National Parks Memories: Babies

We are closing out this fantastic year of celebration with some more national Park memories. These two memories come from Pendleton employees.

Erin is one of our designers. She has this to say about this photo:

Although I don’t remember this, it is a popular story at family get gatherings. This is a picture of me at the Grand Canyon with my mother (Nancy) and aunt (JoAnn). I am recovering from a massive tantrum because my mother would not release me from her toddler hiking backpack. I really wanted to cross the guard rail to get a better look at the Grand Canyon! Obviously my request was not met and I went into a hysterical crying tantrum.

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And, for our last post of the year, here’s a classic shot given to us by Robin, who is head of our bricks-and-mortar stores division:

Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood:  The year was 1957, I was 4.5 years old.  I was visiting my West coast grandparents from New York with my New York City grandmother, Rose Raskin in the Pendleton 49’er jacket, my mother, Mary Bonetta,  and little sister Hillary, age 2. I recall only the gift shop, where I was to receive a totem pole.  Who knew then I would work for Pendleton 45+ years later.  Wish I had that 49’er jacket!

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Two wonderful memories, two fabulous photos and two babies for the New Year.

Happy New Year from Pendleton Woolen Mills!

 

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Celebrating America’s Treasures with the #pendle10park 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.

 

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Pendleton for the National Parks

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

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!

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Taking a Blanket Home with a #pendle10park Explorer: Yosemite National Park

Taylor_IMG_9272_BYosemite Valley, carved by glaciers and the Merced River, came to public attention in the 1860s, through the journalistic efforts of a Scottish immigrant named John Muir. He wrote countless articles describing the wonders of Yosemite, raising awareness that helped contribute to the eventual preservation of the area for generations to come.

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Yosemite is not America’s first National Park. The Yosemite wilderness and Mariposa redwood grove were designated as protected wilderness areas in 1864, with legislation signed by President Abraham Lincoln. But Yellowstone National Park was created a full eighteen years before Yosemite.

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The original wilderness did not include Yosemite Valley and its world-famous landmarks—El Capitan, Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. The park as we know it was expanded after Teddy Roosevelt asked John Muir to guide him on a camping expedition to Yosemite in 1903.

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Their night in the Mariposa Grove inspired one of Teddy’s most memorable quotes, in which he compared his night in the grove to “lying in a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hands of man.” Muir lobbied the president to expand the park to include lands already in California’s possession, and in 1906, President Roosevelt signed a law that brought the Yosemite Valley under federal jurisdiction.

Here at Pendleton, we’re dismayed to write this, but domesticated sheep were once the primary threat to Yosemite. One threat? Shepherds who set meadow-fires to promote the growth of more edible grasses for their far-ranging flocks. The sheep caused trouble, too, destroying sub-alpine meadows and passing diseases to the native bighorn sheep. This prompted naturalist John Muir to call them “hoofed locusts.”

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The original Yosemite Park Rangers were Buffalo Soldiers. According to the Yosemite National park website:

Buffalo Soldiers, like their white counterparts in U.S. Army regiments, were among the first park rangers, in general, and backcountry rangers, in particular, patrolling parts of the West…Approximately 500 Buffalo Soldiers served in Yosemite National Park and nearby Sequoia National Park with duties from evicting poachers and timber thieves to extinguishing forest fires. Their noteworthy accomplishments were made despite the added burden of racism.

You can read the entire (fascinating) history, listen to a podcast and watch a video of a modern-day re-enactor who works in Yosemite here: Yosemite’s Buffalo Soldiers .

Another item of interest? The Buffalo Soldiers inspired the traditional Park Ranger hat. Many were Spanish-American War veterans who had shielded themselves from tropical rains of Cuba and the Philippines by pinching their high-crowned, broad-brimmed hats into symmetrical quadrants. This distinctive peak was known as the “Montana Peak” on the home front, and eventually became part of the National Park Service ranger uniform.

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Some Yosemite numbers:

Over 4 million visitors arrive each year to experience the 747,956 acres of wilderness, on 840 miles of hiking trails.

