A Park Memory: Susan Karlstrom for Glacier National Park

A special customer, a special memory

Ed. note: Please enjoy this special customer memory from Susan Karlstrom. It’s a special one! Please note, the Glacier blanket in question has been renamed “Crown of the Continent,” one of the beautiful names for this magnificent park.

For Christmas this year my husband gave me the Glacier National Park 100th Anniversary blanket.  It’s beautiful with the profile of the Garden wall, as seen from Lake McDonald.  This is the view from my favorite spot on Earth.  The west end of the lake.

hands hold a cell phone showing a photo of Glacier National park, next to the silhouette of the glaciers on a Pendleton blanket.

My father was a naturalist for the park. As a child, the day after school was out we hit the road, Michigan to Montana in 3 days.  We had to get to the park to start our summer.

A photo of a father and two children from the 1970s.

My brother and I “grew up” in Glacier.  No tv, no phone, just outside and everything the park had to offer.  Woods, trails, streams, rivers, snow, bears, that was our summer adventure.

A young Susan Karlstrom in her overalls.

My mother was confident in our “bear skills” and always knew we would come home when hungry.  We always did.  

Today

Now, I sit with my Glacier park blanket, in Michigan, and tell my children of my incredible experiences in Glacier. I am fortunate that my family wants to return with me to Glacier and explore it together.

I still get a feeling deep in me that says it’s time to go back and to see, smell and feel Glacier, to reconnect with the park.   Fortunately, my husband is ready to go.   Now, my kids look at me and say it’s time to go back.  I could not agree more.  I am thankful it’s in them.

I am thankful that this beautiful blanket keeps us warm and keeps us planning for the next trip to Glacier this summer! The blanket is so special to me.  Someday, I know I will wrap my grandchildren in it and foster their love for Glacier too. Thank you for creating it!

Susan Karlstrom

The Crown of the Continent Pendleton blanket

See the blanket here: Glacier National Park 100th Anniversary Blanket

Greg Hatten visits Badlands National Park

Travels with Greg

A dirt road in South Dakota, with a vehicle in the distance.

Ed. note: Our friend Greg Hatten took a small detour to Badlands on his way home from Oregon this year. And since our #pendle10park explorer has shown us so many photos of spires and stacks, we thought we’d share Greg’s beautiful prairie shots, as the prairie is a huge part of this beautiful South Dakota park. Enjoy!

In the Badlands National Park, there is a Wilderness Area where bison, coyotes, prairie dogs, and snakes make their homes. You can be a guest there and share this space with them – at least for a night or two.

Prairie with prairie dogs

Look closely; there be prairie dogs in this photo.

Bison through the rig's window

Ed. note: We love the bison here, but we also love the national park stickers on Greg’s windshield. These were an enticement to the early motorists traveling from park to park. Like this (this is not Greg, though):

A photo from the 1920s, a woman shows off her national park visitor stickers, which threaten to block her windshield!

Now, back to Greg’s story in the present day.

It’s the primitive camping area at Sage Creek in the North Unit of the park and if you take the rutted dusty “rim road” on the north side of the Badlands park you will find it – tucked between the gentle bluffs and rolling hills of buffalo grass in South Dakota – just southeast of Rapid City and the Black Hills.

Greg's rig parked at Sage Creek.

As I pulled into the area, it was a warm day for October and the only signs of life were a couple of bison calmly grazing who didn’t even look up as I rolled by in my FJ Cruiser pulling my little wooden boat. A ring-necked rooster pheasant was quite a bit more shy but still curious about the sound of loose gravel crunching beneath the tires. My window was down and I took a quick photo just before he put his head down and disappeared in the tall grass.

Making camp.
Camping with the Badlands National park blanket by Pendleton

While there are no rivers to “float” in the Badlands, I was towing my boat through the park on my way to the midwest for a little off-season repair work. I’m so used to camping next to the boat on the river, it somehow seemed to “fit” in this rustic setting. If nothing else, I figured it would be a nice wind break for my campsite. I picked a level spot for the tent that was in-between buffalo “pies” that were stale and crusty and no longer smelled. The canvas tent blended with the terrain and when camp was “set”, I pulled out my lap-top and did some late afternoon writing as the sun set and the temperatures started dropping.

A susnet over the proarie

Greg’s post has a lot of beautiful photos and much more story. Read the rest here: Find Your Park in a Wooden Boat: Badlands

National-Park-Collection-100_Color-Logo

Volunteer Profile: Paul Ogren for the Badlands National Park

A Volunteer of Note

Park Volunteer Paul Ogren

Ed. Note: Our Badlands volunteer was nominated by Katie Johnston, Executive Director for Badlands Natural History Association. She wrote a charming letter to us about Paul Ogren, who works at the park’s front desk and in a variety of park programs. Katie’s words follow.

