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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On the Road Part II. By Bill Schuler

Hello Troops,
The second installment from Mr. Schuler's exploration of the northwest during this Spring Break. He is scouting out new touring locations for his summer job (tour guide).
Mr. Williamson

On the Road Part II
Been a busy day so I shan’t go on for long. I am now in Newport Oregon. If I step out of my motel room face west and spit I will hit the Pacific Ocean. I had a fine day taking in the sites. On my way to the coast I visited the Evergreen Air and Space Museum, The Tillimook Blimp Hanger/Air Museum. These museums are unique in that they maintain most of the displayed aircraft in flyable condition. The Evergreen Museum is by far the best.

The Spruce Goose

The centerpiece of the collection is the famous Howard Hughes “Spruce Goose. While not in flying condition it is in great physical shape. The sponsor of the museum is Evergreen Aviation, which is into everything from crop dusting to cargo and passenger charter services. In fact they have one of there own 747s parked out front. These guys have very deep pockets. The museum is a memorial to Captain Michael King Smith son of Evergreens owner. Captain Smith (He was an F-15 pilot in the Oregon Air National Guard) brokered the deal to move the Spruce Goose from Long Beach to Evergreens McMinnville Oregon facility. Tragically, he was killed in a car accident before the aircraft arrived. He was 26 years old. The facility is state of the art and has a very strong emphasis on education. Our Space Center would fit very nicely into their program. If only we could get a patron like that. This is not exactly the high travel season but a substantial number of people were there. Also there were about a half dozen classes they’re being supervised by guides who were obviously teachers themselves. They just added an IMAX Theater and a Space Museum to the existing aviation facility. Both are very well laid out. The current construction project is an indoor waterpark. With a real 747 perched on top and the slide tubes coming out of it as though they were emergency exits. This place is a destination by itself. But you can see the project is a true labor of love.

The Tillamook Blimp museum. By comparison looks a little shabby. They too have a large number of classic aircraft in flyable condition but you can see they have to scrape for money wherever they can. This facility is housed in an old WWII Blimp hangar made entirely of wood. It is amazing to see how it was constructed. What is more amazing is the amount of unrestricted space here is inside of it. Something like 7.5 acres. Movies are often filmed in the hangars that still exist. They make great studios. Question: Name 2 science fiction films that did a substantial amount of filming inside a Blimp Hanger?

Of course no trip to Tillamook in complete without a visit to the Cheese Factory. A fun place to visit and if you haven’t had lunch you can fill up on cheese and ice cream samples. Another Question: What is the definition of cheese making.

Near Tillamook I discovered the fabled city of Cloverdale. I have photographic proof. Actually I have more proof than I care to have. When I stopped and got out to take the picture I stepped square into a pile of cow manure. Upon retreating to the safety of my truck I discovered the aroma retreated with me. (I can’t make this stuff up!) At least Victor could have warned me as to the mainstay of Cloverdale’s economy. Forewarned, I would have watched my step.

I finally reached the coast late in the afternoon. The Grey Whales are supposedly migrating north this time of year; all I saw were a lot of waves. The coastline looks fine but the really rugged coastline is to the south. Did I say this would be a short blog. I guess it is short like Vic’s final bridge talk, before he starts a mission.

I’m done, Goodbye

Bill Schuler

Pictures From the Road:

The Business End of a Russian Booster

In Want to Own This Plane!

The Apollo 17 Capsule.

The Yukatat Lighthouse

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