Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ramshackle Runs Amok in Portland, OR: Part I

In the midst of a bit of online/blog house-keeping, I mentioned I would write about our trip to OR. To start the new year off right and be true to my word, I share the story here. (If I mentioned writing or sharing some other story/tidbit that I have not addressed and you really want to know/hear, please either leave a message in the comments or send an email or messenger pigeon to my attention. Otherwise, all unfulfilled promises will lay dormant until beckoned.)

In early November, the Ramshackle crew took to the skies and landed in Portland, Oregon for a few days. What pulled us to Portland? Good food? The enticement of a bike-centric city? Friends and family? Powell's Books? All those things were alluring, but the big draw for us rested in a hanger just under 40 miles south west of Portland. The Spruce Goose.

After our summer trips to Catalina Island (Two Harbors & Avalon), Eric and I pulled the kids down Windsor Way in Long Beach next to the permanently docked Queen Mary ocean liner (turned hotel) to get a glimpse of the Spruce Goose. While walking to the hanger known as the Dome where I visited Howard Hughes' gigantic aquatic plane in my youth, I was struck by the amount of people wearing big floppy hats, pulling enormous suitcases on wheels. I thought, "We are weird people who go to see the Spruce Goose." As we approached the hanger, the people got stranger and stranger. I looked up and saw a giant sign welcoming us to the Carnival Cruise Line portal. Much to my oldest son's disappointment, the Spruce Goose was no longer housed there (and hadn't been since 1992 when the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum was awarded the custody of the Spruce Goose by the Walt Disney Co. that purchased the plane from Jack Wrather who bought the plane after Hughes death in 1976).

We found out that the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum outside of Portland, OR, was now home of the Spruce Goose. We came home from our ill-fated expedition and began planning our trip to visit the Spruce Goose.

The not-so-new home to the SG, the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum did not disappoint. We were able to walk all around and under the Spruce Goose and enter inside. We even were able to touch a bit of moon rock.


  1. I've driven past the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum many times on my way to the coast from our home in West Linn. I keep thinking as I drive past it that it would be an ideal place to bring my older brother who loves this kind of thing, if he ever decides to visit me. You'd think with all the other stuff that Portland has to offer he'd come anyway. I'm planning on surprising him with this one, though. I didn't know it had the Spruce Goose!

  2. The Spruce Goose and much more! As a parent, I've gone to museums I might not have visited if I didn't have kids. The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is one and the other is the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Both are fantastic. I would go back to both in a heartbeat. I hope your brother comes out for a visit soon.


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