They’ve opened their home to you for hospitality and celebration. What do you bring along to say thank you? A bottle of wine is welcome and traditional. Isn’t there a more lasting way to express your gratitude?
Here are our top five ideas for gifts for the host or hostess.
#5 National Park Coffee Mugs
Start the day with the Great Outdoors. These oversized mugs pay tribute to America’s Treasures with their designs based on labels for our popular National Park Series blankets.
#4 Oversized Spa Towels
Whether used at the beach or as a bath sheet at home, there is a towel to suit everyone’s personality here, including fun collabs with Disney, Harry Potter and Tommy Bahama.
#3 Pendleton x Yeti Yoga Mats
Namaste. Need we say more? Photo by Kristian Irey.
#2 Roll-Up Blanket
A year-round favorite for picnics, concerts and sporting events, our roll-up will be ready to go anywhere with your host, thanks to its built-in handle.
#1 – The 5th Avenue Throw
Luxury from our USA mills in 100% merino wool. Now, that’s how you say thank you!
This time in styles that honor America’s National Parks! The new collection for men and women features iconic UGG® boots and slippers paired with the historic National Park Stripe designs of Pendleton’s National Park blankets.
The limited-edition UGG® X Pendleton® Collection will be available at all UGG®concept stores in North America and Asia, online at UGG.com, pendleton-usa.com and at select wholesale partners beginning August 15.
The boots, like our blankets, are part of our initiative to honor and support the National Park Service in its mission to preserve America’s treasures, our National Parks.
See our selection here: Pendleton x UGG Australia. We would love it if you bought from our site, but we have already sold through some styles and colors. So please head to UGG Australia to find anything you don’t see in our selection. And please don’t wait. The collection is honestly flying out the door. And we are not supposed to play favorites, but this style is our favorite.
It is one of the most popular parks in America, and one of the very first of our national Treasures. And it is celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service with a new blanket, “The Spirit of America.” Welcome to Yellowstone!
We enlisted the help of three Pendleton brand ambassadors for the unveiling of the new Yellowstone National Park blanket, made by Pendleton and exclusively for sale through Yellowstone General Stores. The blanket features Yellowstone’s icons: Old Faithful and grazing bison.
We were blown away by the unique way each photographer showcased the color, pattern, borders, details and reverse of this outstanding blanket.
If your park plans don’t include Yellowstone this year, don’t worry; you can order the blanket online here: Yellowstone General Stores.
Delaware North hosted a fantastic event for the Yellowstone Park Foundation to unveil the new custom Pendleton blanket. The highlight of the evening was a generous donation Delaware North presented to the NPS—$20,000 to support the “Expedition Yellowstone” youth scholarship program. We share the following photos with their permission.
Also on hand was the Pendleton Airstream. Hundreds of people toured this deluxe custom collaboration, and the verdict was unanimous: “I want one!” Only 100 of these beauties were produced and they are going fast, so please contact your Airstream dealer for details.
This is the year to celebrate the centennial of our National Park Service through travel and exploration. Pendleton is honored to be part of the celebration. Your purchase from the Pendleton National Park Collection helps support the good work of the National Park Foundation, an organization that manages, protects and preserves America’s National Treasures for future generations.
Employees at Pendleton Woolen Mills have shared some of their meaningful park adventures with us, and we’re sharing some with you over the course of the summer. Jenny, who heads our logistics department, shared a Pendleton employee park memory about her son’s encounter with the Junior Rangers Program.
A few years ago, our family rented a motor home with Yellowstone National Park as our destination. Our children, then six and four, enjoyed seeing bison, elk, and other wildlife, walking around the geysers (on the boardwalks, of course), and riding their bikes through the campgrounds.
Our son took an interest in the Junior Ranger program, which involved completing puzzles, listing wildlife he’d seen, talking to rangers, and more. Once he completed his program, a Ranger swore him in and gave him a badge. The attached photo shows how proud he was after earning his badge. It’s one of our favorite pictures from the trip.
National Park swag and National Park swagger, right there. Doesn’t he look proud? That pride got us interested and excited in the Junior Ranger program.
Resources for Junior Rangers
According to the National Park Service website:
The NPS Junior Ranger program is an activity based program conducted in almost all parks, and some Junior Ranger programs are national. Many national parks offer young visitors the opportunity to join the National Park Service “family” as Junior Rangers. Interested youth complete a series of activities during a park visit, share their answers with a park ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger patch and Junior Ranger certificate. Junior Rangers are typically between the ages of 5 to 13, although people of all ages can participate.
