Sunday, April 28, 2013

Out & About

In addition to the wonderful people at the NOG (they clearly love the potluck and with good reason!) there is a lot to do in the surrounding area.

We tripped across the Antique Powerland Museums located in Brooks, about 15 miles south of the park. They have an exceptional truck museum ($5) that initially attracted my attention. The collection ranges the gamut from hard rubber, chain drive trucks to nearly new prototypes.

Turns out that there are multiple museums sharing a common location, almost like a county fairgrounds. They have an operating street car line and museum, a steam sawmill,

and lots of rare antique tractors including at least six steam tractors. I'd never seen a Westinghouse steam tractor before. There is a Caterpillar museum, a John Deere museum, a train museum, a car museum, and the list goes on. The last weekend of July and the first weekend of August they have all the equipment outside and running for their annual Great Oregon Steam-Up. ($10)

About 18 miles west of the park in McMinnville is one of the nation's best aviation museums. The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum houses the Hughes "Spruce Goose" and many other quality exhibits. They have especially strong collections of helicopters and military aircraft.

They have a second matching building with space exhibits and more aircraft and a separate IMAX theater.

(By the way, further afield in Tillamook, Oregon is another very interesting aviation museum. Smaller collection, oil drip pans under each engine with all aircraft in the collection being fully operational.)
Since I last visited, they've added a very unique indoor water park. With a 747-100 on the roof forming the top of some of the water slides, it's difficult to miss seeing this new facility.

That is a vineyard in front, part of the Spruce Goose Vineyards. Prices for the Aviation & Space museums plus the IMAX is $25 for adults. The waterpark is priced separately.

If you're looking for good food, friends recommended Red Hills Market one block off the main road in Dundee. It's just 8.5 miles from the park and much closer if you're a crow. Wood fired pizzas, wonderful sandwiches, special salads, etc. It was excellent. Fair warning - the parking lots were jammed early Saturday afternoon.

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