Monday, January 13, 2014

An Unexpected Stop - Tillamook Air Museum

Yes, I really made her get in this half bug and take her picture!

I usually have an itinerary when we travel.  Sometimes it's pretty loose; sometimes it's pretty airtight (and there's never any middle ground, there).  When it's airtight, any changes are going to throw me for a loop and knock me off my center for at least three hours.  And they are three brutal hours (askmyhusband).

On this Pacific Coast trip we had determined that pretty much everything was going to take longer to get to/do than we thought (see the post here:  The Slowest Drive Ever).

Despite this, after having stuffed ourselves on penny sized cubes of cheese and ice cream/root beer floats and made the obligatory purchase of a Tillamook mug, we were on our way, once again headed south on 101.

photo courtesy of JC Imagery 

We saw this and made a pitstop.  The Tillamook Air Museum 

The lobby/cafe/entrance
photo courtesy of JC Imagery 

When my husband and I drove through this area in 1992, we passed this excursion up.  Later on that year, in August, one of the Hangars burned to the ground, leaving this as the largest wood building in the world.

We went knowing there were planes (durrr), but it was also about the building.

Commissioned in December 1942 by the US Navy, Hangar B was completed August 1943.  Hangar A took only 27 days to build.  Eight K-ships were stationed here.  K-ships are blimps that are 252 feet long.  Because they could stay aloft for three days and had a range of 2,000 miles, they were perfect for coast patrol.  You could have 8 blimps in just one hangar and still have plenty of room because the length of the building is 1,072 feet with an area of 6 acres.  It's height is over 15 stories with 30 ton doors measuring 120 feet tall.  

Standing at the door and looking up.  Even with a wide angle lens, you weren't going to get the full building.
photo courtesy of JC Imagery 

A view of the ceiling.  The two rows that go top to bottom, appearing to make a V are actually catwalks - 136 feet in the air.  No elevators; you climbed a wooden ladder.  The net is not there to catch you if you fall; it is actually there to protect the planes from bird droppings.  Back in the 1940's that wasn't there.

It's hard to fathom the size, but this gives you a little idea of the enormity of the all wood building.  It is the largest clear span wooden structure building in the world.

The two little people are my daughter and myself.
photo courtesy of JC Imagery 
They have mock-pits (get it, mock cock-pits?) you can climb in.
photo courtesy of JC Imagery 

Too cool for school.
photo courtesy of JC Imagery 
One of the many planes.  A complete list is here:  Tillamook Aircraft
photo courtesy of JC Imagery 
Another perspective - my daughter and I are to the left.  The planes in here are full size.
photo courtesy of JC Imagery 
And the parting shot:

A basketball hoop - some 100 feet in the air.  The opposing side had their own basket too.  It is fun to see the humor that was had in the stressful time of World War II.

My suggestion is to go now because the museum is rumored to be moving before 2016.

Hours are daily 9-5, closed Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Admission is:

5 and under Free
Youth age 6-17 $8
Adults $12.00
Seniors 65+ $11.00

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