"I started photographing my domestic world and writing not just about what I had made,
but why I made it, examining the thoughts that accompany creativity and the act of making."
Jane Brocket from The Gentle Art of Domesticity p. 189 UK edition

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Finding the Former Wool Capital of the World

In my last post I typed that I wasn't planning to head out on any more trips until August, but I forgot I had scheduled a week of camping on the east side of Mt. Hood with some of my adult children!  I gathered some survival equipment on my wool blanket on my bed as I was packing.  [This is the first blanket I knit, somewhere between when I was 16-18.  I used jumbo plastic needles and used four strands of yarn, knitting 4, then purling 4 for 4 rows then reversing that for 4 rows, forming the basketweave pattern.  When I was first married I washed the blanket and dried it in the dryer, forgetting it was made of wool....uh oh.  It became more of a lap robe than a blanket, but I still enjoy using it nearly 50 years later!]
In the Mt. Hood National Forrest we set up a pretty nifty tent village.
I loved my comfy quarters.
I brought all kinds of projects to do, but just crocheted three headbands, shown on the towel in the lower part of the photo, and I nearly finished the novel The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love by Beth Pattillo.  During the thundershowers we had we had fun playing a game of Scrabble and Pegs and Jokers, too.
This was the glorious sunrise I photographed from my tent doorway one morning.
One day we drove to the nearby Rock Creek Reservoir and the menfolk came back several days later to fish.  While they did not catch any fish they were very excited to report that they were amazed to watch a Bald Eagle swoop down in front of them and snatch a fish from the water!
One evening we drove back to Rock Creek Reservoir to witness the sunset glowing over Mt. Hood in the distance.
Around the campfire we enjoyed roasting hot dogs and marshmellows,  reading the Orthodox Scripture readings for Pentecost Sunday, and daily Scripture readings and thoughts from Heidi and Rolland Bakkers' book, Reckless Devotion.  The Bakkers have lived and shared their faith in God for over 27 years in Mozambique and we were challenged as we read their thoughts, and discussed them with each other and God.  

The mysterious moon offered our camp village comforting illumination at night, but one night when it was rising it frightened us.  It had a shimmering red-gold glow that looked like a distant fire in the woods as it rose!
Often during the week we thanked God for the beauty around us!
We took a lot of photos!
The sound of rushing water and birds singing provided a wonderful melodic concert  for us and several times the percussion of thunder added some dramatic notes to the composition :)
Trying to identify the wildflowers I took photos of through Google Searches  has not been successful thus far.
But I am in awe looking at all the varieties of wildflowers!
One afternoon while my youngest son and son in law played golf, my youngest daughter and I drove around the nearby area, especially to go see the former Wool Capital of the World which is now nearly a ghost town.  Along the way we saw Smock Prairie School House 1906-1956, in Wamic, Oregon.
We drove through Maupin, Oregon. The town of Maupin along the Deschutes River has a pioneer heritage that includes mining and is currently the mailing address for the Imperial Stock Ranch where cattle and sheep are raised.  Wool from the sheep at the ranch was used to make the sweaters for the last USA Olympic Team.

My youngest daughter has enjoyed going rafting on the Deschutes River several times with some of her co-worker [nurse] friends. 

Now it is hard to imagine that Shaniko was once known as the "Wool Capitol of the World," but it was once on a railway line that made it the perfect location for gathering and shipping wool.
Since the railroad was relocated Shaniko is now just a tiny cluster of buildings such as the wedding chapel,
one of the museums
and another museum area of the "ghost town."
My youngest daughter, Elisabeth and I visited one of the few stores, open for business, Antiques & Things Hwy218 & 4th St. Shaniko, Oregon.
I loved the sheep print over the antique bed,
and in one part of the store was this little soda fountain where I drank some refreshing root beer. 
On the way back to our camp in the Mt. Hood National forrest I appreciated the setting of this abandoned home on the prairie with magnificent Mt. Hood to the west of it.
Nowadays along the former prairie schooner tracks are signs to beware of tractors,
and just in case one needs to know more about one's location there is this sign :)
The fields in the area were full of pretty purple-blue cornflowers,
but after a fabulous week of camping, we reluctantly aimed our vehicles back to our big brown cabin in the farm land on the west side of Mt. Hood.
Now I hope to catch up on what is happening in your neck of the woods!  Do tell me, please :)

