In early December 2010 I visited the Imperial Stock Ranch with three friends. The yarn I used for my first collection came from this ranch in Oregon. I thought it was about time I saw the place for myself.
Mention that you are planning a trip to a ranch in the next state and you will soon have a car-load of people that want to go with you. Barbara, Tom, Brian and I piled into Barbara’s Prius one chilly Monday morning and headed of the mountains, climbing higher and higher until we reached snowy ground and were above the clouds. We stopped for lunch in Ellensburg then headed south towards Yakima and Oregon. Round about Goldendale on the Washington/Oregon border we were shrouded in fog and unfortunately weren’t able to see the Stonehenge replica.
We stayed the night on the Deschutes River at a sleepy lodge. We may have been the only guests. The inn in Maupin provided an interesting, if not entirely nourishing dinner and local color.
We showed up at the ranch about 10.30 the next morning. It was bitterly cold. Jeanne met us at the front door of her house on the ranch compound. We all made a bee-line for the wood-burning stove. We had a tour of the stables, the ‘museum’ and the shearing shed and the shop and heard the rich history of the ranch. The morning ended with a bit of a shopping spree, three bags full and a couple of steaks.
The trip reinforced my dedication to working with local yarn and created a stronger bond between Jeanne, the Imperial Stock Ranch and Helen Sharp Knitwear.
Thanks for being such a wonderful hostess, Jeanne.
* You might notice the absence of sheep from the photographs. Apparently they were a mile or so up the valley. If it hadn’t been so darned cold, we would have taken a tractor ride up to see them.