There are currently over 200 Junior Ranger programs in the National Park system. You can access a complete list here: Junior Ranger Program parks
At the top of that page you’ll find that the Junior Ranger program has a lot of online resources on various topics like archeology,: NPS Junior Archeologist Activity book and Parent’s Guide (PDF) and Junior Archeologist Program Activity Book (PDF); paleontology; exploring the fascinating and fragile underground world of caves ; our night skies(PDF); exploring wilderness(PDF) and more.
We first saw this blanket when Judy Goodman of Joseph, Oregon, contacted us for information on a blanket that belonged to her grandmother, Louise Kelly.
The label identified it as a Rainier National Park blanket, but it’s so very different from our current version that we knew it was a special treasure.
The Expert Weighs In
We reached out to our National Park blanket expert, Fred Coldwell of Denver, Colorado. He identified the blanket right away. Here is his information:
The blanket is Pendleton’s very first Rainier National Park Blanket, No. 18, introduced on February 1, 1928. It had overstitched ends and a border design of flowers (lupine, paint brush and daisy) on one of three color bodies (white, light blue or moss green).
These three flowers are found on Mt. Rainier in these subspecies: Broadleaf Lupine, Dwarf Lupine, Magenta Paintbrush, Scarlet Paintbrush, Subalpine Daisy. They can be seen here under Subalpine flowers in the Blue/Purple Pink/Red folders.
Back to the blanket. Four points (indicating the 66″ x 80″ size) were sewn into the lower left hand corner of the blanket’s large center field. This blanket came in only one size, 66″ x 80″, and was made with virgin wool on a cotton warp. It was wrapped in paper for packing. The wholesale price was $9.00 in 1928 and 1929. This Rainier Park Blanket is listed in Pendleton’s February 1, 1928 Wholesale Price List No. 6 and in the March 1, 1929 Wholesale Price List No. 8. But it had disappeared by 1934-35 when retail Catalog No. 11 was issued. I have no information about it from late 1929 to 1933, but I imagine it was a casualty of the early 1930s Depression.
Ms. Goodman was thrilled to have Fred Coldwell’s information. When we asked her if she’d like to share the blanket on our blog, it spurred her to do some serious family research; not just the names, dates, family tree kind of research, but research into her grandmother’s story. How did she come to the Northwest? How did this blanket tie into her life? The story of a blanket is also the story of the person who owned it. We would like to share Louise’s story, as told by her granddaughter.
My grandmother, Louise Kelly, was born on October 26, 1906 to John and Mattie (Landreth) Evans in Taberville, MO. Like many families of this era, Louise had eleven brothers and sisters. She rode a horse to school and purchased school supplies by exchanging farm eggs at the store. Once she’d finished eighth grade, Louise (at age 12 or 13) had to stay home to care for all the other small children in the family. Some of her brothers were never able to attend school. They stayed to work the farm with their father.
Louise married at the age of 24 and gave birth to her first child (my mother, Wilma) in 1931. My uncle was born a few years later. The family farmed, raised chickens, made their own blankets and clothes, and preserved fruits and vegetables. They managed to survive the Great Depression and were looking at a new future when this photo was taken of Louise in 1941 near Mt. Rainier on a trip to Yakima, Washington.
The family was taken with the West. Eight years later, the family finally saved enough to move there, settling in Zillah, Washington. My mother was a senior in high school when her father suffered a heart attack. My grandmother Louise found herself widowed with two teenagers. She worked two jobs to support her family, running her own morning café and cooking at another restaurant at night.
Percy Kelly was a business man who enjoyed breakfast every morning at my grandmother’s café. He was a potato dealer – buying potatoes right from the field, sorting and bagging them in a warehouse in Toppenish, WA, then shipping by rail using “ice” stops along the way to keep the potatoes cool. He had also lost his wife in 1949. Percy asked Louise out on a date, but she was too busy with work and family. One day at the café, Percy took off his suit jacket, rolled up his shirt sleeves and started to wash dishes with Louise just so he could spend time with her. That was the beginning of their love story, and how this beautiful Pendleton Mt. Rainier Blanket came into my possession.
