honored that he gets to share that title.

  1. May we please have poems?

Yes!  Here are our most recent poems inspired from Guadalupe Mountain NP:

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Guadalupe Mountain

What words are grand enough to speak of light –

the itch of orange, the streaking winks of pink?

Sun-shone hours turn belly-up, toward night

Good Day, Good Day is all that we can think.

Our legs a’tremble, muscles beastly sore,

a quest to know each vista, scene and swell.

Our soul’s now been imprinted evermore

and become something greater than ourselves.

These moments groom the core of who we are.

How could we come and not be wholly changed?

We’re mountain, wolf, and now, the evening star –

every atom of our hearts rearranged.

 

We came here knowing not what this might bring.

We leave in awe; we leave with everything.

 

karla k. morton, 2010 Texas State Poet Laureate

 

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1 a.m. Guadalupe Mountain 

Short-visioned men still think there is

a silent line that separates all things.

But I have seen the full moon strike the calcite

in the Guadalupe walls, heard

the horned owl sing a tufted dirge,

the small fox bark, the quails flutter, the pinions

sigh with green caressing wind, the crunch

of stones beneath my deep night boots.

I learned it then. I know it now.

There is a timbre here, a larger song. No lines.

One world. Full of music. One choir. One song.

–Alan Birkelbach,  2005 Texas State Poet Laureate 

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  1. Where can people find out more about the two of you?  

Alan and I both have eleven published works each, many of which can be found online or at bookstores/Amazon/Barnes and Noble, etc.

Here is a facebook link: www.facebook.com/karlakmorton

and a website page: http://www.texaspoetlaureate.com/tour.html

that people may follow us along!

Also, we have just started a blog: Poets Park Tour

  1. Anything else you’d like to share?

We would just like to say that these lands, while under the preservation of the government, still need champions, still need those who are willing to give their time and hearts to make sure they continue to be protected.

Like Homer recounting the journey of Odysseus, we long to be the eyes and ears for the home-bound, to bring our tales back to the hearth.

We are certainly not the first artists who believe inspiration can come through great natural beauty, who have fallen in love with the grandeur of our National Parks, but we want to take it one step further and try to do something incredible – to infuse that beauty into the written word – the eternal language of poetry.

Read more!

Lone Star Literary: Interview with Karla K. Morton

Carlsbad, NM newspaper: Texas Poets Laureate Visit Guadalupe Mountains

Western Writers of America Roundup Magazine: Feature

All photos above by Karla K. Morton, used with permission.

And of course, if you’re interested in the Badlands blanket, remember that a portion of your purchase helps to support preservation of your national parks through our National Park Service.  See it here: Badlands Blanket

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Greg Hatten and the Great Outdoors: Moved by the Wallowas.

IMG_4825Ed. Note: It’s National Park Week, and in the spirit of outdoor adventures, we’re sharing excerpts from a post by our friend Greg Hatten of Wooden Boat Adventures fame. He  took a trip into the snowy Wallowa Mountains this spring (or what’s passing for spring here in Oregon), and experienced nowcats, fly-fishing, Pendleton blankets, hot beverages and lobster tails. Read on below.

Six hundred pounds of Oregon Elk thundered up the small freestone creek in a desperate dash for life as a pack of gray wolves gave chase. In a final powerful move to avoid the wolves at her heels, she wheeled left and attempted to jump up the six foot bank from the bottom of the creek bed. Her fate was sealed when her front legs sunk to her shoulders in four feet of deep snow. The trailing wolves, running lightly on a thin layer of crust, caught her quickly and ended the struggle for life at the top of the bank in a flurry of fangs and flesh.

Snow prints told the story.

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It was a solemn moment in the middle of a remote area that had taken us several hours and a variety of vehicles to reach. Our destination was a cabin by the river…We reached the little cabin, started a fire, unloaded gear, and propped our wet boots by the stove to dry out.

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Clearly this was going to be a steelhead trip to remember… but the Pendleton Whiskey after dinner would challenge us to recall the details. The next morning was clear and crisp. I slipped on my waders, slipped out the cabin door and hiked to the pools upstream.

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We fished hard all day – upstream, downstream, swinging, nymphing, plunking….. we tried it all with the same result. A fishless day – not at all uncommon or unfamiliar to steelhead fishermen…. and so, we headed to the cabin for ribs and lobster.

After another elegant dinner I grabbed my Therm-a-Rest cot, my sleeping bag, and my Pendleton blanket and headed for the river to do some open air winter sleeping down by the river.

