We arrived at Portland airport a little after noon. I had originally planned on visiting Pittock Mansion as the day’s tourist activity (since you can’t check into your hotel before 2pm anyway). However, on my last day at work before vacation, a co-worker mentioned that the Spruce Goose was in an Aviation Musuem near Portland.
Never heard of the Spruce Goose? Well it is the prototype heavy transport aircraft designed and built by Howard Hughes. As you would guess from the name it was built out of Spruce Wood. If you would like more information you should watch the movie: The Aviator made in 2004 staring Leonard DiCaprio as Hughes.
The Spruce Goose was in McMinnville, OR about 55 miles from the Portland Airport, so we headed out that way. If you live in Oregon, it would be a worthwhile day trip.
When we arrived there was lots more to see than just the Spruce Goose. There were motorcycles with side cars. There was an old car and truck, and there was an assortment of small aircraft from early flight (Wright Brothers Era) to today. But the best part was of course the Spruce Goose itself. It was too large to get a whole picture of. I loved going inside and seeing the beach balls that still contain air from 1946 that were placed inside the pontoons to keep the plane afloat in case the pontoons sprung a link. Can you imagine – beach balls made by Sears Roebuck back in the 40s that have held their air that long!