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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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Labor Day: Stories from Pendleton’s People

Ed. note–For Labor Day, we bring you stories by those who work for us day and and day out. Their employment with out company ranges from one to fifty years. The video above, filmed in one of our union mills, is by Jay Carroll (thanks, Jay). 

Amanda Coppa—Product Manager, Home Division—July 2007 through present

My career experience at Pendleton has been an excellent and unique one. In nearly nine years with the Home Division I have continually evolved my position. Starting as the Home Merchandise coordinator and today I manage all the in-line and custom/collaboration Product Development for the division. I feel very fortunate to have a role where every day I am doing something different. When I started I was told I would be wearing a lot of hats. I’ve always found this appealing in a job and wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m fortunate to work for a boss that has much confidence in our abilities and vision.

In addition to exploring new product categories, I love working on the custom and collaboration blanket and fabric developments. I am the liaison between the partner (Levis, UGG, Nike, Ace Hotel, Subaru and Poler for example) and our internal Pendleton teams – Fabric Design, Production and Sales. From a custom blanket or fabric to a hooded Poncho towel I handle the process from concept to production set-up. Another exciting part of my position is traveling to accounts for sales calls and tradeshows. This has taken me to many big cities, but also some places I never thought I would go… Dodgeville, WI – High Point, NC – Buffalo, NY.

One of the reasons I enjoy working here the most is my team I spend each and every day with. We not only do good work, we have fun doing it. I have quite a few great Pendleton memories, but the top three would be managing the Star Wars project, my first inspiration trip to the Southwest and the 2009 Sales Meeting in Pendleton, OR to celebrate our centennial. I know I’m in the right place and speak enthusiastically about my career when my 3 year old son already has a passion for what I do and had decided his first dog’s name is going to be “Pendleton”.

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Brooke Myers—Retail Store Associate, Lancaster, PA—2015 through present

When I was younger, I did not necessarily see myself working in retail. As most children do, I saw myself doing something big – something exciting, something that would keep me on my toes and intrigue me every day. These descriptions usually do not come to mind when one says they work in retail. Working for Pendleton Woolen Mills has been a completely different experience. Who would have thought that you could be not only a salesperson, a manager; but also a historian, an explorer, and lastly a valued member of a family – not just another employee? My experience working for Pendleton has not been an ordinary one and I mean that in the best way possible.

Rich in history and heritage, the story of this company has captivated me from the beginning. Every day that I come to work I am eager to find out more. From its origins in North American exploration, Native American trade and legend, to the evolution of men’s and women’s fashion and style, the Pendleton story is not one easily forgotten. It brings me so much fulfillment to learn about the roots of this company and share the many stories of our past with others.

Another component of the multi-faceted brand of Pendleton that continues to make every day of work rewarding is the emphasis and dedication to our National Parks. By creating excitement through product and educating others about our parks, we are not only contributing to our parks monetarily but cultivating an environment that stresses the importance of the preservation and protection of our beautiful country.

Since I have started working for Pendleton Woolen Mills a little over a year ago, I can confidently say that I am now intertwined and attached to the history, craftsmanship, and uniqueness of this company. It makes my job easier knowing that I am part of a family that is dedicated to not only their brand and product, but also their employees and customers.

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Lakshmi Sylvie Dady—2015 through 2016

Pendleton has been a part of my family since we migrated to this country from Guyana, South America two generations ago. It has been a great joy to continue the family tradition of working in textiles and fashion as a Pendleton employee. Although I am new to the company, the brand has a rich history that transcends corporate identity and is part of my family’s story.

Having owned her own accessory company in Guyana, South America, my German-born grandmother was immediately drawn to the Pendleton brand upon her arrival to Milwaukie, Oregon. She encouraged my mother to get an after school job in the Pendleton mill near their home. My mother, then a mere 16 years of age, quickly learned the hard work that goes into producing the high quality Pendleton products our family coveted. Mama went on to a career in nursing and eventually followed in her mother’s footsteps of owning her own company, manufacturing fashion forward scrubs called “It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts.” Surely her humble beginnings in the mill helped build the foundation for creating her own textile business years later.

Growing up in the Northwest, Pendleton is as much a part of being an Oregonian as is relishing the rain. From my Native best friend whose parents draped themselves and their home in the rich colors and patterns of Pendleton to receiving a full outfit from the company as a Rose Festival Princess in 2009, Pendleton patterns are the unofficial flag of this fine state. Going into the corporate office to get custom fitted for my Pendleton outfit as Cleveland High Schools Rose Festival Princess remains a highlight of my experience on the court. I still relish my sesquicentennial ‘Spirit of the People’ patterned skirt, glass case, notebook cover and purse gifted by the company. The company went so far as to sew custom labels with our title and name onto our skirts, I smile every time I see my “Princess Sylvie” tag.

