05-14-2010, 12:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
After a great dinner and a good night’s rest, I made my way back towards Eugene. One final site on the way home though – the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville.
It’s been there for years, but I had never gotten a chance to go. There was one primary attraction here I wanted to see, the “Spruce Goose”, Howard Hughes’ flying boat.
Built as a transport plane for WWII, it wasn’t completed until years later. It flew one short but successful flight in 1947, and was then placed in climate-controlled storage until Hughes’ death in 1976. It’s over five stories tall, and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in history.
I have a fascination with Howard Hughes, the obsessive-compulsive, billionaire-recluse man of mystery. Aviation pioneer, ladies man, powerful businessman, overall kinda weird dude – seems like he was quite a character. I wanted to see his baby, the H-4, up close.
Thing is, the museum wanted $26 to let me in. Not a lot of money really, but grad students don’t typically have much cash to throw around - especially if they only really want to see one particular display. As it were, I was able to simply walk around outside of the museum to see the plane. It wasn’t hard to see.
Neat museum, I wish I had been able to check it out sooner in its entirety. I didn’t have time today though. Check it out: www.sprucegoose.org
Funny thing is, my apartment in Los Angeles is only a few miles away from the former Hughes’ Airport in Culver City – the primary base for Hughes’ aviation operations and where the Spruce Goose was originally built. The monstrous building the Goose was built in is one of the few buildings leftover from Hughes airport, as most of the property is slowly being turned into condos. That’s progress.
Bikes outside the museum – the sheepskin on the Goldwinger must have been soaked.
Beautiful boring and rainy 99, north of Corvallis.
Finally back in Eugene, 455 miles later. Thanks for reading.
The Ridge Route, 2011
The Oregon Coast, 2009
"...the fuel goes in there, through there and out there. . . the black turny thing on the back then goes round and round."