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I explained it as a field test for winter gear – but I really wanted a closer connection to the river, the valley and the Nez Perce tribe of Native Americans that called this place “home” more than two hundred and fifty years before us. I looked up at the stars in the night sky and thought of them in this place.

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My breath was heavy and my nose was cold but the familiar sound of running water over rocks and the rawness of the night was something I’ll never forget. The image of the slaughtered Elk was something else I’ll never forget and a few times during the night imagined I was being surrounded by the Minam pack of wolves that patrols this valley and did my best to snore loudly hoping to be mistaken for a hibernating bear. When I woke to the first light of dawn, I was pretty glad I hadn’t been eaten by wolves and figured either they thought I was a sleeping bear, a mad dog, or a middle aged fly fisherman that wouldn’t taste very good…. or maybe the wolf pack was only in my dreams. I hiked up to the cabin and made coffee.

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IMG_5028…it was time to pack up and leave the valley. We made our way back up the steep narrow trail and near the top we stopped for one final look down at the river snaking it’s way between the mountains of the Eagle Cap Wilderness.

In 1877, 800 members of the Nez Perce tribe and their 2,000 horses fled the valley and headed Northeast in a desperate attempt to elude the pursuers hot on their trail. They were searching for a new home and chased by the U.S. army for over 1,000 miles and three months across Idaho and parts of Montana before a final bloody battle less than 40 miles from the safety of Canada. It was the battle in the foothills of the Bear’s Paw Mountains where the Nez Perce were finally forced to surrender and Chief Joseph is said to have pronounced to the remaining Chiefs and the U.S. Army “Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”

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As I looked over the raw beauty of the Wallowa valley with the steep dark green Mountains on all sides dusted with a fine layer of white snow tumbling into the river below, his words took on a depth that made me ache for his people and the way of life they gave up. I was moved by the Wallowas.

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Read the full post here: Moved by the Wallowas

All photography courtesy Greg Hatten

 

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See product here:

Chief Joseph blanket (tan)

Pendleton Buffalo Creation mug

Men’s wool shirts by Pendleton

 

 

 

Win a Pendleton Park blanket on Instagram and #findyourpark for #nationalparkweek

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Next week is National Park Week, and to celebrate, many national parks are offering two–that’s TWO–free entry weekends. This means you can #findyourpark for free on Aril 15th and 16th, and again on April 20th and 23rd. How exciting is that?

National Park Week is part of the work of our National Park Foundation, the organization that takes care of our parks and monuments for the generations to come.

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We are celebrating the Foundation’s hard work with an Instagram giveaway of three–that’s THREE–Pendleton National Park stripe blankets.

Three winners will have their choice of any traditional park stripe blanket representing one of our our #pendle10parks (Badlands, Glacier, Rainier, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Acadia, Yosemite, Great Smoky Mountains, Crater Lake, Rocky Mountain).

You can see all the blankets at home in their parks in the video below. Which one speaks to your heart?

To recap, that’s one National Park Week, two free-entry National Park weekends, and three lucky winners of Pendleton National Park blankets. Got it? Whew!

So head over to Instagram to enter, and then head to the woods! Your parks are calling.

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Rules below:

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Herreshoff Design, Pendleton Patterns

Ed. note: We love getting letters from our friends. Today’s is from Terry, who was an account manager for Pendleton for decades. Now retired, he’s living the good life in Montana. And that includes spending a lot of time in this gorgeous boat.

Here is Terry’s letter.

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Hi Friends,

I was a Pendleton Salesman for 40 years. During that time I was always enamored with the Native American part of our company’s history, how in the late 1890s, Pendleton Woolen Mills started weaving those beautiful intricate Native American patterns into blankets that became the impeccable standard.

I met Greg Morley, who owns Morley Cedar Canoes at Swan Lake, Montana, in 1996 .  He crafted a canoe for me at that time, and I have become very close friends with the family since. Greg Morley worked at the Forest Service out of Salem, Oregon, in the late 60s. Before leaving to build canoes in Swan Lake, Greg was designated to source the Oregon Trail. It took him two years, but he tracked and documented it. He brings that same precision to boat building.

Steve, Greg’s son, has carried on the trade, and built this Herreshoff Design row boat for me. He invited me up to pick out each individual cedar strip for the boat. I brought one of my Pendleton blankets along, and he inlaid the pattern right into the boat. It is a banded Robe from 1920s. You can find the blanket in The Language of the Robe by Robert W. Kapoun on page 53.

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Here is a moody shot of the boat on gorgeous Swan Lake, the Gateway to Glacier National Park.

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All the best,

Terry

All photos by Terry Ball, used with permission.

See our inspiring blankets here: SHOP

And enjoy your weekend.

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