Dear Pendleton,

When you inquired about notable volunteers, an instant smile came across my face as I thought of Paul Ogren, a volunteer we have here at Badlands NP.

I grew up in the Badlands. My grandmother was in my current position here at the Association for 40 years previous to me. I came to work with her often, and grew up seeing the park rangers and seasonal employees that have been through this park for the past 30 years. I have gained so many friendships because of this park. One that hits near the top of my list is Paul.

As the non-profit partner to the park, we are responsible for helping with the volunteer program. When Paul arrives every spring, we say “We know our busy season is soon upon us when Paul arrives.” I can’t venture to guess how much time at the front desk or program time in the park Paul has put in the eight years he has been coming back, but it’s so much more than his volunteer time that Paul brings to our park. He brings us laughter, stories, knowledge, and the feeling of how much love someone can have for one place to keep returning to it year after year. In a park where every season has different employees, it’s nice to see some consistency.

Whether it be answering the common question, “What is that black and white bird outside with the long tail?” or “Where can we find the bison?” Paul is prepared to help in any way that he can, and the best part is, he is happy to do it.

I know that there will come a day where Paul won’t be back for the summer, and a great number of us will be very sad. However, he doesn’t see that happening anytime soon. He is planning to return this spring, and for that, the Badlands can be grateful.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts on such a valuable person to Badlands National Park. He doesn’t volunteer for the fame, and sure as heck not for the money. It is for the love of a location and the people he works with.  I believe that volunteers across the park service deserve more credit than they get. ..but you won’t hear that from them either!

Best Regards,

Katie Johnston
Executive Director
Badlands Natural History Assoc.

A woman wrapped in a Pendleton blanket looks at Badlands National Park - photo by emmanuel_beltran
Closeup of the blanket label, photo by emmanuel beltran

Emmanuel_Beltran_NP_Badlands_Home_Acc-(25).jpgPhoto of Paul Ogren courtesy Badlands National Park (NPS Photo)

Additional photos by #pendle10park explorer Emmanuel Beltran

Badlands National Park, our Last #pendle10park for 2016

Centennial Celebration

Woman wrapped in blanket looks out into a crevasse in the Badlands

It’s been an incredible year for Pendleton and our parks, as we help celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. Our #pendle10park explorers have taken you from California to Maine. We are going to finish out the year with Badlands National Park as photographed by Emmanuel Beltran.

South Dakota’s Badlands were authorized as a National Monument in 1929, officially established in 1939 and designated as a National Park on November 10, 1978. Badlands National Park is home to haunting natural beauty and some of the richest fossil beds in North America.

A sign that says "Entering Badlands National park"

Badlands History

The name “Badlands” comes from the Lakota, who moved into the western plains during the late 18th century. They called the area Mako Sica, which translates as “eroded land” or “bad land.” As they traveled and hunted, the Lakota found the White River Badlands fossil beds and correctly surmised that the area had been underwater. They believed the skeletons belonged to a great sea beast called Unktegila. The ghost dances of the Lakota, led by the visionary Wovoka, were held in the remote tablelands of the Badlands.

A woman sits on a Pendleton blanket on one of the eroded rock formations of the Badlands

History echoes in the spires and peaks of the eroded rock formations, across the prairies, and in the secluded valleys where Native American tribes have been hunting and living for 11,000 years.

A woman wrapped in a Pendleton blanket looks out on the prairie

Settlers and homesteaders arrived in the 20th century, but struggled to find a foothold in such arid conditions. The Dust Bowl wiped out most of the area’s farming, and plagues of grasshoppers took care of the rest. Abandoned sod houses dotted the area until the wind and weather took them down. Today, the area supports wheat farming.

closeup of the blanket and label, prairie grass

Wilderness and Wildlife

Badlands National Park is a designated wilderness preserve. Here, you can experience the largest protected mixed-grasses prairie in the US. You can see mule deer, antelope, bighorn sheep and coyotes. Look a little closer to the ground, and you will see black-tailed prairie dogs. You might even catch a glimpse of the black-footed ferret, the most endangered land mammal in North America. And of course, you’ll see the American Land Bison, or buffalo.

