As we mentioned in our last post, our partnership with the National Park Foundation is thriving.
Thanks to all of you for your part in making this partnership a success.
The NPF works tirelessly to protect the parks and monuments that preserve America’s beauty for future generations. And National Park Week is a celebration of their efforts. You can learn more at this page, which offers so much information about just what’s included in this special week:
At Pendleton, we believe in giving back. We have created beautiful blankets that benefit many philanthropic partnerships, and today’s post is focused on blankets that give back to causes near and dear to Nature.
From the pristine shores of Wallowa Lake to the ocean overlooks of Ecola Point, Oregon’s state park system includes 256 places to hike, picnic, camp, and recharge. It all began one hundred years ago with five acres of donated land that set aside a special place for everyone. In shades of moody indigo, a moonlit landscape celebrates the centennial of the Oregon state parks and our commitment to preserve our Pacific Wonderland for the next 100 years.
The Pacific Wonderland blanket helps support the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s “Park Explorer Series”, which aims to remove barriers to outdoor recreation. Projects include building trails that everybody can use, showcasing parks digitally, and making camping possible for folks who may otherwise never get to try it.
This limited-edition wool blanket honors our home state’s park system. In this design, Mt. Hood watches over a reflective lake flanked by forests, with geometric patterns honoring Oregon’s original inhabitants. Medallions for 12 beloved state parks are bordered by stripes in colors that echo their landscapes.
Purchase of this blanket also helps support the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s “Park Explorer Series.” If you’d like to know more about the twelve parks selected for this blanket, you can read a little about wach of them here: Forever Oregon
The scent of smoke fills the air. An orange glow lights the horizon. Mother Nature is on alert, and Wildland Firefighters stand ready to defend her. These brave men and women hold the line against fire’s destruction with team effort; digging lines, running hoses, saving structures when they can. In Pendleton’s tribute to Wildland Firefighting, bands of deep forest alternate with lines of flame, lighting trees endangered by flame. A portion of this blanket’s sales help the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, which supports families and injured firefighters in times of need.
Every Pendleton National Park blanket (as well as throws, apparel, accessories and bags, footwear, mugs, everything!) generates a donation to the National Park Foundation. Funds from our donations have been used to restore the Helical Stairs at Many Glaciers Lodge in Glacier National Park (read about it here: Your Gift to the National Parks: Helical Stairs Project). We are also helping to fund the restoration of the Depot at Grand Canyon National Park, which is still ongoing (read about that here: The Depot Project is Underway!). And, a new project is coming! Watch for an exciting announcement soon.
You can see our current selection of Park blankets (some blankets in the above photo are retired) and Parks-related merchandise at http://www.pendleton-usa.com. And thank you for supporting these important causes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
…took a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park this year. The trip brought him some memories, some nostalgic and some frightening moments.
Rocky Mountain National Park was established in 1915 and is one of the most visited parks in the entire National Park system. It’s located in north central Colorado and has so many incredible natural features it can take days to experience them all.
It was the first National Park I ever visited and when I was 10 years old Smokey the Bear seemed real, the Park Rangers in their pressed wool uniforms and flat brimmed hats were super heroes, and the park itself was an outdoor paradise just waiting for me to explore each year on family trips.
With all the beautiful waterfalls, hiking trails, snowy peaks, and colorful meadows of the Rocky Mountain National Park, the feature I most wanted to see on my recent trip was the headwaters of the Colorado River.
In Rocky Mountain National Park, the 1,400 mile Colorado River comes to life as a babbling little brook several hundred miles upriver from the Grand Canyon. A few weeks ago I trailered my fully restored and freshly repainted Portola across the plains of Kansas toward the headwaters of the Colorado River. I had a lot of miles to think about that experience.
Since it was before Memorial Day, the park area seemed to be just waking up from winter. A few of the campgrounds were opening and most were unoccupied, new park rangers were still training for the upcoming season, and patches of snow were as numerous as the visitors were sparse.
The river snaked its way in lazy “s” curves through a valley that seemed to have 1,000 shades of green and then it rounded the corner and disappeared into a deep, dark canyon in the distance. We set up camp on that scenic stretch of the Upper Colorado River just outside Rocky Mountain National Park with towering bluffs on one side and dramatic peaks on the other. The flat valley beside the river had a rough-hewn log fence that ran the length of the river and when we set up our cots and canvas tents, it looked a little bit like a civil war encampment.
The Rocky Mountain range stretches for over 3,000 miles, from New Mexico to the northernmost reaches of British Columbia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Those are some impressive numbers. But the park’s visual splendor is even more impressive.
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.
That’s why they are featured on the Pendleton blanket label, shown here on the coffee cup.
And here’s the 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 Photography
Our #pendle10explorer Kate Rolston did a breathtaking job of taking our Rocky Mountain National Park blanket home to its park.
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.
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.
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:
Taylor Colson Horton & Cameron Powell took the blanket to the back yard:
And Bri Heiligenthal brought the blanket home:
Three different visions of one beautiful blanket. Thanks to our amazing photographers. Follow them on Instagram for more.
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.
Please enjoy a Pendleton employee park memory: Yosemite memories and photos from Greg, who is one of our northern California account managers.
I have procrastinated on this, because it will be tough to pick a single Yosemite memory. I have been going to the park for 40 years, visiting a couple of times per year. I also go as a vendor. Every time, I see something different, even if it’s just a day trip to the Valley to “work” (if you can call it that).