The mountains at Yosemite national park are still growing at a rate of 1 foot per thousand years.

Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest falls in the world, 2425 feet in height. That means in 1000 years, it will be 2426 feet tall, but of course we won’t be around to see that.

There are three Sequoia groves in Yosemite. Sequoias are the largest living things on the planet, with some reaching 300 feet in height, living for 3,000 years.

At 4000 feet high, El Capitan is the largest block of granite in the known world.

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Are you ready for your own adventures? We’d love to come along. And remember, your purchase of our National Park Collection helps support preservation and restoration of America’s Treasures.

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Yosemite Blanket photos: Allie Taylor @alliemtaylor

Pendleton Wedding Wayback: Bob and Melba Stork

Ed. note: We are closing Wedding Month here on Pendleton Threads with the Storks, whose Pendleton wedding story spans three generations, many decades of marriage and the Grand Canyon! Enjoy.

Bob and Melba Stork were shopping in Pasadena, California on a spring day in 1951 when a store window with Pendleton shirts caught their attention. They looked at several patterns and decided on a red and green plaid as an engagement gift to each other.

Bob and Melba wore traditional bridal attire when they were married on October 27th, 1951, at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Temple City, California.

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After the wedding, they left for a honeymoon trip to the Grand Canyon, where they stayed in a cabin near El Tovar. Bob set up a tripod to capture a picture of them wearing their shirts as a newly married couple.

Fifty years later, their twin daughters and their husbands organized a golden wedding anniversary celebration for the Storks, their family and friends at the Grand Canyon. This photo was taken near the spot where the first photo was taken; a short distance from their honeymoon cabin.

Storks Anniversary, 10/2001

The Storks wore their shirts as jackets many times over the years of their marriage. They have been part of travels throughout the United States, and Melba said, “(they) are as bright, fashionable and warm as they were when we purchased them over sixty years ago.”

Bob and Melba Stork made a gift of their Pendleton engagement shirts to their granddaughter, Lauren, and her new husband, Drew.

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Said Mrs. Stork, “Their wedding took place in Dallas, and all sixty of the invited friends and family enjoyed the weekend festivities.” Our congratulations to Lauren and Drew, and to Bob and Melba Stork. Sadly, Melba is no longer with us, though she is part of her family’s loving memories.

Thanks for making Pendleton part of your family traditions.

Pendleton Mountain Weddings

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.

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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–here).

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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.

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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.

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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.

Bond wedding photography by Mike at Powers Studios.

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.” As you watch the slideshow (photos by Mike at Powers Studios), watch for other Pendleton items on the guests and bridal party.

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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 here and on our Pinterest Weddings board.

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Volunteer Profile: Jim and Ellie Burbank for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Ed. note: Please enjoy a visit with some volunteers we profiled last year; Jim and Ellie Burbank.

Our National Parks are protected and enriched by a small army of volunteers whose time, enthusiasm and energy are put to use in so many ways. Over the next year, we would like to recognize the efforts of some of the people who help protect America’s Treasures. Today, we’re going to start with Jim and Ellie Burbank. The words below come from Lauren Gass, Special Projects Director for the Great Smoky Mountains Park.

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Jim and Ellie Burbank give selflessly of their time on a weekly basis to enhance and improve Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Residents of the great state of Tennessee, they embody the volunteer spirit.  They are former operators of the Snowbird Inn in Robbinsville, NC.  Ellie is a world-class chef and baker and Jim is a retired biologist with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Both are weekly hikers who thrill at any chance to introduce their friends and family members from across the U.S. and around the world to the wonders and beauty of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Jim is a key member of the Volunteers-in-Parks program, and the Friends of the Smokies Tennessee office just would not function very well without Ellie’s help.