Wishing you happy days,

Gracie xx


  1. Gosh, that last picture is gorgeous. Reminds me of our drives through the Colorado mountains last summer. Such awesome scenery. The mountains are so majestic. Your tent sure is a mighty fine set up. I could camp out in something like that. Glad to hear you had such a lovely time. A shame about that little town -- but nice to see that parts of it are preserved. Have a great day. Tammy

  2. Oh Gracie what a lovely, lovely post. How I would have loved to live in the abandoned cabin with the Mt. Hood view. You are indeed blessed to have such a sweet refreshing time with your children. Your tent. Oh my! It is fixed up so special just for you. Perfection.
    Dennis tells me I have a package waiting from you when I get home. Whatever it may be, I thank you sweet Graie.

  3. What a wonderful place to go camping.

    Looks absolutely beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing your photos with us.


  4. Sounds like a wonderful trip with your family. Hope you are doing well, Heather

  5. One of my most favorite of the posts you have made! LOVED your tent "palace" and village, the campground and beautiful scenery, the little towns in central Oregon, the historic buildings, etc., etc.!! Now you have me wanting to go and see it all in person:):) Thanks for sharing your exciting adventure.

  6. I'm so glad you had such a nice week! When it rained and was cold here I worried about you all. I'm glad you're all tough and had fun anyway! I have never been to Shaniko and want to go someday. Your tent accommodations certainly were comfy looking! I'm so happy for you that you had such a great camping experience! See you tomorrow!! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  7. Hi Gracie, it looks like you had a fabulous time. And your camping tent looks so cozy, too. The photos you shared are so beautiful. I think the Pacific Northwest is the most beautiful area. I still miss my home state of Washington. I hope your week is going well. It's always a joy to read your blog. My best to you :)

  8. Oh dear Gracie, I have missed you! Blogging has really taken a back seat around here lately. I have missed keeping up with my friends. You have been doing some fun things! The camping trip looked like fun. Your tent was indeed quite cozy looking! I loved coming along on your trip to town too. Such interesting photos!
    I hope you have been well!
    XO Kris

  9. Looks like you had a wonderful time with your family, creating some great memories to treasure. It certainly looked comfortable in your tent.

  10. I have missed you. I loved your post today it felt truly American. Thanks for sharing your holiday memories. Jo x

  11. Just beautiful, thank you for that! The second wildflower down, the purple one, is a lupine. Your tent is palatial! I might not mind camping if we had that kind of gear. I really like the print of the sheep too. And root beer - now I have a craving... not one that's easy to satisfy in Scotland. Here we are starting a new school year, enjoying the third day in a row of sun and warm (low 70s) temperatures, and very long nights as we near the summer solstice. It's as bright as day at 10 pm. I'm crocheting a baby blanket for my yoga teacher's third, due next month.

  12. Wow Graice you have had quite and adventure. I love all your photos and am so glad you had a wonderful time with your family. Love The Wool Capitol of the World, you are the best taking us with you.

  13. Lovely pictures!! Nice to know you had a great time:)

  14. I've recently learned that there was such a word as glamping - glamorous camping :-)
    You've certainly done it in style.

  15. LOVE LOVED your tent set up.. I might have to try it for our next upcoming trip!

  16. I so enjoyed this post, dear Gracie. Bringing to life some American history (and geography) for us....such lovely old buildings and beautiful views. I am glad you had a lovely trip with your family, and that your camping quarters were nice and comfy.
    Happy weekend.
    Helen xox

  17. What a great trip, Gracie. It's always wonderful being with your family, isn't it? I love the way you made your tent look so comfy and homey - so you.

  18. What fabulous pictures Gracie, love the story about the wool blanket. I had the same experience with a wool sweater after washing it became a doll sweater. Ha Ha.

    Hugs diane

  19. Your camping looks very comfortable and your blanket has stood the test of time! It is always wonderful to see the area where you llived, it looks so lovely. Sarah x

  20. Looks like a completely awesome camping trip! Your tent looks great. The photo of the river/bridge is beautiful, and I like that little chapel and the museum! Glad I scrolled back to catch this post I missed!

  21. Here I am again! Catching up! I always seem to be playing g catch up. What a super post Gracie and what a special time you had. Beautiful photos of our world.love your tent I could camp like that. Bugs Anne x -


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