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

Kate Rolston photo of a woman at the lakeshore wrapped in a Pendleton Rocky Mountain National park blanket.

A beautiful range

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

Kate Rolston photo of a man and woman earing hats, sitting on a rocky outcrop on a Pendleton blanket.

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.

Kate Rolston photo of lake and mountains - gorgeous!

Number Ten

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.

Kate Rolston photo of a man with a pack standing on a mountaintop.

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 traversing the highest paved road in America.

A man, a backpack, and the stunning splendor of the Rocky Mountains. photo by kate Rolston.

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.

Kate Rolston photo

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

Kate Rolston photo

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.

Pendleton Products

That’s why they are featured on the Pendleton blanket label, shown here on the coffee cup.

coffee cup

And here’s the blanket:

Rocky Mountain National park blanket.

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.

Kate Rolston photo

Kate Rolston Photography

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

Kate Rolston photo

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. See it at http://www.pendleton-usa.com

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The Wild Splendor of Oregon’s Crater Lake

Beautiful Blue

On a clear day, the waters of Crater Lake are a shade of blue seen nowhere else. The depth of the lake, the purity of the water and the clean Oregon skies are the source of this unearthly hue. You really have to see it to believe it.

Crater Lake sits almost two thousand feet above sea level and is the deepest lake in the United States. As the National Park Service says, “Crater Lake has inspired people for thousands of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past. It is a place of immeasurable beauty, and an outstanding outdoor laboratory and classroom.” (source)

Crater Lake, Oregon

(photo source)

Of all the beautiful Oregon locations seen in the movie “Wild,” it is Cheryl Strayed’s slow saunter across the backdrop of Crater Lake that elicits the strongest audience response (photo of Cheryl Strayed courtesy of Cheryl Strayed).

Cheryl Strayed and Map

It’s really that blue-and that’s the blue we chose for our Crater Lake National Park Series blanket.

Pendleton's Crater Lake National park blanket

History

Crater Lake formed in the collapsed caldera of Mount Mazama, an ancient volcano. It is not fed by any streams or tributaries. The 4.6 trillion gallons of water contained in the lake accumulated through 7,000 years of precipitation, and some sub-surface seepage. This accounts for the water’s unbelievable purity.

The lake contains two islands. Wizard Island is a volcanic cinder cone formed by continued eruptions after the collapse of Mount Mazama. Its picturesque name comes from an earlier time in Crater Lake’s history, when the lake was named the “Witches Cauldron.” That name didn’t stay, but Wizard Island’s name did remain. Crater Lake’s other island, Phantom Ship, is a rock formation that looks exactly like a pirate ship sailing on the lake’s surface if you tilt your head and squint a little, and believe.

You don’t have to hike to enjoy this park’s best view. It’s possible to drive right to the Crater Lake lodge and visit a patio that stretches across the back of the lodge. There you can sit in one of the rocking chairs, order a huckleberry martini and toast the best view in Oregon. And if you’re ready for outdoor action, Crater Lake offers hikes, bike rides around the rim, hikes and boat tours that include a stop on Wizard Island. If you do travel by boat, keep your eye out for “The Old Man of the Lake,” a hemlock stump that has been bobbing around the lake for over a century.

The Klamath and Modoc tribes consider Crater Lake a sacred site, and have myths about its creation. Because of the scientific accuracy of the Klamath myths, it’s believed that tribal members witnessed the creation of the lake and fashioned their sacred stories accordingly.

You can read more here: Sacred legends of the Klamath   and here: Science and Myth, the creation of Crater Lake.

A Cloudy Day

It was a cloudy day when Kyle Houck, our #pendle10park explorer, took the Crater Lake blanket home for a visit. As you can see from Kyle’s shots, the park is still beautiful.

Kyle Houck - a pair of booted feet on a Crater Lake blanket, with the lake ahead.
Kyle Houck - A man with a Crater Lake blanket slung over his shoulders walks near Oregon's Crater lake.

#pendle10parks photos by: @KYLEHOUCK

Find out more about our Crater Lake blanket here: Crater Lake

Share a Crater Lake/Rogue River adventure with Greg Hatten: WoodenBoat Adventures

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Where the Mountains Meet the Sea: UGG and Pendleton Collaborate in 2015

UGG and Pendleton collaboration

Wool, meet wool.

If there were ever a natural partnership, it’s this one. Our 2014 collaboration with UGG Australia was an immediate hit and a nearly immediate sell-through, so we’re excited to bring you another collaboration for this holiday season.

We talked about the shared heritage of UGG and Pendleton in a post last year. Both companies have roots in Southern California’s surf culture, a point nicely illustrated by this display at the UGG Australia HQ.