Jim actually goes out and meets strangers and tells them about the national park in his work as a weekly educational interpretive volunteer in Cades Cove, and he meets plenty of them with 2.5 million people visiting this beloved valley in Great Smoky Mountains National Park every year.  He also leads monthly full moon walks in the Cove for campers and families to experience the quietude of this mountain treasure at night.  Jim also leads wildflower walks for other nonprofit organizations including Friends of the Smokies, and has helped countless hundreds of hikers differentiate between a yellow trillium and a trout lily.

Ellie acknowledges all of the contributions made to Friends of the Smokies, which involves keeping the organization’s donor records up-to-date and accurate, printing tens of thousands of acknowledgment letters each year, and she does it all in two days each week.  She has volunteered with Friends for more than 14 years, and is the equivalent of another part-time staff member. Jim and Ellie dedicate substantial amounts of time to impart their love of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to others, and they take their volunteer work very seriously.  They are extremely knowledgeable about the Park and its needs.

The Great Smoky Mountains national Park hosts over 9,000,000 visitors each year. Yes, you read that correctly–Nine. Million. Visitors. As the most-visited park in the United States, it needs the help of people like the Burbanks. We thank them sincerely for their generosity and commitment.

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Learn more about helping to support our National Parks here.

Pendleton Picnic: A Trip to Oregon’s Oxbow Park

Spring is here, and it’s time for an adventure! You can join us for the Pendleton Picnic event in our retail and outlet stores, starting today, April 27th, and continuing through May 1st.

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We have so many fun things going on, and we are topping it off with double Perks. So pay us a visit and get your picnic going! You can also enter to win this fantastic gift basket online here: ENTER TO WIN.

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As much as we all want to visit  our National Parks for a day of fun and picnicking, sometimes it’s a long trek to visit one of America’s Treasures. But if you live in the Pacific Northwest, you’re never far from the wilderness.

So let’s stay local, and visit Oxbow Park, one of the Portland area’s regional parks. Oxbow is only 25 miles from downtown Portland. It offers 57 drive-up tent campsites and 10 RV sites, so you can spend the night.  Pack the car, and let’s go!

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This getaway isn’t remote, but it’s restorative to the spirit. Oxbow Regional Park stretches along the Sandy River, near Troutdale. It gets its name for the long, lazy curve that slows the current and makes the river a favorite for summer swimming.

When it’s cooler, the river is perfect for kayaking, boating, tubing and fishing.

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Ranger Plaid Shirt

The river might be one of the main attractions, but the park’s thousand acres hold fifteen miles of hiking trails through old-growth forests.

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Bring your bird book. Along the river, you can watch the majestic osprey (also known as the fish eagle) swoop to the river and catch its prey.

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Once you hit the trails, listen and watch for the songbirds that flit among the centuries-old trees.

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America’s Treasures blanket

While you hike, watch for signs of the mink, beaver, raccoon, deer, elk, black bear and cougar that populate these ancient woods. Please note: pets are not allowed in Oxbow Park for the safety of both domestic and wild animals. No matter how fierce your dachshund might be, a cougar will win. So please leave him at home and tell him about it later.

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Buffalo Backpack

The drive-up campsites are all equipped with picnic tables and cooking grills. This is a perfect opportunity for some outdoor cuisine, especially if it involves the Catch of the Day.

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The park is home to the Oxbow Salmon Festival,  one of the most popular fish festivals on the west coast. For two days, as many as 10,000 visitors come to experience spawning salmon, along with music, food, art, storytelling, and a fish maze. The fishing tribes of the Columbia Basin, including the Nez PerceUmatillaYakama, and Warm Springs tribes, host cultural exhibits and activities at the Wy-Kan-Ush-Pum (“Salmon People”) village. This is a chance to learn about traditional fishing methods of the original Americans.

 

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National Park Blankets

Oxbow Park is a beautiful place to experience the sunset with friends.

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National Park Socks

And of course, we hope you’ll take us along. We have been making National park blankets for 100 years, but we’ve expanded our offering for 2016, the centennial year of the National Park Service. Every purchase from Pendleton’s National Park collection supports special projects through the National Park Foundation.

Pendleton National Park Collection: SHOP