Evergreen Air Museum

November 10, 2005

At this world class facility we were treated to a truly outstanding presentation by our guide/docent Major Bill Sleeper (USAF ret.), a pilot who served from 1943 to 1969, WWII to Vietnam. Bill began our walk-through at the replica of the 1903 Wright Brothers aircraft, next to the Blackbird—the SR-71 spy plane from the cold war that was capable of Mach-3 speed and 80,000' heights. On to various planes of the WWII era and finally to the centerpiece, the Hughes Flying Boat, which we were able to enter. He related highlights and sidelights at each display and captured our full attention. His was an easy style of communication; only when he told us about his brush with death upon ejection from a flaming P-38 did he choke up a bit.

We were awestruck by the immensity of the Titan II ICBM, also a recent addition. All riders enjoyed a wonderful two hours at the museum.

To recap the other daily activities:

Fortunately, the weather was sunny and invigorating for our morning coffee break at Camp Adair, where there are monuments to the four divisions that trained there during WWII. Nearby, we viewed varieties of exotic pheasant, all in cages. This part of a 2,000-acre complex is used for pheasant research and other wildlife usages. We then went to Baskett Slough NWR, where we saw a few migrating geese and spotted a bald eagle vigilantly expecting his next meal. Our lunch was at the Coyote Café in Spirit Mountain Casino (a great meal for all).

At 1 p.m., we reboarded the bus and went through the reservation. Ewart (Baldwin) pointed out Spirit Mountain itself, which he climbed when he mapped the Grand Ronde quadrangle some 50 years ago. After the air museum, we returned in wet weather, with driver Allan Foss bringing us home at 5:45 through heavy traffic and in the early gloom of night.

Riders were: Nonmembers Judy and Tom Adamcyk, Muriel Bible, Sharon Cutsworth, Sheri Lawrence and John Schreiner; and members E thel Allen, Ewart Baldwin (co-leader), Mary Bridgeman, Mary Lee Cheadle, Connie Dooley, Bette Hack, Dora Harris, Mary Ann and Tom Holser, Ben Jeffries, Ray (leader) and Jean Jensen, Rosella Jones, Verna Kocken, Mary Lemons, John and Lenore McManigal, Barbara and Don Payne, Liz Reanier, Pauline Sievers, Julie Snell, Nancy Schreiner, Dick and Janet Speelman and Vera Woolley.

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