June 14-16, 2011 – Central Oregon Coast Continued

Tuesday was again a rainy, foggy, overcast day so we decided to drive about 50 miles inland to McMinnville and visit the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.  The drive was very nice through the Siuslaw National Forest.  We saw some dairy farms and very lush forest areas.

The museum houses the Hughes H-4 “Spruce Goose” along with over 150 historic aircraft and exhibits.   If you look closely you can see the Spruce Goose through the windows of the aviation museum building.  The “small” plane in front of the building is an F14.  There is also a vineyard surrounding the museum area called the Spruce Goose Winery.

Once you are inside the building, the Spruce Goose dominates everything else.  It is the world’s largest wooden airplane.  It is so big that we could not get a picture of the entire plane but had to take pictures of it in sections.

In this picture, the plane in the back corner is a B17 “Flying Fortress” – makes the B17 look kind of small in comparison.

That is a Douglas DC3 under the wing.

The Spruce Goose has some impressive statistics:
wingspan - 319 ft 11 in; length - 218 ft 8 in; height - 79 ft 4 in; wing area - 11,430 sq ft; and empty weight - 300,000 lbs – a man could stand up within the wing.  Howard Hughes flew this plane once for 5 minutes at an altitude of 70 feet.  We were able to go inside the belly and see how big the cargo area is.  Beach balls were used for floatation in the wings.

We spent about two hours looking at the planes and exhibits in this building. There were lots of hands-on exhibits - Nancy even tried flying a helicopter.

We had a picnic lunch on the outside patio and then went back inside to taste some wine from the Spruce Goose Winery.  After that we walked across the parking lot to the Space Museum. 

This was also a very nice museum with exhibits ranging from the invention of rockets and fireworks by the ancient Chinese through modern day missiles and space flight.  We were even able to go into a Titan II launch room and push a button to witness a 5-minute launch simulation, complete with take-off noise and vibration (the whole room shook!).

The Apollo flights to the moon were the space flights we grew up with and we were fascinated with the exhibits

We can remember watching these scenes on TV.

The moon buggy would be great on the sand dunes along the coast.

The museum has plans to display a space shuttle in the future.

We spent another two hours in this building.

This is the newest addition to the museum complex – an educational water park.  If you look closely at the airplane on top of the building you can see two covered water slides coming out of the side behind the wing.  We didn’t go over to this part of the complex so we don’t know what all was inside.  There was also a building with an IMAX theatre and an Oregon aviation hall of fame.
This was an excellent museum and we would recommend it highly to anyone coming to this area.

Wednesday we decided to take the day off from touring and relax some.  It had been a long time since we last did laundry so we got caught up on that.  Cody and Camille also got much needed haircuts.  It only sprinkled a little today but it was cloudy, cool and breezy. We finished the day with a trip to the beach so the dogs could run, Cody could go crabbin’ and Rex could fly a kite - all together, a great day.

Thursday we stayed in the RV park most of the day relaxing.  In the afternoon we enjoyed the beach with Cody and Camille.

It was a warmer day and we took off our shoes and got our feet wet.

Cody got wetter than the rest of us.

We were going to fly kites but the wind didn’t cooperate (there wasn’t any).


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