A bison stands by a sign that says "No off-road driving"

The Badlands are an “avian crossroad,” a habitat for both eastern and western birds. The cliffs make excellent hunting grounds for golden eagles and prairie falcons. Cliff swallows and rock pigeons nest in the countless hollows. It is a birder’s paradise, but explore this park with caution; the country is hard to travel, with sharp rocks, yielding substrate, and very little water.

a woman wrapped in a blanket walks on a rock formation

Sunset here is particularly beautiful. Enjoy it among the formations, as the setting sun catches the pinnacles, casting dramatic shadows.

a woman on a bluff, a rainbow in the sky

Or settle onto the prairie, and enjoy the sounds of South Dakota; the wind in the grass and the evening birdsong.

Coffee on the prairie

Photography by Emmanuel Beltran: @stick_e

Shop Pendleton Badlands National Park: SHOP

Native American History Month: Revisit “Canyon Song”

53_CACH_BTS_20160329.jpgPendleton Woolen Mills is proud to be part of the National Park Experience series with a new short film, “Canyon Song.”

The landscape of Canyon de Chelly wilderness

The family portrayed in “Canyon Song”

“Canyon Song” follows the Draper family as they practice traditional indigenous farming methods in the Canyon de Chelly Wilderness.

Cliffs reflected in a window's glass

As a portrait of two young Dine girls, Tonisha and Tonielle Draper, “Canyon Song” artfully positions the historic with the modern. The girls sing songs about social media (you should watch the closing credits to enjoy this) and visit the carnival. Tonisha participates in competitions that showcase understanding and reverence for Navajo culture.

Tonisha Draper in her regalia, holding a Pendleton dance shawl

These girls are the heart of the film, and their smiles, voices and joy will haunt you.

Canyon de Chelly and Spider Woman

Canyon de Chelly sits in the heart of the Navajo nation. Spider Rock, with spires that tower 800 feet above the canyon floor, is one of the canyon’s most important landmarks. 

Spider Rock

Spider Woman, one of the major Navajo deities, is traditionally said to live at the top of Spider Rock.  In our research, we came across this description of her from an older book of legends:

The people gazed wide-eyed upon her shining beauty. Her woven upper garment of soft white wool hung tunic-wise over a blue skirt. On its left side was woven a band bearing the Butterfly and Squash Blossom, in designs of red and yellow and green with bands of black appearing in between. Her neck was hung with heavy necklaces of turquoise, shell and coral, and pendants of the same hung from her ears. Her face was fair, with warm eyes and tender lips, and her form most graceful. Upon her feet were skin boots of gleaming white, and they now turned toward where the sand spun about in whirlpool fashion. She held up her right hand and smiled upon them, then stepped upon the whirling sand. Wonder of wonders, before their eyes the sands seemed to suck her swiftly down until she disappeared entirely from their sight. (source)

Spider Woman is the original weaver, who wove the web of the Universe. She also played a key role in Earth’s creation as Tawa, the Sun God, sang the world into existence. Spider Woman made a gift of her weaving skills to her people as part of the “Beauty Way,” a Navajo tradition of balance in mind, body and spirit. She also has a fierce aspect. Parents would threaten their children with her wrath:

As children growing up at Spider Rock, Canyon De Chelly and Canyon Del Muerto, our grandmother would tell us of mischievous and disobedient children that were taken to Spider Woman and woven up in her tight weaving, after Talking God had spoken through the wind spirits to instruct Spider Woman on how to find and identify the bad little kids. Spider Woman would boil and eat the bad little kids, that is why there are white banded streaks at the top of Spider Rock, where the bones of the bad children still bleach the rocks to this day. (source)

Now, if that isn’t enough to make you behave…

It is a privilege to be part of a film that celebrates this harsh and beautiful country, and the people who live there. Please enjoy “Canyon Song.”

Photos courtesy of The National Park Experience.

See Pendleton’s Spider Rock pattern here: Spider Rock

Volunteer Profile: Trevor Nichols, Teacher-in-Residence for Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Science, Nature, and Education

Trevor Nichols is a science teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School in southwest Denver. He’s in his fifth year of teaching AP Environmental science, Earth System science, and Earth Science for English Language Acquisition students.

Trevor comes to teaching with a degree in wildlife biology. He wasn’t intending to teach until he was inspired by a lecture given by Dr. Paul Angermeier, a professor at Virginia Tech. Dr. Angermeier’s message was strong: if you want to make a difference in conservation efficacy, go into education and teach young students about the natural world.

Trevor took this message to heart.  He teaches at a high school with a broad student demographic, in a neighborhood where some students rarely venture outside an eight-block radius of the school. The Rockies are right next door, but it’s not uncommon for a student to graduate without ever having made a visit. Trevor hopes that science education can help to repair the ongoing disconnect between youth and the natural world.