My love for this brand has only grown over time and gifts from it continue to be highly valued amongst my family. Upon my return to Portland after 7 years away for undergrad and graduate school, I was thrilled to see a position open at the Pendleton store at the Portland International Airport. I’ve been with the company since March, 2016 and thoroughly enjoy continuing the family tradition of working for America’s greatest woolen mill.

It’s been a pleasure reflecting on my Pendleton story and I hope you feel inspired to continue creating yours.

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Verna J. Ashton—1966 through 2016 with assistance to:

Strategical Services Head, Ed Pedley

Fabric Design Dept. Head, John Jouret

Presidents C.M. Bishop, Jr. and C.M. Bishop III

 

Although the scrapbooks confirm a mid-60’s employment record with Pendleton Woolen Mills, my personal connection begins a few years earlier.  When I met my future husband, Richard Ashton, at High School, his father, Howard Ashton, worked for the Bureau of U.S. Customs and his office just happened to be located on the 2nd floor, NE corner of the old / former US. Custom’s Building directly across the street West of the current Pendleton Building (if he were still there, my office window would have looked directly into his!).  He often told us of his travels for the day and related several times when he was assigned to go to the docks to inspect bales of wool being brought into the country from Australia or New Zealand to be delivered to Pendleton’s Columbia Wool Scouring Plant – beginning the process of becoming fine woolen fabrics.  Additionally, my future Mother-in-law, Marion Ashton, worked as a spinner at Pendleton’s Foundation Factory Plant and it was there that she obtained fabrics for hand-sewn shirts for her son and gave me the remnants so I could make matching garments.  Our matching outfits were always commented on at school and especially the red/black plaids worn on “spirit day” as those were our school colors.

Connections first through the Ashton family, and yes, Richard too was employed summers and even refinished the wood floors in the Foundation Plant along with the Brot Bishop boys; but it was through my sister, Malinda Pfeifle Staples, that I became acquainted with Pendleton as my employer as she held the secretary position under Ed Pedley in Statistical Services. In April 1966 I had a choice to make – either continue studies at Portland State College or take the offer at Pendleton to work for Mr. Pedley – my sister was leaving to begin her family.  Thus began a life journey that though the formal career has now officially concluded with retirement on April 29th, I am in the finishing room. The friendships, relationships, business associations and memories are completing my life-story tapestry by attaching the binding edges.

My story begins with being honored to meet and know C. M. Bishop until his passing in 1969; a never-to-be forgotten innocent and embarrassing blunder voiced during a National Sales Meeting at Salishan Lodge (Coffee, Tea or… how does that go?!); Shorthand learned in High School proved invaluable when asked to take notes from the Ambassador to Romania (Alan Green) while vising with his friend C. M. Bishop,  Jr.; Sitting at the feet of Ms. Pat Mitchell (who had been secretary to C. M. Bishop) learning valuable history, skills and understanding.  Pat will celebrate 107 years of life this August; Letters and phone calls to our Nation’s President George Bush (the elder Bush) as well as many other US Representatives, State Governors and political figures who were friends to the Bishop family; Assisting Portland’s current First Lady, Nancy Hales, in her mission for Pendleton gifts to take abroad for government dignitaries on the Mayor’s travels, and garments to wear herself – a true Pendleton Ambassador; Relationships with Round-Up personalities, Queen Whitney White in 2007, Native American Elders…

But long before hearing Mr. B’s (C.M. Bishop, Jr.) 1993 corporate speech quoting  a 1941 inscription written to him by his Father, C. M. Bishop, on the flyleaf of his co-authored book “Pioneer Woolen Mills in Oregon,” I felt and experienced these words  “… the best inheritance to receive or to leave is a good name” lived out not only through the Bishop men and Management of the Company, but also every one of the women – wives, aunts, sisters, and daughters – in their consistent and constant sweet spirits, graciousness and courtesies. “ I subscribe to a belief that as Pendleton has been blessed with the ability to create through the woven thread beautiful fabrics and designs that many covet, cherish and last a lifetime, God is weaving our life-story through our relationships and responses to His shuttle.

Pendleton Woolen Mills and the Bishop family have and are leaving that good name and reputation for future generations.  Honesty, integrity, the Golden Rule standard are the legacy that keeps Pendleton great and America strong.  God bless America and God bless Pendleton Woolen Mills.  Cheers!

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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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Yosemite National Park’s New Custom Pendleton Blanket

 

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.

