From the Sea to the Sky...Newport to McMinnville

Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
Trip End Dec 10, 2008

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Where I stayed
Old Stone Village RV Park

Flag of United States  , Oregon
Thursday, October 2, 2008

RAINING!!    First day of rain.  It really changes the dynamics of travelling.   The first part of the trip along the coast, we couldn't even see the water.  The cloud was low, and the rain was pelting down.

By the time we got to our destination at Evergreen, McMinnville the rain had eased considerably.  Now, you may wonder what on earth is in a tiny town called McMinnville??........  actually one of the largest planes in the world - Howard Hughes's Spruce Goose.   It was made entirely of wood (they weren't allowed to use metals because it was a valuable resource for the war).   The name Spruce is because of the wood, ironically though, it's actually made of birch.

It was incredible being there, right under its enormous wing span.   The wings themselves are big enough (at approx 13ft initially)  for a person to walk through, out to about the third engine. 

Just the history behind this plane, made it a very special place to be, and for those of you who have seen the movie will appreciate this.  How they had to overcome new technology, employing cabinet makers (as they worked with wood), - the first hydraulic aeroplane etc.    This one plane, (one man's vision and determination), broke ground in many areas.  Yes, it did fly, only once, and we saw the actual entry in Hughes log book (see photo).

I go on about this one plane, but the whole museum was incredible.  Some of the planes were the original, others were replicas, for example the Wright Brothers.  But everything was done to perfection.  A lot of the workers are volunteers, old serviceman who proudly, polish every bit of every plane, and even the concrete floor.     The place is spotless, and they every right to feel proud of it.   There was even a childrens section, whereby the could hop into the helicopter seat, or the pilots seat of a plane - enough to keep them well entertained, while we joined in the oratory tour.  

We also had the pleasure of meeting a retired major, who had served in 3 wars, crashed twice, landed in a corn field and had plenty of stories.  We got a photo of him, standing in front of the very plane type he flew.  It was a great opportunity, but tinged with sadness, not just for the young men that lost their lives, but for the realisation that it won't be long before we will not have the opportunity to here first hand, these ex serviceman tell their stories.

A poignant day.
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charlotte2527 on

thats soo amazing i like the photos of you guys giving out orders. It looks like a blast and sounds likes you heard some great history and stories.

From Charlotte

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