Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Affordable Family Getaway

Pendleton was named the Top True Western Town of 2011 and offers families a variety of activities, including 3 museums, the Underground Tours, saddle shops and with 21 city parks that include an aquatic center, Skate Park and a new disc golf course!
Pendleton offers a culture of fine craftsmanship, rich traditions and a legendary reputation. With over 1,000 rooms there is something available for every budget, and the same goes for dining, and attractions.   Centrally located in the Pacific Northwest only 209 miles east of Portland the drive down the scenic Columbia Gorge is a beautiful way to start your vacation; 237 miles from Boise travelers would follow the route of the Pioneers who traveled the Oregon trail; 201 miles through mostly farmland would be a families journey from Spokane; Seattle families would travel 303 miles through the beautiful mountain passes to arrive in Pendleton. Families would be hard pressed to find another single location offering so much for so little.

With several lodging properties with pools offering rates under $90/night, affordable dining options, great parks that includes the city Aquatic Center, 3 museums, a community Art Center, fishing, hiking and so much more! A family of 4 could easily spend 4 days 3 nights for under $500.

The Pendleton Aquatic Center is a great facility at a great price!

With Rates for Children of only $3.50, Adults $5. and children under 2 FREE, this aquatic center will delight your family. Just don't tell everyone it is still our secret! 
For more information visit

War Paint, famous bucking bronc

The Pendleton Round-Up & Happy Canyon Hall of Fame is a fantastic way to get the flavor of the Round-Up without the crowds we host during the actual rodeo. With great rates, special exhibits for Children this is a must do for most families.

Tamastslikt Cultural Institute
Tamastslikt Cultural Institute is a part of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Centers and the only museum in that system of museums that tells the Native American side of the Oregon Trail. A fascinating museum with lots of interactive displays. 

Heritage Museum
The Heritage Station is a family favorite with lots of outdoor exhibits including a one room school house, a caboose, and a replica farmstead as well as the indoor galleries.  

The Art Center also offers up all kinds of free classes for children all summer long! 

The Children's Museum of Eastern Oregon offers interactive play at an affordable price and another way to beat the heat if your visit is warmer than you are used to.

Outdoor activities are endless with 21 City Parks including a skate-park, river walk and new disc golf course. Within minutes from downtown we have McKay Reservoir and National Wildlife Preserve, Indian Lake, and the Blue Mountains that all offer great recreational opportunities.

Have a great summer without the crowds, just don't tell everyone it is still a secret!

For more information on Pendleton, Oregon we offer the following online tools...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Western Events May - September!

Pendleton home of the Pendleton Round-Up for over 100 years has geared up with several new western events in the past few years to celebrate our roots. Each one of the below events offers just a little something different but should have something for anyone who loves ranching & farming traditions, Western & Native American culture, rodeo, music, poetry, art, craftsmanship, cowboys, cowgirls, or just a good time.

Pendleton Cattle Baron’s Weekend

May 11 – 13th, 2012
One weekend. One great adventure!  Pendleton’s Cattle Barons Weekend was created in honor of our region’s cattlemen and ranchers and their legacy. It’s a celebration of our ranching roots that comes every spring and we’re inviting you. This is as “Western” as it gets! Like the cattlemen and ranchers of our heritage we work hard to bring you a spectacular weekend of events with proceeds going to a worthy cause. Come join us! Quickly earning the reputation as the second best weekend in Pendleton!
Events Include:
Ø  Buckaroo Barbeque Challenge
Ø  Cattle Barons Church
Ø  Family Fun Time
Ø  In the Company of Cowgirls — Western Art Show
Ø  Rancher’s Challenge
Ø  Stock Dog Sale
Ø  Calcutta
Ø  Stock Saddle Bronc Riding
Ø  Team Branding
Ø  Tradin’ Post
Ø  Western Select Gelding Sale

Foot of the Blues Cowboy Gathering

May 24th – May 27th, 2012
Sure enough Memorial Day Weekend will be jam packed with good cowboy poetry and Western music. Our entertainers are coming from near and far and will be wandering the streets and taking in "Pendleton." They have a great line up of Cowboy Poets and musicians to perform at various venues throughout Pendleton.  If your fan of cowboy stories this is the event for you. So, from the "Meet & Greet" on the evening of May 24th till "Cowboy Church" Sunday morning May 27th, it's going to be a great weekend for everyone young and old.

We suggest you put the next 3 events together for a great week long  Fourth of July celebration - vacation in Pendleton and really dive into the culture!

