Pacific North West

Those of you who can conjure up an image of the iconic late 1940’s plaid woolen ladies suit, have theperfect visual in your head for this post (if you can’t, see image on the right). That iconic suit represents over 100 years of history for the American company Pendleton. For the rest of you who have no idea who Pendleton is, that is ok too. They haven’t really been on the forefront of fashion lately, but they do continue to embrace their “Made in USA” advantage and to create high quality woolen products.

If you happen to find yourself in the Pacific Northwest and are looking for a great introduction to the American textile industry and the dyeing/spinning/weaving process for wool, a visit to one of Pendleton’s two mills (in Pendleton, OR or Washougal, WA) is a must. The tours are free and take you through the whole process from raw material to finished fabric and blankets. Of course we know that nothing in this world is free, so it is no surprise that after this one hour walking advertisement, you will be convinced that you need a new blanket or blazer. Hopefully you’ll also be persuaded to pay more attention to your labels. Seeing Americans at work creating a high quality and beautiful product, might just entice you to buy only one of those “Made in USA” t-shirts for $50, instead of the two “Made in China” versions for $25 each.


La Push, Beach 2: Before leaving Seattle, my sister told me that we had to stop in La Push if we were driving through the Olympic Peninsula. I, of course, took her word and we ventured the 15 miles off 101 towards the coast. About 10 miles in, I had the realization that this is “Twilight” land, and in fact, this town might be more well-known for its association with the movie than for anything else.

Boy was I wrong. As soon as we drove into the town, home to Quileute Indian tribe, it was clear my sis had not led me astray. Driftwood (and by driftwood I mean 2-6′ wide pine tree segments) covered the beach. Small fishing boats were bobbing in the current, and the view to the horizon was only broken by the large rocks jetting out of the sea.

Kalaloch Campground: Nestled amongst giant mossy trees on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this was quite the romantic campground (two words I never thought I would use together). Still partially filled at the beginning of October with a dozen RV’s and a sampling of tents, we knew this place had to be good as soon as we drove in.

Reservations are required from June to September.  If you want a view, make sure to reserve the D loop, numbers 24/31/33/35/36/37. We chose 37.