My first trip was a high school backpacking trip, when we watched a mama bear and her two cubs attempt to steal food that we’d stored up in a small pine tree. One of the cubs was sent up the tree to get the pack, but he wasn’t small enough. The tree snapped! Down came the tree and the cub to the ground. We hiked out the next day, 12 miles in the pouring rain.
Over the years I’ve hiked and climbed some of the park’s largest peaks, fly-fished many of the lakes and streams, backcountry skied into the Ostrander Hut and snow camped throughout the park.
I was there a week after the Valley flood of 1997 when they were still pulling campground picnic tables out of the trees. Signs now mark the high water mark along the Merced River six feet over the road.
I was there just after the huge rockfall at Glacier Point covered Happy Isles with an eerie, almost lunar, pulverized granite dust and debris.
I was there when Mel Gibson, Jodi Foster and James Garner filmed the teepee village scenes in the El Capitan Meadow for the remake of Maverick.
After a lifetime of special memories, it’s too hard to choose one.
Are you ready for your own Yosemite adventures? We’d love to come along with you.
How about a little refreshing chill in July? No matter how hot it gets in Oregon, we are never far from snow thanks to beautiful Mt. Hood, the dormant volcano that dominates the Portland skyline. Mt. Hood provided a wintry setting for these engagement photos of Sarah and Jeffrey, who were married in 2015.
The happy couple had their engagement photos taken on Mt. Hood. Fittingly, they are is wrapped in a Pendleton blanket woven for Friends of Timberline. This nonprofit group is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the historic Timberline Lodge (you can read more about the lodge’s fascinating history–and it is fascinating–read it here).
We want to say thank-you and congratulations to Sarah and Jeffrey, who were kind enough to share their photos with us. The blanket’s striking monogram was done by a friend of the bride’s mother to commemorate the day of their wedding.
If you’re interested in the Friends of Timberline blanket, please call the gift shop at 503-272-4436. You can find out about monogramming at our Woolen Mill Store.
A Winter Wedding
The winter wedding of Celeste Grewe and Joshua Bond took place at Camp Creek Campground in the Mt Hood National Forest. After the bridal party wended its way through a snow-carpeted forest, the couple said “I do” in front of a camp kitchen constructed for the CCC workers in 1936.
Josh and Celeste met while working at a local snowboard shop called Exit Real World (with whom we did a collaboration some years back). The mountain has played an important part in their relationship, so it was fitting that they were married at 2200 ft elevation.
Celeste had this to say:
“We wanted our wedding to really reflect Oregon, and especially to give our out-of-town guests a great feel for the history of the state. Both our families raised us with Pendleton products. Pendleton has a longstanding history with Oregon and the Northwest. It was important to incorporate a traditional element into our wedding, which is where we got the blanket ceremony (plus it was really cold that February). It was also a wonderful way to ask our parents to be involved with the ceremony.”
First, the bride and groom were wrapped in Crater Lake National Park blankets by their fathers. This symbolized their separate lives. These blankets were removed and held by their maid of honor and best man. Then the mothers of the bride and groom wrapped them in a white Glacier National Park blanket to symbolize their shared future.
The Crater Lake blankets were presented to the mothers as gifts. Celeste said of the Glacier blanket, “It’s a show piece in our home.” She is happy with how the national park blankets hearken back to “…the early part of the 1900s, the national parks, and the CCC and WPA, and the 1940s time frame of the ring I inherited from my paternal grandmother.” photos by Mike at Powers Studios.
To all of our friends who have made Pendleton part of their weddings, we say, best wishes for the future. May your beginnings be sweet, and may your lives together be wonderful. Thanks for letting us be a part of both. We are always happy to monogram your blankets through our Woolen Mill Store. Find beautiful ideas for including blankets in your wedding hereand on ourPinterest Weddings board.
We sent our Grand Canyon blanket home to Grand Canyon National Park with photographer Kristian Irey, celebrating 100 years of our National Park Service.
Kristin’s thoughtful shots at the rim of this natural marvel are some of our favorites. And the Grand Canyon is one of the recipients of our fundraising efforts. All year, through sales of our own and collaborative National Park projects, we have been raising money to help restore the Grand Canyon’s train depot.
The Grand Canyon Depot in Grand Canyon Village is the Park’s “front door,” used as a meeting place for adventurers for over 100 years. This National Historic Landmark is the Park’s most-photographed man-made structure. Pendleton’s contributions will help improve accessibility and preserve the character of this National Historic Landmark.
According to the National Park Service, “Nearly 230,000 visitors per year arrive at the Depot via the Grand Canyon Railway, which is an important component of the park’s transportation system. Currently the Grand Canyon Railway, owned and operated by Xanterra Parks and Resorts, runs up to two trains per day to the park from Williams, Arizona – saving approximately 300 daily vehicle trips during the peak visitor season.” That is approximately 50,000 cars, trucks and campers that will not add wear, tear and crowding to roads leading in and out of the park, thanks to the train.
Mary Elizabeth Jane Coulter
Before the railroad opened in 1901, tourists had to fork over $15.00 for a three-day stagecoach ride to see the Grand Canyon. Upon arrival, they were accommodated in tent camps, a situation that didn’t change until the Santa Fe Railroad hired architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Coulter to design six iconic buildings for the park, mostly on the South Rim.
Hopi House, 1905
Hermit’s Rest, 1914
Lookout Studio, 1914
Phantom Ranch, 1922
The Watchtower at Desert View, 1932
Bright Angel Lodge, 1935
Her work still stands today, having become an integral part of this vast, commanding landscape. You can learn more here: Mary Elizabeth Jane Coulter