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

Taking a Blanket Home: Grand Canyon National Park and the #pendle10park Explorers

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We sent our Grand Canyon blanket home to Grand Canyon National Park with photographer Krisitan Irey, celebrating 100 years of our National Park Service.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

Her work still stands today, having become an integral part of this vast, commanding landscape.

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So put on your boots, hop on the train, and go. The Grand Canyon is waiting.

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Grand Canyon Park Series: SHOP

Grand Canyon #pendle10park explorer: Kristian Irey  Instagram:  @kristianirey

Taking a Blanket Home: Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the #pendle10park explorers

 

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Welcome to the most visited national park in the United States, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These misty mountains welcome nine to ten million visitors per year. The park covers more than 800 square miles in Tennessee and North Carolina, making it the largest national park east of the Rockies.

We sent our blanket home to the Great Smokys with one of our #pendle10park explorers. True to their name, the mountains were cloaked with heavy mist, caused by high elevation, 80 inches of rainfall per year, and a multitude of flora; 130 species of trees, over 100 native shrub species, and some 1,600 species of flowering plants.

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The Cherokee called the region Shaconage, which translates to “mountains of the blue smoke.”

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The park is home to many beautiful waterfalls that also play a part in creating that wonderful haze.

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As an International Biosphere Reserve, the Park’s biological diversity is preserved and studied. A staggering 10,00 different species of plants and animals are recorded here, but there may be as many as 9o,000 more species of plant an animal life still to be identified.

With the help of a distance lens, our explorer encountered some of this wildlife, including one of the park’s 1500 black bears.

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Elk, which were re-introduced to the park in 2001, are becoming more common. A herd of around 140 ranges on the North Carolina side of the park. Again, we promise that these beautiful shots were taken at a distance.

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Incredible shots.

Great Smoky National Park is open 365 days a year, and park entry is free. Free! Yes, that means you have access to 850 miles of hiking (there is a fee for overnight camping. But it’s worth it to wake up and smell the coffee in a paradise like this.

 

 

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Many thanks to our #pendle10park explorer, Ben Matthews.

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See more of Ben’s work here:

Ben Matthews on Instagram 

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Shop Pendleton’s National Park collection here: Great Smoky

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Taking a Blanket Home: Glacier National Park and the #pendle10park Explorers

It’s our most popular National Park Series blanket; but did you know that it is also our oldest? Yes, the Glacier National Park blanket was originally commissioned by the president of the Great Northern Railway. Like the National Park Service, our blanket is 100 years old this year.

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We asked an intrepid photographer to take this blanket home as part of our celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service. She and her crew flew into the park!

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Once they landed, they explored and enjoyed this magnificent northern beauty.

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Glacier Park is located in Northern Montana, along the Canadian border. In fact, Glacier was joined with Canada’s Waterton Park as the first world’s first International Peace Park in 1932. The Goat Haunt Ranger Station is located at the center of the Peace Park, and is the only place in the country where you may cross the border without going through customs. In fact, you will receive a special mountain goat-shaped stamp in your passport to commemorate your crossing.

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Glacier Park scarf                                                                                             Glacier Park water bottle

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Glacier covers 1,583 square miles (over a million acres). It is a vast wilderness most famous for its field of 25 named glaciers. Its largest, Blackfoot Glacier, covers almost ¾ of a square mile. Though 25 glaciers is an impressive sight, in 1850 there were an estimated 150 glaciers in the park. So, you need to see them while you can. They are magnificent.

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Because of its remote location, Glacier has retained most of its flora and fauna, with the exception of the American Plains Bison and the woodland caribou. But at least one four-hooved resident remains and thrives in the park: the mountain goat is Glacier’s official symbol, and adorns the label of the Glacier National Park blanket.

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Glacier Park beanie

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The Great Northern Railway was instrumental in enlarging public awareness of Glacier as a tourist destination. The Great Northern line crossed the Continental Divide near what is now the southern entrance to the park. The president of the railroad, James J. Hill, foresaw a grand opportunity for passenger travel. Great Northern was responsible for much of the building in the park, a unique mix of European architecture and American materials that became known as “parkitecture.”

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During the years of World War II, many of these charming buildings fell into disrepair, and some were lost. Thankfully, more than 350 structures have been saved, and are registered as National Historic Landmarks. The Many Glacier Hotel is one of the largest and most popular of these original structures. Pendleton is excited to be contributing to the hotel’s restoration, and you contribute to our efforts every time you make a purchase from the Pendleton National Park Collection. We will tell you a little more about this in June!

Going-to-the-Sun Road is a fifty-three-mile drive through the park that crosses the Continental Divide at Logan’s Pass. On this ride, known for stunning views, narrow lanes and sheer drop-offs, you can marvel at the glaciers while white-knuckle-gripping your steering wheel. Or, you can go in one of the park’s Jammers, and leave the driving to someone else. The road is a huge draw for the Park, but with an average of almost 140 inches of snow a year, you simply can’t know if a June snowstorm will shut down access. Track the current road status here. And watch a video below!

 

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Glacier park blanket wrap

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Glacier Park mug

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Irey_Glacier-(50)Our thanks to photographer Kristian Irey, one of our favorite #pendle10parks explorers.

Follow her on Instagram:   @kristianirey

More at her website: http://www.kristianirey.com

Shop the Glacier Park collection here: SHOP

Happy Birthday, Yellowstone National Park

March marks the birthday month of Yellowstone National Park. Covering 2,219,791 acres in Wyoming, Montana & Idaho, Yellowstone is recognized as the oldest National Park in America.

It was President Ulysses S. Grant who signed legislation to preserve the Yellowstone Wilderness for future generations, and his words are forever emblazoned on the north gate into the park: “FOR THE BENEFIT AND ENJOYMENT OF THE PEOPLE.”

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Yellowstone is enjoyed by nearly four million visitors each year. Many are drawn by the unique  hydrothermal attractions of the geyser basins.

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Others are drawn to the hiking and camping.

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And many are drawn to fishing the pristine waterways.

OurFreeWays_Yellowstone031What follows are some of the beautiful words of Teddy Roosevelt, the “conservationist president.” These words capture his reverence and for and devotion to the wilderness. The beautiful photos were taken by a #Pendle10Parks explorers who brought the Yellowstone National Park blanket home to Yellowstone.

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“The extermination of the buffalo has been a veritable tragedy of the animal world.”

Even during times when the buffalo was considered to be extinct, small remnant herds grazed the Yellowstone wilderness, making it the only place in the United States where bison have continuously grazed since prehistoric times. Yellowstone is currently home to two of the largest buffalo herds on federally protected land.

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“The farther one gets into the wilderness,

the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom.”

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“Life is a great adventure…accept it in such a spirit.”

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Enjoy your explorations.

Thanks to Corey & Liz of @ourfreeways for #pendle10parks photography

See Pendleton’s Yellowstone blanket HERE