PGG Bulls and Barrels Extravaganza

July 3rd -  4th , 2012 in the Happy Canyon Arena
The Pendleton Round-Up Association and Happy Canyon Company are hosting a new annual 4th of July celebration that includes a two-night Professional Bull Rider’s event for the Happy Canyon Arena on July 3 and 4, coupled with a Fourth of July barrel racing competition at the Round-Up Arena. Tickets for the bull riding show will go on sale on April 24 at 8:30 a.m. at the Round-Up office and at on a first-come, for more information call 541-276-2553.

Fourth of July Parade

July 4th , 2012
Hosted by the Pendleton VFW “Let’er Buck” Post 922 will begin at 10 AM. The parade will begin at the Chamber of Commerce parking lot going North on Main St. then we go west on SW Court to Roy Raley park next to the Round-Up Grounds.

Wildhorse Pow Wow

Jul 6 - 8, 2012
The Wildhorse Pow Wow, showcases traditions and includes dance and drumming competitions. The event is held on the lawn outside Wildhorse Resort & Casino. Food, arts and crafts vendors are also set up in the area. Participants from all over the Pacific NW join this celebration of a rich tradition.

The 2012 U.S. National Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw

30 August - 2 September 2012
Brought to you by The Legendary Idaho Shootists, In Historic Pendleton, Oregon
$10,000 Cash and Prizes -Top 15 Men and 10 Ladies Take Home Cash. If you loved the old western shootouts on TV you will love this event! Held in the Pendleton Convention Center and FREE to the public these contestants dress in period clothing and take their shooting seriously. Here is a video from last year’s competition just to whet your appetite.

Pendleton Round-Up

September 8 – 15, 2012
Even though the actual Pendleton Round-Up Rodeo and the Happy Canyon Pageant don’t start until the 12th events kick off on Saturday September 8th with the first of two parades and the Pendleton Round-Up Concert Featuring: Jake Owen and Lone Star. This is THE Pendleton signature western event and a lively week of rodeo, western entertainment and more are in store for you if you decide to attend the 102nd annual Pendleton Round-Up.  For more information that include answers to FAQ’s visit
This is just the beginning of all the great western entertainment and events Pendleton has to offer. If you want to keep up on what is going on in Pendleton join us on facebook

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Portland to Pendleton – A great road trip!

The two P-towns of Oregon are so different but also have much in common. They both take pride in being unique maybe even weird but both have strong identities and are Oregon. The 209 mile trip will amaze and delight those who love a road trip. You can do it in 3 ½  hours or 3 weeks depending on your level of interest in stopping along the way! Of course we recommend several trips choosing different stops along the way. Below I have listed just a few of our favorite stops, please feel free to share with us your own as we know there are many jewels along the way.

1.      Troutdale – Known for inexpensive gas prices and great outlet mall shopping. We think the true jewel is its historic downtown.

2.       Multnomah Falls - At 620 feet, only three falls in the nation are higher, and none are more beautiful. You can make this as big an adventure as you like be just viewing it from the bottom to hiking to the top. (Tip: the exits for the fall can be tricky keep your eyes on the signs.) 

3.       Cascade Locks – Our personal favorite is Marine Park.  A great place to stop and just enjoy the history of the Columbia River.

4.       Hood River – One of our favorite cities in Oregon with its windsurfer vibe, adorable downtown shops, Full Sail Brewery and best of all the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel.

5.       The Dalles – Yes it is not Dalles but The Dalles. My newest favorite is Nichols Art Glass but The Dalles offers a lot of history and has joined Pendleton as one of the top True Western Towns of the U.S.

6.       Big Horn Sheep in the Columbia River Gorge- Although we have caught site of them at different times of the day morning and early evening give the best opportunities to view these beauties, living in the rugged terrain as the Columbia River Gorge changes from Forest to High Desert. Have a passenger start watching just after Rufus all the way to Arlington my personal hotspot has been around milepost 129. If you decide to stop along the Highway please be careful. Here is a beautiful winter video and some great photos  on Flickr

7.       Arlington – Home of Doc Severinsen for those of you that remember the great Trumpet man and band leader of the tonight show Highlights, great city sponsored Park and rest area (hey rest stops are important!) and the gateway to the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway which is a day trip in itself!