UGG and Pendleton collaboration surfboards outside the UGG HQ

Our new pattern, exclusive to this collection, reflects this shared history. Inspired by the place where the mountains meet the sea, this banded design has mountain peaks and rolling waves in natural hues. Here it is on the loom at our USA mill.

Collaboration fabric on the loom at Pendleton Woolen Mills

So Many Choices

There’s something for everyone; scuffs, mocs, lace-ups, slip-ons, and the classic UGG in short and tall. There’s an exciting lace-up Adirondack waterproof boot that’s going wild on Pinterest for us. There’s even a baby bootie. JUST LOOK AT IT!!

A baby booty

(Sorry, but that’s one cute little bootie.)

We’re rounding out the offering with vests for both men and women, and assortment of well-crafted bags.

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Most of the footwear and bags and both the vests are available at Pendleton.usa.com, including this beautifully constructed women’s vest.

Vest-women

Exclusive to Uggaustralia.com are two pieces for the home; a fleece-backed throw and an oversized pillow. We have to show them to you, even though we aren’t carrying them; they are simply beautiful.

F15-Pendleton_Throw-Pillow

We’re garnering some nice recognition in the press, with more to come. You can read about us in GQ and Town & Country. Last year’s collection went fast, so don’t wait to make your choice. You don’t want this one to run away from you!

UGG Pendleton shoes and slippers


Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People

Tilikum_Crossing_Jan_2015_wikicommons_free use

The Bridge

September saw the opening of Portland’s Tilikum Crossing, the newest of Portland’s bridges. This one is special for a few reaasons. First, it’s a pedestrian/transit bridge that is only open to pedestrians, the MAX light rail line, buses, bicycles and emergency vehicles. Second, it is named in honor of the people who inhabited this area long before the Jacksons, Hawthornes and Morrisons. Tilikum is a Chinook jargon word that means “people, tribe or family.” It was chosen to honor the Multnomah, Cascade, Clackamas, and other Chinookan peoples who have been here as long as 14,000 years ago.

The artist

The name was chosen through an initial round of popular vote, with the final name being chosen by a Trimet committee. The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde were part of the bridge’s dedication, and donated artwork by Chinook artist Greg A. Robinson. The three pieces are collectively titled, “We Have Always Lived Here.”

Two basalt pillars stand at the east and west ends of the bridge. The bronze medallion, five feet in diameter, hangs at the eastern side of the bridge, facing north.  According to the tribe. “The basalt carvings depict Tayi, or headmen, with their people, and the medallion shows Morning Star and her children in the center, which is a reference to the heavens, and Coyote and the first humans on the outer ring, referencing the Earth.”

The blanket

As part of the opening ceremony for the bridge, The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde commissioned a limited edition blanket from Pendleton Woolen Mills, incorporating the stunning artwork by Mr. Robinson.

Tilikum-Crossing_final-design for blanket

Each blanket bore this special patch.

Patch for the Tilikum Crossing bridge

As we understand it, most of the commemorative blankets were given as gifts, and a small amount were sold on Tilikum Crossing’s opening day. We are so honored to have been asked to participate in this event.  Below, enjoy some shots from the bridge’s dedication, including those of the artist being wrapped in another Grand Ronde blanket, and some beautiful closeups of his work. Photos courtesy of Trimet.

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Take a Pendleton Mill Tour: From Our Hands to Yours

Fan Mail

Nearly every day, we hear from people who have toured our mills in Washougal, Washington, and Pendleton, Oregon. They are impressed by the complexity of the process and the unrelenting noise of a working woolen mill. We are (of course) proud to show off our state-of-the-art mills. That’s why we’re always throwing open our doors to the public. We are working constantly to meet the demand for our fabrics and our weaving capabilities.

Two Mills

Our mill in Pendleton gets quite a bit of press attention, but you can read a detailed history of the Washougal Mill by clicking here: An Anniversary Celebration. But if the Pacific Northwest is not your neighborhood, we offer this virtual tour, filmed at both our mills. We wanted to offer a detailed look at just what it takes to weave a blanket from fleece to finish.

Enjoy the video!

Buffalo and the National Parks: Pendleton’s New Buffalo Wilderness Blanket for 2015

A New Blanket for 2015

Buffalo Wilderness Blanket


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.

Bison or Buffalo

Bison History

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.

Historical photo of an unthinkably high pile of bison skulls.

Bison Survival

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.

The Blanket

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 blanket, by Pendleton, featuring a silhouette of a Bison on a landscape background.

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.

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