Quilt Gallery

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Westering Women

Followers of quilting blogs will likely find the title of this post familiar. That's because it is the name of Barbara Brackman's 2016 block of the month series which celebrates America's overland migrations of the nineteenth century. On the last Wednesday of each month Barbara is posting, for free, a new block pattern, chosen as a reminder of locations along the trail between Missouri and the Pacific. Along with block instructions Barbara is posting historical background including diary entries, maps and illustrations, along with her own insightful commentary.

In spite of all the projects I already have going on, I jumped on the virtual covered wagon for this fascinating journey. It will be a good way to use many of the reproduction fabrics I have in my stash and fun to see what others do.

I completed my first block - all by hand - within four days of the pattern being posted. Let's see if I can keep that up throughout the year.

Block 1: Independence Square by Becky Brown

Reading about these pioneering women makes me appreciate my own trips to the west more than ever and realize how lucky that I am to be able to hop on a plane and arrive in Jackson Hole in only a few hours. My view of the west must be very different from those on the trail in the 1800s. For me, mountains are the destination, not a barrier to my destination; lots of snow means great skiing, not impassable trails. I especially enjoyed our trip to Jackson Hole this past December when days were filled with skiing and evenings were spent enjoying leisurely dinners with family and friends.

We had a particularly memorable day of cross country skiing in Grand Teton National Park. On a very cold but brilliantly clear morning we headed north from the Taggert Lake parking area on the road to Jenny Lake, which is groomed for skiing with two tracks for classic skiers and one track for skate skiers.

The Park Road, groomed for skiing

Although the Grand Teton was hidden by high clouds, the lower peaks were bright with fresh snow.

Steve in front of the South Teton

As we skied clouds began to gather, but arriving at Jenny Lake was like skiing into a snow globe. What a treat to enjoy Jenny Lake without the crowds of summer!

Jenny Lake outflow

We had a quick lunch on the porch of the Jenny Lake Store (which was, of course, closed for the season).

And then turned back towards our car at Taggert Lake. Although it was only about ten miles roundtrip I found it surprisingly tiring, most likely due to my poor skiing technique, but also perhaps due to the cold temperatures and the high altitude.

Heading home from Jenny Lake

I am back east now but as I work on my next Westering Women block I will be reminded of the myriad struggles, adventures and joys that generations of Americans have experienced by traveling west.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful block and beautiful tour of tetons. I've been there years ago in summer and oooohhh I would love to go back one day...