8.       Boardman – This is where you can truly get a feel for the Eastern Oregon Columbia River! Enjoy it from the Marina Park or the River Lodge & Grill. The River Lodge is a great place to stay or just stop and have a meal in their dining room where the river view is the art and the food is delicious. As you leave Boardman don’t miss the Poplar Tree Farm, this is Oregon sustainability at its finest. There are some amazing photos on flickr

9.       Echo – This town epitomizes the small rural towns in Eastern Oregon that are not only surviving but thriving due to the determination of the residents that love it. With just 30 minutes left until you arrive in Pendleton Echo makes a great choice to soak up some local charm while picking up some great wine at Sno Road Winery

10.   Pendleton- Enjoy the view as you drop down into the Valley that is the home of Pendleton with the Blue Mountains as a backdrop, the only better view is coming in from the east down Cabbage Hill and seeing the view shared by the Pioneers on the Oregon Trail. Welcome to the 2011 Top True Western Town!  Enjoy your stay! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pendleton Round-Up University off to a great start!

Who would have thought that an 8 week "University" to learn all about a rodeo would be a sell out? When that rodeo just happens to be the Pendleton Round-Up no one should be suprised, that is just what happened Wednesday March 16th, 2011 with the first session of PRU!
In his welcoming comments The "Dean" aka President of the Pendleton Round-Up Dennis Hunt, stated none of our professors have teaching certificates but they all had a B.S. in Round-Up! The crowd laughed and the tone of the evening was set. He then introduced the "Professor" for this first class, Director Tim Hawkins.

Tim shared his obvious love for the history of this 100 year old institution with the eager crowd of 200. He started back pre Round-Up in 1909 with what was called “The District Fair”, that was the inspiration for the event that is now preparing for its 101 year. He shared highlights of history including a video clip of the famous story of Jackson Sundown, George Fletcher and John Spain. He shared stories of the cowgirls of the Pendleton Round-Up including the story of Bonnie McCarroll who died 11 days after suffering an injury competing at the Pendleton Round-Up and changed women’s roles in rodeo still to this day.
As great as Tim was, the highlight of the evening was stolen by the first hand stories of his father Don Hawkins who was a Round-Up Director in the 1970’s. He told three lively and funny stories about the infamous Let’er Buck room! They say you should only believe about a 10th of what you hear about the goings on in the Let’er Buck room but Mr. Hawkins swore he was there to witness each of the three stories he shared.
Tim shared a few interesting facts about the history of the Let’er Buck room also including the following:

It is the longest bar in the State of Oregon

1,000 people are inside it at any one time on Friday & Saturday or Round-Up

95% of attendees claim to have visited the Let’er Buck room

5% of the people in the Let’er Buck room have never seen the Round-up itself and 1% doesn’t know there is a rodeo going on!

The Let’er Buck room is 20 degrees hotter than anywhere else in the arena and Tim thought probably than anywhere in Oregon!
If this first class is any example of how the eight weeks will go we better follow what the East Oregonian wrote after the first show in 1910, just grit your teeth, get another hold & Let’er Buck!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fine Craftsmanship -Tim Sweek -Leather Crafter/Tooler

Tim Sweek grew up in the Pendleton area and has always had a passion for leather craft. He has spent time with local leathercrafters/saddle makers, Larry Smith and Randy Severe. They helped Tim perfect his skills in carving and tooling leather as he worked and built saddles.

Tim is a full time pilot of 747 jets flying internationally. His flying schedule permits him time to work in the Hamley leather shop doing custom belts, purses and wallets. Tim has made custom belts for PRCA competitors as well as local ranchers and businessmen.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fine Craftsmanship - Tim George-Rawhide Braider

Tim has been braiding leather for over 30 years. He practices his intricate work and is passionate about keeping his work traditional. He works in his Hamley studio and has sold some of his pieces to working cowboys and collectors alike.

Rawhide is the Cadillac of fine horse tack and Tim's work is recognized as some of the finest available.

Tim has a good understanding of what makes a fine piece of rawhide work, partly because he is meticulous and patient but mostly because he spent several years working on a large ranch and working with horses. To see more of Tim's work see

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fine Craftsmanship -Alan Dewey-Saddle Maker

 Alan has been building saddles for more than 30 years. He has been building saddles for Hamley's since 2005. His first instruction came from Bill Long of Spokane Washington who en stilled the importance of being meticulous about the basics of building a saddle. Although Alan is a renowned carver, he believes there is more to a saddle than fancy embellishments. Alan's years of practice and his attention to detail has earned him notoriety as a craftsman. He has worked with saddle making legends Ray Holes and Keith Seidel. He has been an invited guest at many Western trappings shows. Hamley's saddle making tradition is about producing functional tack for working cowboys. Alan embodies these attributes to a T.

Alan custom builds saddles but also has several saddles in stock. To see more of his work