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A new blanket for Jackson Sundown, Pendleton Round-Up Champion

Note: In honor of the new blanket honoring Jackson Sundown, we’re sharing an older post about one of the great riders of the American West. It explains our company’s long and rich connection with the Pendleton Round-Up, and tells the story of Jackson Sundown, a real-life hero and icon of the west.

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Sundown was the first Native American to win the World Saddle Bronc Championship and crowned the All-Around Cowboy at the Pendleton Round Up in 1916…at the age of 53! He was the nephew of Chief Joseph and his life spanned from the Indian Wars to frontier settlement. Pendleton has created a Jackson Sundown blanket that is only available at two locations:

Tamastslikt Cultural Institute
47106 Wildhorse Blvd.
Pendleton, Oregon 97801
541.966.974

Pendleton Mill Store
1307 SE Court
Pendleton, Oregon 97801
541.276.6911

Let’er Buck!

The Pendleton Round-up  is going on this week—an amazing rodeo adventure in Pendleton, Oregon. Our designers travel there for inspiration, entertainment, and to watch our westernwear in action on rodeo competitors and fans. Oregon Public Broadcasting has a video titled “Pendleton Round-Up: The Wild West Way”  that’s well worth watching, and Cowboys & Indians magazine has some great background.

Among the historic images, you’ll see this shot:

This is Roy Bishop and Jackson Sundown posing at the Pendleton Round-Up. This image actually made the fashion blogs in 2009, when recreations of Roy Bishop’s fringed coat and Jackson Sundown’s oval-print shirt were part of Pendleton’s Centennial offering. But the story is about more than fashion history. This photo is about rodeo history.

The association of Pendleton Woolen Mills and the Round-Up goes back to the very beginning, when along with his brothers Clarence and Chauncey, Roy Bishop established the first mill at its current location in Pendleton, Oregon. The brothers combined their production and retailing expertise with an idled mill, a river, and fine fleece provided by local wool growers. Back then, PWM was a blanket company. Our first and most valued customer was the Native American, and the Bishop brothers worked hard to fill the strong demand (we still sell approximately 60% of our blankets to Native customers every year).

The Bishops were key to the conception of the first Round-Up. Rodeos are big business now, and they were big business then. It was an undertaking to get to a rodeo, especially for a working cowboy. The Round-Up needed something special to draw the crowd. It was unheard-of to include Native Americans to a Western rodeo, but Roy Bishop rode out to meet tribal leaders and invite their participation. He was politely received and quietly listened to, but he left without receiving a definite answer.

The rodeo’s starting date approached, and still he waited. On the morning before the rodeo began, Roy stepped out on the mill’s loading dock. In the distance, he had his answer when he saw the dust of the tribes as they made their way to the Indian campground. The cooperation between the Columbia Basin tribes and the Pendleton Round-up, unique among modern rodeos, continues to this day.

So what about the other person in this photo?

Jackson Sundown was born Waaya-Tonah-Toesits-Kahn in 1863 in Montana. During the Nez Perce war of 1877, he rode with Sitting Bull, retreating to Canada with the Sioux. He eventually returned to Washington, then to Idaho, then to Montana, supporting himself by working, breeding and breaking horses.

In 1912, at the age of 49, Waaya-Tonah-Toesits-Kahn began entering rodeo events in Canada and Idaho using the name Jackson Sundown. The crowds went wild when he tied his braids under his chin, lifted his sombrero and started the ride, his wooly angora chaps streaming.

He took so many prizes that other riders refused to challenge him. Stock owners pulled their animals when they saw his name on the list of possible riders, as after Jackson Sundown rode a horse, it might be so thoroughly mastered that it never bucked again.

Jackson Sundown entered the Pendleton Round-Up several times, placing but not winning. In 1915, in a controversial decision, he placed third and decided to retire from rodeo riding. But a sculptor named Alexander Phimister Proctor prevailed upon him to try one more time. In 1916, he did. Jackson Sundown came out of the gate on a horse named Angel, and the spectacular ride that followed has become legendary. The crowd went wild, and threatened to take down the grandstands board-by-board if Sundown wasn’t awarded the title he had so clearly won.