Trevor teaches a group of students in Rocky Mountain National Park

Summer Commitment

That’s why, every summer for the last four years, Trevor had finished up his school year in early June, and moved up to Rocky Mountain National Park to take up his post as Teacher-in-Residence. Working with the incredible educational program in place at the park, he designs and implements lessons for student groups that range from kindergarten to community college.

The educational program at the park gets high marks from Trevor. “They’re aligned with quality standards up there that cross into the classroom and support teachers with their work. I can’t say enough about the resources and quality of the experience. Some programs for upper level use actual field methods—giving the kids a real experience of what a natural resource manager may do for the Park Service.” Field experiences provide exposure to correct scientific methods and possible careers.  Most importantly, it connects kids to the wonders of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Students taking field notes in Rocky Mountain National Park

Words from the Heart

Says Lindsey Lewis, Trevor’s volunteer coordinator:

I can’t think of someone with a better rapport with their own students and coworkers than Trevor.  He arrives each summer having given his all to teaching all school year and sees his time at Rocky as a way to continue to contribute but also as a time to relax and recharge.  Of course, his idea of relax and recharge might be a bit different than most folk’s idea.  As he spends his free time during the summer hiking, summiting Rocky’s high peaks, and backpacking on longer weekends.

He spends his time in the office providing feedback on curriculum development and correlating programs to education standards as well as advising new interns and education instructors in techniques and educational theory.  He also assists with training as he knows more Latin than most regular park rangers.  He loves to identify flowers and even grasses by their Latin names.  When he finds one he doesn’t know or can’t remember he’s immediately looking it up and sharing it with others. 

During field programs he is quick to create a rapport with his students of the day.  Being a former hockey player who stands well over 6 feet tall, his presence is not easily missed but his calm and patient demeanor allow him to work with students of all ages.  He has a way of making learning fun and taking the fear out of the unknown for students.  He easily laughs at his own mistakes and is quick to help others handle their own challenges in the same way – with an easygoing and positive attitude.

Trevor, thank you so much for your efforts and outreach on behalf of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park by Kate Roylston

Photos of Trevor Nichols courtesy Trevor Nichols, used with permissions.

Rocky Mountain photography by Pendleton brand ambassador Kate Rolston. See more of her work HERE.

National-Park-Collection-100_Color-Logo

Rocky Mountain National Park: Taking a Blanket Home with a #pendle10parks Explorer

Kate Rolston photo of a woman at the lakeshore wrapped in a Pendleton Rocky Mountain National park blanket.

A beautiful range

The Rocky Mountain range stretches for over 3,000 miles, from New Mexico to the northernmost reaches of British Columbia.

Kate Rolston photo of a man and woman earing hats, sitting on a rocky outcrop on a Pendleton blanket.

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of many national parks in the range; in Canada, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho; on the US side, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier and more.

Kate Rolston photo of lake and mountains - gorgeous!

Number Ten

Rocky Mountain National park was dedicated on September 4, 1915, and became America’s tenth national park. At 14,259, it was also America’s highest. That has changed in 101 years. Currently, it’s one of the five highest parks in the lower 48, because Denali beats everything, obviously.

Kate Rolston photo of a man with a pack standing on a mountaintop.

Rocky Mountain is still one of the America’s largest parks, at 416 square miles and 265,769 acres of wilderness. It hosts over three million visitors per year. Motorists enjoy traversing the highest paved road in America.

A man, a backpack, and the stunning splendor of the Rocky Mountains. photo by kate Rolston.

Hikers, campers and climbers are drawn by its 35 trailheads, 260 miles of horse trails, and the gorgeous waterfalls that tumble through the park’s almost 500 miles of streams and creeks, including the headwaters of the Colorado River.

Kate Rolston photo

Those are some impressive numbers. But the park’s visual splendor is even more impressive.

Kate Rolston photo

Since a quarter of the park’s land is above the treeline, it offers a rare chance to experience the alpine wilderness. Wildlife is abundant and varied, with 280 species of birds and 60 types of mammals, including moose, elk, black bears, mountain goats, mule deer, the ever-present coyote and the famed bighorn sheep. These massive (non-wool producing) sheep have become symbols of the park.

Pendleton Products

That’s why they are featured on the Pendleton blanket label, shown here on the coffee cup.

coffee cup

And here’s the blanket:

Rocky Mountain National park blanket.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Blanket: Colorado’s Rocky Mountain ecosystem rises from lush grassland and forests to sub-alpine, alpine and barren alpine tundra in blue, green, gold and grey stripes.

