Evergreen Aviation Museum of Oregon

The Evergreen Aviation Museum was an unexpected find on my way to Portland. There were lots of the hotels around that were full or  at a price higher than I wanted to pay, so I after some searching I ended up in McMinnville, Oregon. Now that I had a room for the night I looked around for something to visit the next day.  What a museum of flight. As I only had a few morning hours I examined all the exterior planes and was impressed. They even had a Russian MIG 29! The list of planes at the Evergreen Aviation Museum is very long and quite distinguished.

Evergreen Aviation Museum – Home of the Spruce Goose

The most incredible of all the planes is the Spruce Goose built by Howard Hughes in 1947. At the time The Spruce Goose was the largest plane on earth. Now things may have changed when you say largest what. The Spruce Goose is for sure the largest wooden plane ever built. The wingspan is thought to be the largest. With the advent of stronger and more powerful engines, there are planes with much larger takeoff weights. Anyway it is definitely the largest something or other.

Well, anyway, I loved the driveway  into the Evergreen Aviation Museum. The road is painted as if it was a runway! This is a very nice touch. The the planes adorn the outside are all around the incredibly giant hanger that houses the spruce goose and LOTS and LOTS of other planes! The planes are not cramped in any way. Some aeronautical museums really crunch the place together, but not here. This spacing made for easy pictures. When the museum opened I only had an hour before I needed to meet someone at the Portland airport. So, for 25 bucks I chose to be content with my exterior portion of the museum, and an incredible view into the huge hanger.

This looks to me like a place to spend the day or more. With all the fantastic displays inside, and a giant theater next door it might even take more than a day for those with aeronautical leanings. I am sure I will be coming back to this museum. This place is definitely worth the side trip if you are in the Portland area. 

Crater Lake National Park – Oregon

Crater Lake National Park is on of the finest, prettiest lakes  I have ever seen. It is breathtaking, jaw dropping, and a few more synonyms of incredible. The deep deep blue, and the contrasting beauty surrounding the lake makes for a scene that is etched into my brain. The volcano inside the volcano combines to add up to lasting images.

The volcano in the volcano is the  little island that’s in the middle of the lake. It would be easy to wordsmith with superlatives and drone on and on about this wonderful  park.  It is best to leave part of the wow factor to the visitor. I always recommend stopping at every turn out to enjoy each vista’s particular light, color and terrain. Most of the turnouts require a bit of a walk that is uphill to view the lake and capture those precious digital images.

Crater Lake is a Caldera

As a volcanic creation there are rock formations around the edge in tall spires in some places. There are views of the island and forest that contrast beautifully. There are reflections of the lake on the blue water that can be so clear as to be a beautiful picture upside down or right side up. I enjoy these types of photos and often hang them upside down to see who really looks in detail at the art. 

Crater Lake Lodge

The thrill of the Lodge awaits your visit. As the altitude of the lake is 6,178 foot, the rim around the lake is between 7,000 and 8,000 foot. Note also that the lodge on the lake is booked far in advance, so plan ahead to enjoy one of the planet’s beautiful jewels. It is so beautiful that if I lived closer by I’d be coming a lot more often and just gazing into Crater Lake.  Awesome.

Be aware that the roads close seasonally when there is significant snowfall.