Day 1 & 2
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Day 1 - Seattle to Tillamook

We drove straight through Washington, only stopping for quick pit stops.  We didn't stop in Portland (except for the traffic jams.) Our goal for the first day's travel to was to get to Tillamook, so Gregg could tour the birthplace of his favorite brand of cheese and ice cream.  Our plan was to find a place to camp and visit the cheese plant in the morning.

By dumb luck we got a great camping spot at Cape Lookout Oregon State Park right on the beach, about 10 minutes away from the cheese plant.  We arrived just after sunset, set up "camp" (that means unload the back of the mini van and sleep on foam pads.)

Day 2 - Tillamook to Mount Shasta

We woke up early, went for a walk on the beach, played some Bocci ball, repacked the van and headed for cheese plant.  After a breakfast which included ice cream cones, we continued on toward the next scheduled stop, the Spruce Goose.  From there we headed to Interstate 5 and went until it was dark, which left us just south of Mount Shasta.

The mini van is all packed up and ready to go. Gregg packs well... he had everything organized in boxes. We had sleeping bags, thick foam padding, pillows, cooking gear, too much clothing, toys and electronics, laptop, skate boards, tarps, chairs, collapsible couch, table, stove, grill, ice chest, snacks....
We left the house around 2:00 PM on Wednesday 6/29/2005. We pretty much zoomed through Washington on Interstate 5. We crossed the Columbia River and went west from Portland toward Tillamook.
About 2 traffic jammed hours west of Portland we stopped to look closely at the map, hoping to find some decent camp grounds.  This was just a nice rest area near Gales Creek.
This scenic spot had some camping available just past this gorge, but it wasn't "min-van friendly".  It required us to park in area and set up camp in another.  Nice place, but not our style on this trip.
If we had known about this Oregon State web site before they trip, maybe we would have found a place in the Tillamook State Forest.  But then again, this trip wasn't about planning, and reservations.  We knew we had to be at the square dance convention on time, everything else was at our own pace.
This during our early morning walk on the beach at the Cape Lookout Oregon State Park.   By dumb luck we found this great park, with showers and mini-van friendly camping.
I don't really understand the why people stack rocks like this.  I first was aware of this when I visited Kona, Hawaii in 1998.  Then I was told it was part of some native custom; now I think it is just bored people.
I mean, if you are bored at the ocean, why play with rocks, sand and water?  Why not bring bocci balls imported from Italy?
Our silly goal for the trip was to play bocci every place we stayed.  Guess what?  This was the only place we did it.  Nice location though.
We didn't arrive quite at 8:00 AM, but we were still some of the first visitors that day.
This was Gregg's 4th visit to the Tillamook plant.  He says he prefers their products because they seem more real.  Me, I just like dairy products, cows and "moo juice".
Just outside of Tillamook is this air museum.   I was here in 2000.  It isn't that the museum is so wonderful, but these hangars are amazing.  It is the largest wooden structure in the world -- originally built as a blimp hangar during World War II.
We didn't even go into the museum.  We were headed to another one to see the Spruce Goose in about an hour.
The wooden blimp hangar.  Click here for "official pictures" of it.

There were two hangars at one time.  But one burned down while it was being used to store bales of hay. (Idiots!)

Inside the Evergreen Aviation Museum -- home of the Spruce Goose.
Also, lots of other stuff, including this old USCG helicopter.
Inside the Spruce Goose.
The SR-71 Blackbird under the wing of the Spruce Goose.
Neither Gregg nor I are what you would call "airplane freaks".  But we did find ourselves really enjoying our visit to this museum.  I was just hoping to stand next the the giant Spruce Goose -- I didn't even know there were a dozen other planes on exhibit.
If you are sick of looking that these pictures now, I'm sorry.  But when I saw these two planes side by side, it just seemed kind of poetic.
The juxtaposition of the big, slow, lumbering, publicly ridiculed next the small, fast and top-secret.
I don't how big this is compared to a 747, but it is freaking big.
The museum had lots of other stuff too, including some examples of "nose art".
Yes, it is way up there.
Out side the air museum is a small collection of tanks and stuff.  Gregg was in the Army (but he worked in a secret building under a pineapple field; not a tank).
This tiny little sign is hidden where no one can see it.
We are just discovering how the timer and remote control on the camera work!  It was fun.
This museum opened in 2001.   It is a funny story how I first leaned it was here.

Back in the summer of 2001, Jack, Barry and I were driving to California.  We were driving through this part of Oregon very late at night.  We are way out the "middle of nowhere" on this dark 2-lane road going at fast as we can to get to the coast before midnight.  When suddenly, off to right we see huge lighted building with a giant bulbous plane inside.  We both screamed out "Spruce Goose!", but didn't have the time to wait for the next morning to see how the plane was moved up to this inland location from the harbor in  Long Beach, California.
After we left the Spruce Goose, we took a meandering route through some Oregon farm land until we hit Interstate 5.  From there we went southward heading to our goal of Santa Clara, California and the Square Dance Convention.

As many times I have done the I-5 southbound trip, coming into California and seeing this spectacular scene is always a thrill.

We drove about another hour or so... past Weed and Dunsmuir and camped at another state park... once again arriving and setting up camp in the dark.  (Link to "Castle Crags" State Park)