At twice the age of his competitors, the lanky six-foot tall Indian not only won the bucking championship, but the all-around title as well. He lived out his life on the Nez Perce reservation, raising horses and passing on his skills until his death in 1923. He’s been inducted into more rodeo and athletic halls-of-fame than we have space to list. He is a key character in a novel by Ken Kesey, The Last Go ‘Round.

Jackson Sundown is also featured in a terrific documentary called “American Cowboys.” This is a detailed look at the frustration of competitive riding for contestants of color. It was playing at the Tamastslikt Cultural Center just outside Pendleton, which is a fantastic place to learn about the history of the tribes of the Columbia Basin. It may or may not be part of their permanent installation, but this documentary includes footage of Sundown riding. Sadly, photographs of him riding rare; this may be the only one.

It is sad that a man who possessed such incredible skills in horsemanship isn’t shown during more of his competitive rides. But there are plenty of images of Jackson Sundown showing his deep understanding of a wardrobe’s role in a great performance. Chaps, hat, and that aloof expression. Jackson Sundown had it all, a fact well-illustrated by this logo for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Yes, that is Jackson Sundown.

So today, in honor of the Pendleton Round-Up, please enjoy these images of Jackson Sundown; Nez Perce warrior, compatriot of Sitting Bull, bronc rider, horse breeder, main character, documentary subject, fashion blog icon, Round-Up Champion and Inductee into the Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

And a true proponent of individual style.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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 the highest paved road in America.

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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.

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

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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.

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And here’s the blanket:

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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.

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

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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.

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Pendleton’s 10 best fall new arrivals to buy now

 

Happy fall! It’s Pendleton season: time for steaming mugs of tea, autumn leaves and curling up on the couch with a warm wool blanket. Wool may be breathable enough for spring and summer, especially in silky, light merino, but fall and winter are when we really shine. So chop the firewood, put on the kettle and check out 10 of our best new ways to stay cozy and stylish!

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  1. Neskowin Wrap Coat

This wool jacket is so striking! Our geometric Harding pattern, almost a century old, is modern in black and ivory (plus it’ll match almost anything). This one will get you admiring glances and compliments wherever you go.

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  1. 5th Avenue Throw in Auroral Plaid

New colors of our most luscious wool throw just arrived, including “auroral plaid,” a pattern named for the vivid greens and teals of the Northern Lights. I know I talked up this throw last time, but it’s seriously one of Pendleton’s best products—so soft and velvety, you just have to feel it to understand.

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  1. Sunset Cross Knee High Socks

Soft and warm merino wool? Check. Eye-catching pattern? Check. Perfect knee-high length to peek out of your favorite fall boots? Also check. These socks are the newest addition to our bestselling socks, so scoop ’em up while you can!

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  1. Journey Jacquard Shearling Collar Coat

This coat has gotten a lot of buzz already, and I can’t resist touching the soft shearling collar whenever I walk past it at work. It can just as easily be a hipster coat or an outdoorsy dad coat, don’t you think? The wool’s the same premium wool/cotton blend we use in our famous blankets (and woven in the Pacific Northwest). Definitely a winner!

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  1. Sunset Cross Mesquite Cape

The rainbow of fall colors woven into this cape is gorgeous but not loud, anchored by flattering tawny hues. Looking at it gets me excited for pumpkin spice lattes (yes, I’m basic) and crunching crispy leaves underfoot. This is one of those pieces you’ll have forever because it’s unique, high quality and just that beautiful.

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  1. Cedar Mountain Utility Tote

This ain’t no screenprinted cotton canvas tote you got free and use for veggies at the farmer’s market. This one is pure virgin wool in Southwestern colors and pretty diamonds with leather straps for added panache. There’s a sleeve for your laptop in there, too.

