Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yes, the Spruce Goose Really is THAT Big

NOTE: This was written on Aug 6, 2008 at about 10:30pm. I sent an inquiry to Evergreen Air Museum and they did not respond, so I am posting this a bit late. ~Ta!

One of my goals this summer was to wander over to Evergreen Air and Space Museum and look at all the airplanes.

Last Saturday, I did finally.

I finally got going at about noon. It was a little later than I would have liked, but I was in no real hurry.

I had gotten it into my mind, that McMinnville was on the East side of Salem, so after plugging Evergreen into the GPS, I started out toward Lebanon and turned off at Crabtree.

Since I can't hear it anyway, regardless of how much I turn the volume up, I have turned the sound off my GPS and had not connected the headset (the gizmo complained about that too, it was liked being nagged by a parent or something)

I had neglected to change the setting from 'fastest' to 'avoid freeways', and it was telling me every mile or two that I needed to take a u-turn. The little whozit persistently pointed out that my next turn was a u-turn at the next road and go on the freeway.

It was about half way between Crabtree and Scio that the GPS either realized that I was never going to make that u-turn or it decided that the fastest way to Evergreen was another way.

When I got into Scio, I would have normally turned right and went through Lyons, but I went straight and ended up going through Stayton instead.

In between Scio and Stayton, I pulled off to let some other cars pass.

Since I tend to ride the speed limit or just a hair below, I try to do my best to not block traffic, but this was the first time that I had actually pulled over.

I looked around as I was waiting for another batch of cars that would have surely caught up with me had I not pulled over. It occurred to me that I was in the middle of farming country and this was a dandy place for a picture.

So I took a picture:

It was a short while after Stayton that it occurred to me that McMinnville was in fact on the other side of the freeway.


I navigated Salem pretty well. GPS is good for something.

I was rather proud of the fact that when I got on the road to Dallas I was finally in the left lane for once and didn't go the wrong way in the fork.

Except this time I actually needed to be in the right lane of the fork in the road.


I turned off and backtracked and it really wasn't a big thing because GPS told me that the side road I was on would let me turn left on my road and I would be back on track.

Except the city of Salem had made a change in that part of the road and you could no longer turn left.


It was a good thing that I was really not in any hurry.

So I finally made my GPS happy and made a circle around the blocks of downtown Salem and once again found the fork to Dallas. This time I was on the right side.

The road that I found myself on was actually rather nice. It was very scenic.

Let me tell you about Evergreen.

When you ride up, you come in straight in towards the building that houses the airplanes, and you can see the Spruce Goose there in the window.

I paid my entrance fee and wandered in, trying to take in all the airplanes at once.

The first thing I noticed was some old helicopters that looked rather small. The looked so much bigger in M*A*S*H. Then I noticed a helicopter that looked a lot like the one from the show Airwolf (oh, did I just date myself?).

It was then that my astute nature clicked in and it occurred to me that the Spruce Goose had disappeared.

Yeah, I know, how does one loose an airplane as big as the Spruce Goose, but as I looked around I saw many fine aircraft, but didn't see Howard Hughes giant creation.

I then realized that the wall in front of me about 100 feet away and the ceiling above me was not a wall and ceiling.

It was in fact, the infamous plane built by Howard Hughes.


I know that in our current society of giant H2 hummers that totally dominate the driving lane, and 767 Jumbo Jets that can carry a small army, have diminished our view of large, but WOW.

Given the scope of all the other planes in that era, the Spruce Goose towers over them all.

Quite literally.

Also, next to the helicopters, was an older styled motorcycle complete with sidecar.

After the motorcycle, they had a mustang. The plane and the car. Cool.

They had a B17 bomber.

And in almost every picture I took the Spruce Goose is there in some fashion, because of the sheer size of it.

My favorite was actually the replica of the Wright Brothers flyer. It really looked to me like a Rebel with wings.

The Wright Brothers were bold, because it looked to be rather . . . sparse.

If you get a chance to go, take it. It is a fun trip.

The way back was much less interesting since I took the freeway and got off at Jefferson.



Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Motorcycles Home

I took my six hundred bucks that the government gave me and bought a kit for a shed.

Since I have been parking my motorcycle outside since my older sister moved in temporarily, I wanted the shed put up for my motorcycle.

The shed was a pain in the butt to build, but I am glad that I have it.

My cousin Brian helped a lot, and he stated that really it wasn't all that hard, it was just hot, and that made everything harder to do.

As a result it took several weeks to build. (Note that there were actually several days and often a week or two between these pictures.)

I want to start by showing off a perfectly leveled floor:

After the floors, the front and back were put together and attached to the floor. I then nailed the studs together and then nailed them to the shed:

After that, we nailed on the walls and put up the rafters that I had nailed together earlier. Lastly we hung the door. The walls were actually the easiest to do.

All that is left is to paint it some color that interests me.

Here is a closeup of my Rebel living in it's new home:

I should point out that technically, the shed is not done, since the roof still needs to be nailed on.

I have a tarp on it now and will put it on when the weather cools. I am really not interested in working in the heat right now.

Later I will show off my pics from my trip to Evergreen Air and Space Museum.