Select Page

The Spruce Goose

McMinnville, Oregon: Elvis has left the building! My Driver has been idle for too long (never mind he has been riding his bicycle for an hour every morning). Today we walked next door to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum to see the Spruce Goose. Though we have stayed at the next-door RV park several times recently, we haven't been to the museum for a few years. We wore masks (only spotted a few other mask-wearers!), and we didn't stay long as the museum is not air conditioned. We felt like wilting petunias inside a terrarium - it was 100 degrees today.

The world's largest wooden aircraft (and at the time, the largest aircraft ever constructed), the Hughes H-4 Hercules was built in the early 1940's in Long Beach, California. It was a water-landing aircraft, supposed to haul troops and supplies, but with lack of supplies, conflicts between the building team, the US Government (funder of the project) and Howard Hughes "personality" - it was a boondoggle and flew only once. One mile, in November 1947. In 1993, the Spruce Goose was transported to McMinnville via barge, train, and truck, and reassembled at the Evergreen Museum. At over 218 feet long (wingspan 321 feet) the ship is so large, it is nearly impossible to fit it all in a camera lens!

The Spruce Goose
Interior can be configured to hold troops - or tanks. The upper deck holds about 20 passenger seats. Rumor has it, Marilyn Monroe toured the ship.
Spruce Goose
Spruce Goose wing
A Sopwith Camel: WWI most successful British fighter plane.
(No Red Baron in sight.)

Above: Consolidated BBY by Catalina. 64' long, built in 1935 as a flying boat. Used in Europe and the Pacific during WWII for maritime patrols, helping to locate the German battleship Bismarck so it could be destroyed, and also spotted the Japanese fleet approaching Midway Island, spoiling their surprise attack.

There must be a hundred aircraft in the museum. Still, aviation is of little interest to me (even though my Father-in-Law was a pilot - Colonel - in the US Air Force, and our great friend, Captain Smith, was a Navy Top Gun pilot... and have been to countless air museums. But even if you are not into aircraft, there is so much history in the museum, with displays about racism in the military, how small planes were used to carry US Mail in rural America, about growth of women pilots in the military, and information about the domestic war effort during WWII.

Momma, don't let your daughters grow up to be pilots?

Until my next update, I remain, your landlubbing correspondent.

RV PARK: Old Stone Village RV Park. Very nice RV park on Highway 18 just east of McMinnville, Oregon. Long pull-through and back-in full-service sites. Bathhouse. Laundry. Ice machine and vending. Playground/sport court. Nice pool in season. Access to waling trails behind/around the air museum. Ten minutes to downtown McMinnville, 45-60 minutes to Portland. We are paying $350 weekly rate + 10% lodging tax.

One thought

  1. What a difference 8 months make! We were there in December – freezing cold rain! (Yes, stayed next door at the RV Park, which we really liked). What REALLY surprised us was the related waterpark next door (remember, it was like 40F then). On the outside they have a HUGE real 747 multiple stories in the air with a water slide(s) coming out of it!!! The indoor complex (a balmy 75F building with every type of pool, toy and more) was drawing every family for miles around. I wonder if it was stifling hot inside now?

Comments are closed.