Thursday, July 21, 2016
Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum
The “Spruce Goose”, a very large, experimental aircraft built by Howard Hughes, is the center piece of the museum. During WW II German submarines were sinking Allied ships so another method was needed to carry troops and cargo across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. The Spruce Goose was designed to take off and land on water and was built almost entirely of birch because of wartime restrictions on aluminum. The war was over before the plane was finished but it did make one brief flight on November 2, 1947 which allowed Hughes to complete his government contract.
The Spruce Goose building also houses many smaller planes. Another museum building has exhibits that cover the space race between the Russia and the US. Included are a Titan II missile and a SR-71 Blackbird. Four movies are shown daily in the theater building.
The museum complex is large, consisting of the two museum buildings, the theater, a chapel, a very nice playground, a park with trees and picnic tables, and a waterpark. It’s an impressive place but admission is expensive. We were eligible for free admission to the museums with our ASTC (science museums) pass and half price for the movies.
The museum buildings are accessible. The cargo hold in the Spruce Goose is accessed by a lift. We did not go into the cockpit but I don’t think it is accessible. We did not go to the chapel, theater or the waterpark. The park and picnic area has a 1/2 mile paved trail which is accessible but the beginning is concrete then there’s a drop off to gravel before it continues with asphalt.
This is a Harvest Hosts site so we stayed in the parking lot overnight. Local families use the playground and trail in the park after the museum is closed but when they leave it’s a very quiet place. Parking for RVs, whether for the day or overnight, is in the lot by the huge Boy Scout arch.
Museum 45.20575, -123.14313