We are at the McMinnville Evergreen Aviation Museum. We are camping in the parking lot behind the museum. Right next door is a very nice RV park, but reservations for it were full, and we can overnight here. The parking lot is huge and the museum is very impressive. The museum includes the largest wooden airplane (seaplane) ever built. McMinnville is a very nice town.
McMinnville is a wonderful town near the north end of the Willimette Valley. The town extends into the surrounding area of farms and orchards. Do nut trees count as orchards? I can’t say that I know the answer to that question.
McMinneville is also the home to several winerys that are scattered around the area. In the summer, these venues make for some great evenings. In the summer I would consider making McMinnville a home base. It is really nice. In the winter, however McMinnville and the entire Willimette Valley gets months and months of rain. Of course this is the reason that it is so green.
McMinnville Evergreen Aviation Museum
The Spruce Goose
The Spruce Goose, as it is known, was built by Howard Hughes and flew only one time, in Long Beach Harbor. The flight was to prove to everyone, once and for all, that it would fly. This was about the era when seaplanes were the first-class method of travel, for rich people that were in a hurry and could afford such things. Most of the not quite as rich, or really rich with plenty of time, travel by cruise ship – like the Queen Mary, currently a hotel and tourist attraction, also in Long Beach Harbor. People without money didn’t travel, they stayed home and worked.
The airplane in the picture is a Boeing 747 and is sitting on the roof of the water park and has been turned into part of the water slide. It is possible that I have flown on this 747 from Los Angles to Japan. The military contracted “troop movement” to Evergreen Aviation and I got to fly in one.
Maybe I should say I was privileged to fly in one because I did draw a seat in the first class, up-stars cabin. To continue a “play on words”, I could also say that I was privy to fly in one. Man, I thought I was going to be in the lap of luxury. Instead, it was kind of privy because, by the time I flew in it, all the first-class stuff was stripped out, and we had the same seats and legroom as the main cabin.
Not first class
I am sure the seats were stripped out of coach-class commercial airlines after the seats were replaced for excessive wear. It was a little better than the coach, because we were further away from the engines, and it was not as noisy. Evergreen had three 747s, one is still active as a massive airdrop firefighter, one is on the roof of this building and one was used for parts.
While we were here we had a delightful visit with old friends from southern California who have quite a different lifestyle here in McMinnville, what a garden. We also got to see some new friends that we met in Coos Bay, Oregon earlier in the month.
Here is a link to the google map for the area.
Link to our route Coos Bay to Jim Creek
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