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  1. Hooded Blanket Shawl

Tis the season to wrap up in softly brushed wool! Shawls are the new hoodies, in my book: just as easy to throw on, yet leagues more stylish. In quintessential autumn colors, this shawl will have people asking, “Do I know you from Instagram? Aren’t you that famous style blogger?”

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  1. Boro Shirt

Guys can never have enough blue shirts (hey, they look great with jeans). But in a subtle patchwork pattern, this one is different enough to keep things interesting. Plus it’s pure virgin wool, so it won’t wrinkle and it’s naturally breathable. Also comes in a fitted version.

  1. National Park Motor Robe With Carrier

It’s still the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and we’re celebrating with four new throws inspired by the Great Smoky Mountains, Badlands, the Grand Canyon and Acadia National Park. These each come with a leather carrier so you can bring yours along to a football game or keep it in the car in case you need it. (Watch out, though—dogs are quick to claim these!)

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  1. Reversible Chaparral Cape

Simply stunning. I can picture Blake Lively wearing this dramatic cape while breezing through Manhattan in some cute black ankle boots and leggings. Or, more importantly, you! A warm, fashion-forward alternative to a jacket that will have you turning heads all autumn.

 

What’s your favorite, and what will you be wearing this fall?

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Don’t forget; through December 9, 2016, we’re offering Free Shipping to try out your fall favorites. Details at www.pendleton-usa.com.

 

PENDLETON® RELEASES “BB-8” AND “Star Wars: Rogue One” LIMITED EDITION BLANKETS

Pendleton Woolen Mills is proud to announce two new Pendleton blankets as a tribute to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars: Rogue One.”

This is the droid you’re looking for. This limited edition Pendleton blanket depicts the lovable droid BB-8, an indisputable fan favorite and major scene-stealer who debuted in The Force Awakens. Ombré shading represents the blue and red lightsabers of Rey and Kylo Ren, the film’s hero and villain, while geometric shapes add a distinctly Pendleton touch.
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Dark silhouettes hint at the mysterious heroes at the heart of Star Wars: Rogue One, the latest chapter of the Star Wars saga. This limited edition Pendleton blanket gives you a sneak peek at new characters Jyn Erso and Captain Cassian Andor, as well as the droid K-2SO, the tropical planet of Scarif–and is that Darth Vader and the Death Star in the distance? Bands of green reflect the film’s muted palette.RogueOne_StarWars_MotorRobe_F

The edition size is limited to 1977 hand-numbered units for each of the full-size blankets. Each is presented in a commemorative box. The BB-8 box stacks with the previous four editions released in 2015.

 

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Each blanket also comes in a Padawan child-sized edition. We’re still waiting on our “Star Wars: Rogue One” sample, but here’s the BB-8 blanket. As you can see, it’s a slightly warmer/brighter palette, with a bright yellow whipstitched binding. And he’s a friendly droid for a child’s room!

 

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Every blanket is made in America, woven in Pendleton’s own Pacific Northwest Mill.

The blankets are scheduled to ship in early October. They are available for preorder on Friday, September 2nd. Preorder online here: SHOP STAR WARS BLANKETS

The blankets are also available for preorder at the Pendleton store locations listed below.

Pendleton retail stores:

Downtown Portland

Pendleton Woolen Mill

Reno

PDX

Seattle

Milwaukee

The Pendleton Home Store

Pendleton Outlet stores:

Centralia

Washougal

Columbia Gorge

Woodburn

Lake Arrowhead

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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

Preston Singletary at Seattle Pendleton: Meet the Artist

Preston Singletary in his Seattle Studio

We are honored to host Preston Singletary this Friday evening at the opening of our new Seattle Pendleton store. Singletary is an internationally reknowned glass artist who incorporates traditional Pacific Coast elements in his work. He draws upon his Tlingit heritage with a special concentration on motifs found in Chilkat weaving.

Traditional Northwest Coast tribal art uses formlines and ovoids fluid to create work that is vigorous and stylized; paintings, weavings, baskets, masks and totem poles and more. Singletary’s uncommon choice of media–glass and light—invests traditional motifs with breathtaking dimensionality and luminosity.

