It’s been forever since I’ve shared any travel tales. And that would be because I haven’t traveled. Anywhere. For two years. Stupid pandemic.
At least my carbon footprint is looking nice and tiny.
But Mr Husband and I have been itching for a little getaway and we figured our anniversary would be a good time for that very thing.
So we made plans to celebrate putting up with each other for 15 years by going to the wild and exciting town of McMinnville, Oregon.
I know, hold back your envy. It’s a little tame compared to transatlantic voyages to Ireland, Italy, or France, and certainly not the tropical wonderland of Hawaii, but…pandemic.
Part of this little excursion included returning to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum because seeing the Spruce Goose once just wasn’t enough for me.
Note: If you’d like to see my first trip to Evergreen with more about the Spruce Goose (and with pics that include a certain wooly monster), you can pop over to THIS POST.
Now, while I went for the world’s largest wooden plane, I ended up wanting to take home something very shiny…the DC-3.
My New Toy
The DC-3 was the first commercial aircraft and in some of them, the seats could convert into beds, sort of like the sleeper compartments in a train. Talk about first class!
After reading that, I instantly said, “I gotta see inside that thing.”
Well, after saying, “Oooh, shiny! Must have!” for the tenth time (I think I may have been a magpie in a previous life).
Because I am Queen of the Introverts, I don’t normally interact with the docents at museums, but when the little old guy hanging out by the DC-3 told me I could climb the steps and go inside to explore, I jumped at the chance for interacting.
The inside was set up pretty much like a regular airplane, but it was fun hiking up to the cockpit, and then all the way to the back…yes, to the toilet (which was much roomier than any modern plane, I’ll tell you that).
When I stepped down from the plane, Little Old Guy was there and eager to tell me the tale about the plane.
Turns out the DC-3 they had at the museum was the third one off the production line, was built in 1936, and is now the second oldest surviving DC-3. Nifty.
“Only” 48 Hours
Little Old Guy showed me some photos on display (I finally got to see the bed conversion) and then I got the scoop on how the plane was used.
See, turns out they hadn’t quite figured out nighttime aerial navigation yet. So, while the plane could chug along pretty well in the daytime, it had to be grounded at night. And since planes weren’t terribly fast back then, you couldn’t get very far during those daylight hours.
Which is why it “only” took 48 hours to go across country.
But hey, that was a big boast in 1936!
And no, you weren’t standing around all night in some miserable airport boarding area waiting for your plane to get back up in the air.
What would happen was you’d take an evening choo choo from the East Coast to Pennsylvania, then catch a plane when the sun came up.
Then, somewhere in the Midwest, you’d catch a night train that’d chug you along further west. When the sun came up, you’d then catch another plane and complete your journey.
The blue bits are the train legs, the yellow bits are the plane ones. Practically supersonic, right!?
Since the plane could only hold about 21 passengers (7 if you had the bed design one), this obviously wasn’t a boon financially for the airlines, which is why it was eventually replaced by more lucrative (and less shiny) planes.
Anyway, since Little Old Guy wouldn’t let me take the DC-3 home (jerk), it was time to explore and
shop around for look at other shiny things.
Here’s a couple I’m thinking of putting in an order for : )
Then it was time for the Spruce Goose where Old Guy #2 shared some pretty intriguing info about the plane including how thin the layers of the hull had to be to keep the plane light enough to get off the ground (for the only flight it ever made…of less than a mile) and how those layers were made (carefully, duh).
Again, if you want more details on the Spruce Goose, I covered it more fully in that post from my previous visit.
That’s the Spruce Goose in the background, dwarfing the plane I’m standing right next to!
After being wowed by shiny things and fascinating facts, it was time to head over to the space portion of the museum where I very briefly dared to remove my face mask for a little space exploration.
A big mistake because not only did I risk COVID-ing myself, but I also ended up failing in my first space mission….
…and being abducted by aliens….who made me their queen.
Hmmm…I wonder if being Queen Alien includes my own DC-3?
What about you? Any favorite flying machines? Any alien encounters? Go on and pop a comment in the box below!
That’s it for me.
Have a great rest of your week!
LET’S STAY IN TOUCH!