Thursday started early – breakfast before 7:30 to be ready to board the van (there were now eight of us) at 8:00 am for an hour and a half drive to Washougal WA to tour the Pendleton Woolen Mill. A brief bit of shopping the the Mill store (lots of discounted ready made clothing) before entering the Mill itself. NO pictures allowed we were told. So I have none of the massive bales of raw, undyed, uncarded wool or of the huge carding machines or looms. We started where they dye the entire bale, moved on to the carding machines where differently dyed wools are blended during carding to create roving. Next are the machines that check the quality of the roving and spin it. Then on to the looms which weave the blanket fabric. We also walked past the yarn dying vats, and later the whole cloth dying process.
The Mill produces many different kinds of wool cloth which is sold all over the world. A lot of it is shipped abroad to be made into garments to be sold back in the US under the Pendleton label (made in China of US materials, for example). I didn’t buy any of the ready made clothing – I saw a sweater I liked but it wasn’t available in my size. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey through the Mill.
Next stop, the Maryhill Museum of Art, another hour away beyond “The Dalles” – the change in the landscape was striking – from lush green mixed forest on steep cliffs and slopes to golden brown rolling hills. This is vineyard and orchard country in eastern Washington State.
The Maryhill building was built from 1914 – 1926 overlooking the Columbia River by Sam Hill (you know – “What in the Sam Hill…?”) as a residence, but he and his family never lived there. It opened as an art museum in 1940. An addition in a very different architectural style was completed 2012.
We came to see the “Theatre de la Mode” mannequins – a large collection of 24″ wire frame “dolls” wearing French designer outfits created in 1945 as a way of advertising the couturier collections in Paris because high end clothing fabrics and other sewing supplies were in short supply. The mannequins and their outfits are amazing!
The detail, right down to the miniature shoes and handbags, hats, jewellery has to be seen to be believed.
Following the art museum, we stopped briefly at Hill’s reconstruction of Stonehenge:
Our last stop of the day was at Multnomah Falls – the water drops 620′ from the top of the ridge to the river in two stages – ending in a pool that drains into a rather nondescript small river (the name of which I don’t remember).
There are trails to the top of the falls – you can imagine how steep the climb must be. It was drizzling so we walked only as far as the bottom pool.
Another very enjoyable day.