Label: Bighorn sheep bask in the sunny lowlands, reintroduced after near-extinction.

Kate Rolston photo

Kate Rolston Photography

Our #pendle10explorer Kate Rolston did a breathtaking job of taking our Rocky Mountain National Park blanket home to its park.

Kate Rolston photo

You can see more of Kate’s work here: @kate_rolston

And remember, your purchase of our National Park Collection helps support preservation and restoration of America’s Treasures. See it at http://www.pendleton-usa.com

National-Park-Collection-100_Color-Logo

Yosemite National Park’s New Custom Pendleton Blanket

Custom Blankets

Each year, Pendleton does a robust custom blanket business for companies, tribes, artists and philanthropic organizations. These are definitely Pendleton blankets, but the entire production run is produced for (and belongs to) the client.

It’s a process to bring blankets to the loom. We have a special department that handles all the steps needed to bring a customer’s ideas to life.  We help to translate design ideas into workable patterns that we can actually produce. We give advice on color and finishing, and create special labels that tell the story of the blanket.

Parks Blankets

This year, we were honored to produce custom blankets for two of our national parks. You read about the colorful new Yellowstone blanket earlier this summer. For Yosemite National Park, we produced a gorgeous blanket in black, cream and grey.

Custom Pendleton blanket made for Yosemite national park

Ansel Adams

This design echoes the iconic black and white photography of Ansel Adams. This revered photographer’s work didn’t just immortalize nature. His work helped protect it, as well. You can read about his life here: ANSEL ADAMS and see some of his incredible work in this interview with his son.

Our Ambassadors Shots

Just as we did with the Yellowstone blanket, we sent the Yosemite blanket to three of our brand ambassadors. We wanted to see the blanket through their lenses. Their interpretations are beautiful and surprisingly different.

Kate Rolston took the blanket to the mountains:

Kate_Rolston shot of a woman standing in a sunlit meadow, wrapped in a blanket.
Kate_Rolston shot of a woman shaking out a blanket in the sunshine
Kate_Rolston photo of a sunlit dog on a custom Pendleton blanket for Yosemite National Park

Taylor Colson Horton & Cameron Powell took the blanket to the back yard:

Taylor_Colson_Horton_Cameron_Powell_ A woman with a hat over her face relaxes on a Yosemite Blanket
Taylor_Colson_Horton_Cameron_Powell_ a young woman poses by a red vintage vehicle with a basket and blanket
Taylor_Colson_Horton_Cameron_Powell shot of a red vehicle, blanket and basket.

And Bri Heiligenthal brought the blanket home:

Bri_Heiligenthal photo of YosemiteBlanket, folded on the back of a leather couch
Bri_Heiligenthal shot of a bed with black, white, and grey bedding
A Siamese kitten washes paw on Yosemite custom blanket by Pendleton

Three different visions of one beautiful blanket. Thanks to our amazing photographers. Follow them on Instagram for more.

Bri Heiligenthal

Kate Rolston

Taylor Colson Horton

Cameron Powell

And the blanket? Of course you can get your own! Right here: YOSEMITE GIFT SHOP

PWM_USA_label

Celebrating America’s Treasures with the #pendle10park Explorers

Calling All Explorers

Last year, we sent out a call on Instagram, asking for photographers to take our blankets home to their parks. We were overwhelmed with responses! After diligent review of well over a thousand Instagram feeds, we chose ten and called it good.

You’ve seen their work all year, but this video takes you on a tour of all ten parks, with a catchy banjo score that has us tapping our feet here at the office. So Happy Birthday to the National Park Service and thank you to our #pendletonparks explorers. You can see them all (and follow them ALL on Instagram) at the end of the movie.

National-Park-Collection-100_Color-Logo

Pendleton for the National Parks

Wishing the National Park Service a happy 100th birthday with a Crater Lake Memory…and a bear!

A Fun Memory

To help celebrate the centennial year of the National Park Serivce, Pendleton sent out a call for national park memories to our Pendleton employees. We received so many fun responses–memories and photos and close encounters of the wildlife kind. We’ve shared many with you, and have a few more to share as the year rolls along.

This response came in the form of a stack of black and white photos taken with a Kodak Brownie camera. And so, a sweet little movie was born. Thanks to Margaret for sharing this with us, and thanks to you all for sharing the fun.

And happy official 100th birthday to the National Park Service–it’s today!

National-Park-Collection-100_Color-Logo