Percy (who I knew as Papa) and Louise were married in 1951 and moved to the Columbia Basin in 1952. They grew potatoes near Winchester, Washington. Papa was a member of the Washington State Potato Commission. They built their own potato storage and started to ship potatoes. This was the beginning of their potato empire, and their life together. Percy had two daughters who were still in high school at the time. My mother started college and her brother enlisted in the Army.
Louise always loved Mt. Rainier. This photo of the mountain and a CCC camp at its base hung on the wall of her home for most of her life.
It is possible that the Mt. Rainier Park blanket was a wedding gift to Louise and Percy, but more than likely it was a wedding gift for Percy and his first wife in 1929. The blanket remained in the family all of these years. It was often stored in a cedar trunk that came into my possession in 1999 when Louise passed away. “Percy loved beautiful handcrafted things,” his daughter, Jeanette Burk, recently told me in a phone conversation. “He liked well-crafted items made of leather and wool, and he definitely would have wanted this blanket for his family.”
The Blanket Today
So that is the story of one National Park Blanket and the person (and family) it belonged to. The blanket spends most of its time displayed in Judy’s Oregon home. Currently, the blanket is on display at Wallowology (www.wallowology.org) where Judy works. Above it is Louise’s Pendleton 49’er jacket, a beauty that appears to have all its original shell buttons—a rarity. You can pay both of these treasures a visit if you’re in the neighborhood.
Our thanks to Judy for sharing her grandmother’s story and her photos.
In 2016, we will honor the centennial of our National Park Service. We will celebrate our National Parks, along with the employees and volunteers who work to hold the Parks in trust for generations to come. An important part of that trust includes preserving and managing each Park’s wildlife. The National Parks have played a key role in the preservation of the American bison, commonly known as the buffalo.
In the 16th century, North America was home to 25 to 30 million bison, making the American Plains Bison the most abundant single species of large mammal on Earth. The Plains Bison is a “keystone species.” The trampling and grazing of these thundering herds actually shaped the ecology of America’s Great Plains. A bison can weigh over 2,500 pounds, jump six feet vertically, and run 40 miles per hour when alarmed. This is an impressive animal.
The bison played a crucial part in the lives of Nomadic Native American peoples. One bison could provide 200 to 400 pounds of meat, as well as hides, robes, and sinew for bows. Hunting was accomplished on foot and on horseback through herded stampedes over buffalo jumps. Hunters thanked the animals with rituals and prayers for the gift of their lives. The Natives, the herds and the habitat thrived.
Two hundred years later, the bison was hunted nearly to extinction. Decimating factors included loss of habitat due to farming and ranching, and industrial-scale hunting by non-Natives. The systematic destruction of the herds was promoted by the U.S. Army in order to strike an irrevocable blow to the way of life of the Plains Nations. The loss of the buffalo was an economic, cultural, and religious tragedy for the original inhabitants of North America. It was also a great loss to the natural ecology of the Great Plains.
Somehow, tiny “relict” herds survived. A few ranchers attempted restoration of the herds through private ventures in the late 1800s. Samuel Walking Coyote (Pen d’Oreille) started a small herd with seven orphaned calves he found west of the Rocky Mountain Divide. Another herd was formed from this initial group, and in the early 1900s, small herds were sent from this second herd to Canada’s Elk Island National Park, and the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma.
Left to graze in protected wilderness and park areas, the buffalo began to rebound. The Yellowstone Park Bison Herd formed naturally from a 23 bison that remained in the park after the massive slaughter at the end of the 19th century. This is the only continuously surviving herd in the Americas, and the largest at over 4,000 head. There are preservation efforts in many wilderness areas and National Parks, in part due to the beneficial effects of bison on regional ecology. Unlike domestic cattle, bison herds cultivate rather than deplete the native grasses through grazing.
Because of the close relationship between our national wilderness areas and the American bison, Pendleton commemorates this impressive land mammal as part of the Pendleton National Parks Collection. Our newest buffalo blanket, “Buffalo Wilderness” celebrates the resilience of a magnificent animal and its role in shaping the Great Plains.
The Buffalo Wilderness design recalls a time when millions of buffalo roamed grassy plains from Oregon to the Great Lakes, from Canada to Mexico. Today our National Parks protect the wilderness, and the buffalo herds can roam free. One of the largest herds (more than 4,000) of free-ranging wild buffalo lives in and around Yellowstone National Park. It is thought to be the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times. You can also see herds in Badlands, Grand Teton, Theodore Roosevelt and Wind Cave National Parks.