When I saw the movie, "The Aviator", I was momentarily enthralled with the bizarre life and work of Howard Hughes. Even more intriguing was the massive plane nick named, "The Spruce Goose". This all sounded very familiar to me for some reason, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. A little internet investigation revealed that the Spruce Goose was housed just over an hour from where I live in McMinnville, Oregon at the Evergreen Aviation Museum! I remember when they brought the Spruce Goose up here because it was on the news, and honestly, I thought the giant aircraft would be the only thing the Evergreen Aviation Museum would have on display. I was VERY wrong.
There are a lot of amazing aircraft housed in this beautiful and sparkling clean facility. They have cargo planes, commercial passenger planes, a replica of the Wright Flyer, trainers, bombers, spacecraft, homebuilt, observation and reconnaissance and general aviation airplanes. There are also lots of artifacts, a wonderful cafe and a nice gift shop with plenty of items in all price ranges.
But of course I was there to see the Spruce Goose. Driving up to the museum, you can see the Spruce Goose taking up the expansive museum from the giant glass windows in the front of the building http://www.sprucegoose.org/index.html . It looks grand, but nothing can prepare you for coming face to face with it. It truly is massive and seems to be an engineering wonder.
There is a guided tour provided by museum docents at 11am and 2pm daily. Plan for at least an hour for the tour which ends with the Spruce Goose. They have the actual model set that was used on the Movie, "The Aviator" when they showed the building of the Spruce Goose. The detail is amazing.
Youth 6-18 are $8 for admission, while adults are $12. Veterans are $10 and those on Active Duty or in the Reserves are $8 with ID. This museum was so much more than I expected and if you are ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit. You will NOT be disappointed.