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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.

 

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:

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Taylor Colson Horton & Cameron Powell took the blanket to the back yard:

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And Bri Heiligenthal brought the blanket home:

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Three different visions of one beautiful blanket. Thanks to our amazing photographers. Follow them on Instagram for more.

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And the blanket? Of course you can get your own! Right here: YOSEMITE GIFT SHOP

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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

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 Experiences in the Grand Canyon

It’s one of the seven natural wonders of the world; 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, the Grand Canyon took millions of years to form and just keeps changing. The deepest point in the canyon is a mile deep. A mile. That’s 5,280 feet, in case you’ve forgotten. Yes, this is one heck of a canyon.

Close to five million people visit the Grand Canyon each year. They arrive by car, train and bus, and plenty of them come to stay for longer than an afternoon. The Park has many wonderful campgrounds, but read up on reservations, restrictions and costs. The key word to get the most out of the Grand Canyon is simply “planning.”

We asked some of our fantastic Pendleton people if they’d share their Grand Canyon experiences on the blog. They sent some beautiful photos, and some Pendleton employee park memory stories that illustrate how they took on the Canyon.

Phillip shared his experience with camping on the North Rim:

A few years ago my family took a road trip to the Southwest and visited Bryce Canyon, Zion and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was an amazing family adventure.

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When we arrived at the Grand Canyon and were setting up camp, we realized that my son Henry had forgotten to stow the crank that raises our tent trailer when we left our previous location (I think it was Zion). We polled all of the other campers and no one had a crank. Fortunately I was able to use a wrench to raise the trailer so we didn’t have to leave or sleep on the ground! 

The trip was definitely worth it.

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Another Pendleton person, Annetta, has taken trips with her extended family to many of the National Parks.

Hiking with my son and our entire family, especially nieces and nephews, has bonded us through some unique experiences. The National Parks have been a big part of it.  Every get-together something comes up from one these trips, generating lots of laughter.

In 2004, we all went to the Grand Canyon. Me, my son, all my siblings and their kids hiked down Bright Angel trail to Phantom Ranch to spend the night.

Below: the kids on Silver Bridge crossing the Colorado to Phantom Ranch.

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We might be smiling, but it was 118 degrees down by the water that day, and we still had several miles to go. Brutal.

The group got ahead of me on the way to Phantom Ranch and because we were so close we didn’t follow our rule and give the last person in line (me) the second walkie-talkie. I missed the turn, ending up on Black Bridge. I yelled down at river rafters for directions. When I realized I’d gone a quarter mile in the wrong direction, the walls of the Canyon echoed with words that are probably not printable.

My son did come back to find me, and very relieved to see me, and not happy about backtracking. The hike is 12 miles each way! We all agreed that the dinner that night at the ranch was the best we had eaten in our lives. No doubt the hike had something to do with that.

Below, all of us at Phantom Ranch on the morning of hiking out.  It was a very quiet breakfast, as we were all thinking about that climb. But we made it!

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After hiking out that morning my nephew took his pipes and played them at the canyon edge in the evening. Ah, the energy of youth. 

Kyle and his pipes

Which brings me to my best tip for hiking the Grand Canyon: Take teenagers along who can pack your extra water.

The only place in the world that you can get hiking sticks with Phantom Ranch burned into them is at the ranch itself.  The kids all still have theirs and use them to this day on other hikes with pride. When people ask about those walking sticks, the kids say casually, “Oh this? Yeah, I got it at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.”

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.

National-Park-Collection-100_Color-Logo

Historic Cameron Trading Post Wedding

July is Wedding Month for us here at Pendleton. We are starting out with a post from APracticalWedding.com, reprinted with permission. This beautiful wedding between Brenda and Donovan incorporates Navajo traditions, including Pendleton blankets. Enjoy!

We Made Our $10K, 120 Guest Modern Navajo Wedding Our Own

These moccasins were made for walking (down the aisle)

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

BRENDA, PE TEACHER AND GRAD STUDENT & DONOVAN, NETWORK SPECIALIST

SUM-UP OF THE WEDDING VIBE: Respectful and happy mix of traditional and modern cultures.

PLANNED BUDGET: $7,000

ACTUAL BUDGET: $9,800

NUMBER OF GUESTS: 120

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

WHERE WE ALLOCATED THE MOST FUNDS:

We spent most of our funds at the venue—buying hotel rooms for the wedding party, the officiant, photographer, and ourselves. We also spent a good chunk of change on the catering and cake. We wanted to make sure that everyone was comfortable and provided for.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

WHERE WE ALLOCATED THE LEAST FUNDS:

Decorating. The most expensive decoration we had to purchase was the garlands, roughly $125 a piece. The rose petals were bought at the grocery stores for $12.99 and spread all around. Otherwise, the Pendleton blankets and chairs were items we already had. The rest, like the tulle and the long pieces of fabric, came from Goodwill at the price of $10 total. The ceremonial items for the altar were also items we already owned. Mother Nature took care of the rest!

