Columbia River Maritime Museum and the Lightship Columbia

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Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

Remember playing Monopoly and you would get the card that says “Take A Ride on the Reading”? Well, in this episode we take a ride on the OCSR, the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad.

The OCSR is a non-profit historical society that operates a couple of different historic steam locomotives along a section of track, mainly between Garabaldi and Rockaway Beach, although their track stretches all the way to the Tillamook Air Museum.

And, as an added bonus, the locomotive leading our train has a very special place in the history of cinema…

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Tillamook Air Museum

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada and today’s article has a heavy focus on a building that was built in World War II. I’d like to say that this was planned, but it is simply a coincidence. Editing these videos often takes many hours and is entirely done in my spare time so trying to adhere to or plan any sort of schedule is not feasible.

I am a vacation planner. I like to have a detailed itinerary of places we want to see, restaurants we want to try, and to know where we are going to be staying. However, sometimes you just need to throw a wrench into the works and go with your gut. That is what happened to us with this stop.

We were coming up Highway 101 when Emily spotted it on the horizon, “it” being Hangar B at the Tillamook Naval Air Station. The hangar itself is impressive but what caught her attention was the giant “Air Museum” painted on the roof, just like a throwback to the old-time roadside attractions that would advertise on the side of local barns.

Hangar B

We simply had to stop and check it out, even if it wasn’t part of my plan for this trip. (The Oregon coast is so packed full of things to see and do there simply isn’t time to fit them all in when you only have a couple of weeks to spare.)

I had never had the chance to visit the Tillamook Air Museum before, but I was immediately impressed.

Even before you step inside, the scale of the building itself is enough to make it a worth stop. Built in 1942 as one of the seventeen hangars designed to service the US Navy’s blimp fleet, it towers more than 1000 feet above you. It holds the record for being the largest clear-span wooden structure in the world. It’s too bad Hangar A was destroyed by fire in 1992 because seeing both of these monsters beside each other would have been a stunning sight.

Why not come check it out with us?

The Tillamook Air Museum is open Wednesday – Sunday from 10:00 – 16:00. Admission is $10.50 per adult with discounted rates for seniors, youth, children, and members of the military.

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Oregon Coast Aquarium

It’s time to check out the Oregon Coast Aquarium, located in Newport, Oregon. With a focus on all sorts of species which are native to Oregon’s coast, we should have a chance to get up close and personal with a variety of sea creatures.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is open daily at 10:00, except Christmas day when they are closed. At the time of our visit, adult admission was $24.95 per person, with discounts offers for children, youth, and seniors. This video may be relatively short, but you can expect to spend a minimum of two hours here checking out the exhibits and animals.

Date of Visit: September 14, 2019

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Sea Lion Caves of Florence

In my multiple trips to the Oregon coast, I never had the chance to stop in and visit the Sea Lion Caves. Opened to the public in 1932 and located just north of Florence, Oregon right along Highway 101, this place promised to be a real throwback to a simpler era of roadside attractions. Come check it out with us…

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Oregon Coast Lighthouse Tour

Being from the prairies, I have always had a fascination with grain elevators. I imagine for those who grow up in close proximity to the ocean or other large body of water, lighthouses fill that role.

Both grain elevators and lighthouses are often the tallest structures around. And, just as ships used lighthouses for navigation, many a prairie traveler have used grain elevators to orient themselves as they navigate the seas of wheat.

However, whereas grain elevators were the social hub of the community, lighthouse keepers often were lonely and solitary places. Commonly built on rocky outcrops or other isolated sections of land, lighthouses were rarely visited by outsiders, other than those bringing in supplies.

However, over the decades, both lighthouses and grain elevators have become symbols of a past era that has been largely rendered obsolete by technology. Massive concrete terminals have replaced the wooden country grain elevator and GPS and other navigational advancements have replaced the lighthouse. They are kindred spirits and perhaps that is why I have always been drawn to lighthouses whenever I travel to places where they are found.

It’s no wonder we took the time to visit six lighthouses along the Oregon coast as part of our “Coastal or Postal Tour”. Come check them out with us.

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Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

McMinnville, Oregon may not be a “must visit” destination for many people, but for us it was one of the most important stops on our Coastal or Postal Tour. That’s because McMinnville is home to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum and the museum, in turn, is home to the Spruce Goose.

Officially known as the Hughes H-4 Hercules, the Spruce Goose held the record for having the largest wingspan of any aircraft for an incredible seventy-five years. Originally designed as a trans-Atlantic transport for World War II, it didn’t become operational until the war has ended.

Let’s check out the museum, the plane, and a little history of one of the most famous aircraft ever built.

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