That is how we found ourselves at the Erickson Aircraft Collection, a new (opened two years ago) air museum located at the former Madras Army Air Field (now Madras Municipal Airport) and boasting a collection of more than twenty rare aircraft, most of which are still operating. The woman at the front desk explained that "We can't give you a map of the exhibits, because we're always moving them around, since we operate them regularly."
I left most of the photography to Lisa and instead carried travelswithkuma as we spent a couple of hours browsing their very interesting collection.
Kuma Bear tends to get into things.
There's a sign on this Jeep saying not to sit on it. Kuma said, "Thats doesn'ts means Bears. Bears sits wheres they wants."
Including the photos I took and those of some mothballed aircraft parked at the airport, you can see all of the photos of the museum in my Flickr album. We have not had time to catalog and caption most of them.
We would have liked to have spent more time at the museum, but Portland beckoned, so we set off once again west on US-26.
There's Mount Hood ahead of us on US-26 as we headed across the flat plateau east of Madras. We would be driving by the foot of the mountain later today.
Mount Jefferson was also visible to the south.
And The Sisters still farther south.
The highway traverses a plateau, then descends deep into the Deschutes River Canyon and the town of Warm Springs.
After climbing out of the canyon, the road passes through another relatively featureless plateau before heading up into the forest. Mount Hood was visible over and over again, getting bigger and bigger as we neared Government Camp; however, every time we had a good angle, we were past it before I could get the camera out.
Just past the junction with OR-35, there was a delay with one-way controlled traffic due to this big-rig overturning.
Having spent so much time at the museum in Madras, we scrapped an initial idea I had to divert over to Timberline Lodge and instead headed on down the west side of the mountains into the Portland area.
Passing through Gresham, Lisa spotted another Black Bear Diner, and we stopped there and had lunch (stamp #18 in the passport). I ended up having to explain the BBD Passport Program to the cashier so she could find the stamp for their location.
Soon we were on Burnside and knew we were going the right way as we picked up the MAX light rail line. This line runs right by the Doubletree Hotel Lloyd Center, our hotel and site of Westercon 69.
About 4:30 we got to the hotel, and while I checked us in, Lisa caught up with scott_sanford. Lisa was able to find an excellent parking space in the garage, and Scott was helpfully able to score for us one of the large flatbed carts. He helped us move the Match Game SF kit from the minivan to our hotel room. This being a former Red Lion Hotel, the room is huge, with plenty of space for us to put the gear in one corner and still leave plenty of usable space. Now we just have to find out where they store those carts during the convention, because we'll need it again to move stuff to and from our two shows this weekend.
The view above is from the balcony of our hotel room. That's Mount Hood again in the distance, looking out over the park from which Lisa and I embarked on our chartered Vintage Trolley 19 years ago when we got married, and where we had our wedding reception after the trolley returned us from our tour of the the (then much smaller) light rail system.
We met many regular Westercon attendees in the lobby of the hotel, and met up with Linda Deneroff and David W. Clark. Linda, David, Lisa, and I went to a Japanese restaurant a few blocks from the hotel, not greatly assisted by me misreading the directions and walking us the wrong way, but we got there in the end.
After dinner, we walked back to the hotel, where the typical Night Zero pre-con festivities were under way in the lobby bar.
Among those there were Westercon 69 Special Guest Charlie Stross, and his wife feorag. Where those two are, fluffcthulhu can usually also be found, and he and Kuma Bear compared notes while Lisa and I made suggestions to Charlie and Feorag for their post-Westercon travel plans. (Among other things, we suggested that they might enjoy the Madras Air Museum, and that an inland drive rather than the relatively boring I-5 or nerve-wracking US-101/CA-1 routes would be to their taste.)
So we're all settled in and ready to get started with Westercon. Fortunately, we don't have early-morning commitments on Friday, so we don't even have to set the alarm, and that's good because despite having taking three days to drive the 600 miles from Fernley, we're tried and could use some sleep without having to worry about packing out of a hotel room tomorrow morning.