My dress was incredibly inexpensive as I spent less than $200 to buy and make alterations. My moccasins were a gift and the jewelry were family heirlooms that I wore in honor of my grandmother.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

WHAT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT:

The makeup artist! I could not believe the amazing job he did with everyone! We do not wear makeup on a regular basis so it was a relief to see that he knew how to make us look great for such an amazing day.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

A FEW THINGS THAT HELPED US ALONG THE WAY:

A wedding coordinator was definitely needed as my family had never gone through a wedding of this fashion before. We were mixing traditional Navajo elements with a contemporary wedding, and we needed someone to guide us through the logistics of how it should look. She took care of things like helping us choose a cake, a makeup artist, and a florist and negotiating with the venue to ensure our needs were met. In a traditional Navajo wedding, there is no talk of any of that, as most weddings are performed at the homestead with everyone pitching in. In this case, we needed guidance, and she did a great job!

Our hardworking and caring family was instrumental in getting our wedding set up. The venue would only make sure it was clean and free of weeds. The rest was up to us. My family then took it upon themselves the day before the wedding to show up and set up late into the night to make sure we didn’t worry about it on the wedding day itself. They also provided the appetizers during our social hour and picked up our wedding cake in Flagstaff, Arizona, which was fifty minutes south of Cameron. We also had a trusted family member with lots of knowledge of Navajo tradition officiate the wedding. Then there were all the little details like the game we played, and someone to coordinate the packing and unpacking of everything we brought to the venue—chairs, decorations, tables, etc. The wedding would not have gone as smoothly without their help. Anything is possible with family!

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

MY BEST PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR MY PLANNING SELF:

Invite more people than what you have planned for. I wish I had sent out more invitations than I originally did. I invited exactly sixty people in my circle of family and friends and thought they would all come, and they didn’t, which meant there were some empty seats I could have filled with others. Lesson learned: invite more people than you planned for; it’ll work out in the end. Also, ENJOY IT! I was so consumed with making sure others were having a good time that I forgot that I was supposed to have a good time too. In hindsight, the wedding was beautiful, but I didn’t realize it till the end.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE WEDDING:

The wedding vows. We wrote our own and I felt that meant more to me than anything. We looked each other in the eyes and nothing mattered. To hear my husband tell me how he felt was an incredible feeling! Also, right before we cut our wedding cake my nephew-in-law and my son sang a traditional Navajo blessingway song. As the song progressed, my family and friends joined in and it was soon a chorus of young and old singing to bless our marriage in a good way. I was overwhelmed with love and happiness that I started to cry. It was then I felt so proud to have the culture that I do and to share it with my husband from that day forth.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

OTHER NOTES:

Some people asked us why we didn’t have a true Navajo wedding, and the truth was I had already been married in that way. In Navajo tradition, you cannot marry twice out of the Navajo wedding basket so we had to get creative. I love my heritage but also respect the laws of it, and I wanted to marry in a way that was respectful but also reflected both our faith and culture. The wedding could be described as a mix of both Navajo tradition and Native American Church (NAC) practices in a contemporary format. With permission from my mother and aunts, we took what we could from our culture such as the washing of the hands and the exchanging of the dowry and incorporated prayer and blessings done with NAC paraphernalia (hawk feathers and burning of cedar) and then added the contemporary elements like my dad walking me down the aisle and the exchanging of the rings. The result was a wedding that had such deep meaning for both of us.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

Arizona; Wedding; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Navajo; Cameron Trading Post

This post includes one or more of our sponsors, who are a key part of supporting APW. Check out theDirectory page for Leah and Mark Photography.

THE INFO:

Photography: Leah and Mark | Location: Cameron, AZ on the Navajo Nation | Venue: Historic Cameron Trading Post | Brenda’s Dress and Bridesmaid Dresses: Camille Lavie | Moccasins: City Electric | Ties, Flower Baskets, and Ring Pillow: Touch of Tradition | Wedding Coordination: Yvonne Chavez | Makeup: Shonie Secody | Hair: Northern Arizona Glam Squad

 

Happy 4th of July!

To all of  you from all of us here at Pendleton Woolen Mills. Have the best Independence Day ever!

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Brandon Burk Photography

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