For our anniversary, we visited the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. We had originally planned to stay overnight and visit the water park on the second day, but we were too tired from a long week and sought the comfort of our own bed. The museum was a fascinating look at the history of aviation and nothing beats seeing the size and wonder of the planes in person.
The Spruce Goose had a lot of documentation surrounding it. It was a feat of engineering to create it and get it from California to Oregon. There was a scale model of how they created the hangar for it. My knowledge of the Spruce Goose was the Hollywood-version biopic of its creator, Howard Hughs, in the movie Aviator. I remember being a bit disturbed after watching the movie because I had expectations of watching an inspiration life of Howard Hughes. But it taught me an important perspective that in life, some of the most brilliant people do not live with wisdom.
Back to the Spruce Goose, it might as well be a support structure of the hangar since its wings spread across almost the entire width of the building. The wings were eleven feet tall the point where it’s connected to the body of the plane, and you could easily walk down past all the engines before you had to crouch. We were limited to the main compartment of the Goose, which gave us glimpses down the body to its tail, but in order to go to the cockpit, it required another $25 fee for a group of six. Since a ticket was already $20 a person, we saved the visit to the cockpit for another day.
Below is a photosynth I created of the interior of the museum with the Spruce Goose. If you don’t know what a photosynth is, it’s a collage of photos strewn together in a way to get a perspective as if “you were there.” It’s a free iOS app if you want to create some yourself. They’re especially useful for tight indoor shots.
The building dedicated to space was equally impressive, with displays of large rockets and space missions. There was an area that simulated a five-minute launch sequence and various simulators. We got to this section a bit later, so we didn’t get to spend as much time there before it closed.
Here are few other photosynths of the rockets and displays.
There was also a section for airplanes, which I’m sure is overflow from the other building. I learned a few things or two about the SR-71 “Blackbird”. It was the most fascinating and beautiful plane I saw there. Sure, the Spruce Goose is the headliner of the iste, being the only one in existence, but the Blackbird was just cooler. Even Jenni took to it and spent some time photographing its sleek form.
I didn’t realize how record-breaking fast the SR-71 was. There was a chart in the museum that showed how fast various planes in history were, and the Blackbird could fly across the U.S. in about an hour. I wonder if your hair is blasted back like in the cartoons.
Next visit, we’ll hit the water park first, preferably with our girls and our parents. It should be a great summer fun destination.