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At Pendleton, we have enormous respect for traditional arts done with traditional materials. Glass was traditionally only used in Native American beading. Anyone viewing Preston Singletary’s work in glass would probably agree with the artist when he says that glass “transforms the notion that Native artists are only best when traditional materials are used.”

 

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Singletary’s show at the Museum of Glass left viewers in a state of awe. See more in this show catalog: ECHOES, FIRE AND SHADOWS

Glass may seem static, but it is extremely visually interactive with its environment. In this excerpt from a documentary by filmmaker Todd Pottinger, Singletary talks about his inspiration, his studio, and the crucial role of light in his work.

And here is his TED talk.

When Preston designed a blanket for the American Indian College Fund, he chose to tell the tale of Raven and the Box of Knowledge. You can see that this design carries the same glowing dimensionality of his art pieces, with ombred stripes of color that meet in the heart of the design to light it from within.

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Raven and the Box of KnowledgeThis intriguing blanket is based on a work by internationally renowned glass artist Preston Singletary. Mr. Singletary grew up in the Pacific Northwest–both of his great-grandparents were full-blooded Tlingit Indians. His works explore traditional images and legends of his Tlingit heritage translated into glass. The image on this blanket represents Raven, a shape shifter and trickster who often employed crafty schemes to achieve his goals. In the story, the old chief who lived at the head of the Nass River kept his precious treasure –the sun, the moon and the stars– in beautifully carved boxes. Raven steals the light, and making his escape carries the sun in his mouth. The sun is a metaphor for enlightenment or knowledge. The ombred background shades meet in the center in vibrant colors of sun and light. Mr. Singletary’s artworks are included in museum collections from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC to the Handelsbanken in Stockholm, Sweden. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Seattle Art Museum. A portion of the proceeds from this blanket will be donated to the American Indian College Fund.

You can meet Preston Singletary this Friday evening at the opening of our new Seattle Pendleton store. The artist will be on hand to discuss his work and sign your blanket boxes. Friday’s Grand Opening events are a fundraiser for the American Indian College Fund. You can help support the work of this fantastic organization through your blanket purchases, with Pendleton making an additional donation for every College Fund blanket sold.

More Seattle Pendleton information here: SEATTLE PENDLETON

See the College Fund blankets here: American Indian College Fund Blankets

 

Pendleton Experiences in Yosemite National Park

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).

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Image: Allie Taylor (@alliemtaylor)

And remember, your purchase of our National Park Collection helps support preservation and restoration of America’s Treasures.

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“The Spirit of America”: A New Blanket for Yellowstone Park

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.

Brandon Burk:

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Cassy Berry:

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Grace Adams:

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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.

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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.

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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

That Pendleton Blanket Instameet: Cannon Beach

UpdatedCannonBeach_imageIn April, we hosted an Instameet at Cannon Beach . Photographers came together to connect, share photo opportunities and models, and enjoy Stumptown cold brew, a bonfire and a hotdog roast! People brought their Pendleton blankets and wore their Pendleton flannels. Families, cameras, dogs and above it all, the beauty of Haystack Rock, an oregon Coast icon.

Below is just a sampling of images sent to us. You can find more on Instagram, of course (#thatpnwmeet) . The photos capture the #mypendleton experience through so many lenses (all rights to all images: Pendleton Woolen Mills).

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We want to thank everyone who came out and had a good time.

If you missed the fun at cannon Beach, please don’t be sad. We’re part of another Instameet this Saturday, June 25th 2016, meeting at 4 PM at Trillium Lake on Mount Hood. Square Mile Cider is one of the sponsors, and there will be some Pendleton and MVMT giveaways!

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Hosted by @idkpdx @kyle.pnw @richbacon @temporaryeternal @jordan_littleton – contact them on Instagram for more information.

We can’t wait to see your #mypendleton shots on Instagram.

#seeyouattrillium #mypendleton #pendleton #instameet #pnw #thatpnwlife #oregon #pnwonderland #oregonexplored