We flew through Idaho and suddenly we were in … The Pacific Northwest! We had a few shows scheduled in the Northwest so we had to book it through Idaho and into Eastern Oregon where flat golden fields, farms, and desert precede coniferous forest. It was here that we landed in Pendleton, OR. That’s right, of Pendleton Woolen Mills fame.
We adore American companies that have stood the test of time and have kept their manufacturing here in the states. We had to stop by to see the Pendleton blanket-making process (after all, we sleep with one every night). All of the manufacturing, from spinning to dyeing to weaving, all happens at just two Pacific Northwest locations. The Pendleton, OR factory stands in the same place it has for 100+ years and still employs skilled local workers. They even host an annual roundup that pays homage to the Native American groups that have played an important role in Pendleton history.
It’s incredible to see the hundreds of steps that the wool goes through in becoming a warm blanket – and amazing to see the level of quality control. Inspectors comb over every square inch of blanket searching for imperfections.
From Pendleton we continued Westward and met up with the stunning Columbia river, which we would follow all the way into Portland. We felt like Lewis and Clark finding their way to the West for the first time when we landed in PDX, ready for a beer (or two…or three) at several of Portland’s amazing breweries.
After setting up for a lovely show right along the Willamette River we had to say goodbye to Oregon as we made our way Northward into Washington. Beneath the imposing visage of Mount Rainier we worked our way past Seattle and into the Northern Cascades for an amazing little music festival at the foot of White Horse Mountain – Summer Meltdown. We had a great time meeting amazing people, hanging out in the river, and grooving to some amazing artists – including one of our absolute favorites, Lord Huron.
After 4 blissful days we were back on the road, headed for decidedly warmer… and drier… weather of Nevada in August…