Planes of Fame: Adventures in the Pacific Northwest

Traveling with no reservations was never easier than when we ended our volcanic odyssey and began a Harvest Host hop-along in northwestern Oregon.

Spruce Goose in hangarWe enjoyed fabulous boon-docking adventures at the Evergreen Air and Space Museum in McMinnville and at the Western Antique Airplane and Automobile Museum (WAAAM) in Hood River. Both took more than one day to explore.

From the Space building

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Housed in a sleek modern facility, Evergreen is larger in scale and sports an open remote control flying field. WAAAM is a total blast to the past with lots of heartfelt nostalgic displays of Americana. It’s impossible to pick a favorite between the two!

Eager to stay more than one night at Evergreen, we paid the membership fee, which actually pays for itself with free admission to 150 other museums across the country, including one we plan to visit in San Antonio.

plates of fish and chips and a green salad and tubular bread sticks
Excellent pub fare at McMenamins includes fish and chips for Himself and a salad with pretzel sticks for moi…oh, and a custom flight of beer!

Since we were fresh from the Bend Ale Trail, on tap were samples of more Oregon brews.

So, we chose McMenamins Pub. Our food was excellent; fish and chips for my love, and a brewer’s salad and pretzel sticks for me. It was a bumpy ride when it came to service. Let’s just say it’s best to be observant.

We wandered around the hotel afterward, enjoyed the quirky decor and spotted other little niches we could have eaten in. One young family spread out in what could have been a family living room.

With no other tables in that large alcove, the kids could run amok. So explore first, then eat. That’s our advice!

Pin your hometown

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People from all over have enjoyed WAAAM!

At the WAAAM, we arrived so late in the afternoon, the gracious hosts allowed us to stay two nights in order to more fully enjoy their museum. There is absolutely no way to see everything in one visit, even after a late afternoon of exploration and a full day the next.

Hidden gems await those who relax and take it all in slowly, so that’s exactly what we did.

Then there’s the volunteers. Tinkering in the old-school mechanic “shops” inside the museum, passers by see they genuinely enjoy their craft and just a small query sparks informative and entertaining stories.

When the museum was about to close, we took off for town and joy of joys, we discovered the greatest little hobby shop!

Hood River Hobbies has lots more than they advertise online. It’s an amazing place to visit!

Besides the usual RC planes, quads, cars, etc… they have many other hobby and craft items, and a crazy huge choice of games of all sorts, board games, cards, adult games, even role-playing stuff.

Plus, they host groups, like the youths enjoying games together the day we stopped in.

Oh, and check out the deli next door for some good eats and beverages to go. We also tried the Full Sail Brewery, but were not impressed.

Pfriem Family Brewers

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We fell in love with the Pfriem Family Brewers tasting room and restaurant after our second day at the museum. The only disappointment was the tray of fish and chips set before my love contained only one filet, which sat oh, so lonely atop a mass quantity of fries. 

Well, our wastewater tanks were full after four days at Evergreen and two at WAAAM. Besides, it was fall and we felt a real need to begin our southern migration.

We thought we’d stay on the river one night before Highway 84 turned southeast.

Sadly, the Port of Arlington Marina RV Park was full. We asked if there was a dump and the guy said no charge, he just asked that we spend some money in town…it’s super tiny.

We pulled right up to the dump, which is located on the edge of the road in front of the park, by the last site in that front row. The hose bib is just a few feet away.

Note for future reference: they do have dry camping sites, and it does look like an interesting place to spend a night or two, even for non-fishermen.

Below is a Google Map we created with our stops, more than actually mentioned in this post. We use Google Maps with other apps to plan our routes and keep track of pertinent details about each location. Click a location to see the details. We hope you find it a useful tool if you happen to travel in the same areas.

Favorite Finds: Fast foods!

When one is busy having fun all day, fast foods are a must! We eat mainly plant-based, so beans are a staple! For a fast lunch, we crack open and drain a can of organic beans, either black or garbanzo, depending on whether we want salsa and chips or bread for the go-with.

For a chip dip, we add garlic powder and cumin to the black beans, mash them up and serve with chips and salsa.

For sandwiches, we lightly mash the garbanzos and add up to two TBS Tahini, some chopped sweet onion or green onions, and some sweet pickle relish. We serve this on bread with a dab of mustard and slices of tomato and either lettuce or spinach.


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