Category Archives: Pacific Northwest

Italian Day At Exotics Again

The schedule for Exotics@RTC has been erratic this year.  They have had to scrub a bunch of events as a result of the poor weather.  However, with summer finally arriving in the Pacific Northwest, they have had a run of successful gatherings.  One of these was their Italian Day.  I have been to this before and it is always a fun event with a lot of interesting vehicles.  It was going to worth going again.

The center of the venue was packed as usual.  Plenty of Ferraris and Lamborghinis to look at.  Not as much variety in the Ferraris as in some previous events but still a lot of good looking cars.  These are nice to see but it is perhaps more fun to spot the oddities that show up.  I was interested in how many Alfa Romeo Spiders were in attendance and just have different they could be.  I guess the Spider stayed in production for a long time and the design evolved a lot over that time.  Annoyingly, I didn’t seem to get any good shots of them.  There were plenty of other Alfas, though as well as some older Ferraris. These shots are a sample of what was on display.

The First Korean P-8

The US Navy continues to take deliveries of the P-8 Poseidon jets but they are getting close to the end of their production run.  Meanwhile, export customers continue to be receiving their jets.  The latest customer to have an aircraft show up on the flight line is the Republic of Korea’s navy.  Their first jet flew from Renton to Boeing Field a while back and then went in to the fit out process for a while.  It is now out on the flight line and undergoing test.

I have managed to get a few shots of it so far.  It is marked up quite colorfully so it looks better than the average jet coming off the line.  We shall see how long it stays around here before it gets delivered to Korea.  There will be others following it down the line too.  New Zealand is the next customer to get its first jet so we shall see how long it is before that jet makes to move to BFI and then is fitted out.

Fields Of Lavender

Nothing like making a mistake and having it work out better than your original plan.  We were driving across San Juan Island after visiting Roche Harbor heading to Lime Kiln State Park.  We had been discussing the lavender festival taking place at Sequim during the day but it was not close enough that we were seriously considering a visit.  I thought I knew the route to the park but I managed to miss the turning and, after going for a while, realized the mistake.

I put the destination in to the GPS and it told me that my turning was coming up.  As we headed back in the right direction, we came around a corner to see a purple field in front of us.  A rapid turn off and we checked out this lavender farm.  It was not on a road we would otherwise have used that day so we really were lucky to see it.

They have two main types of lavender that they farm but there was a pick your own field in which there were dozens of varieties.  I had never thought about different types of lavender before visiting this place!  There were pathways throughout the fields so it was easy to wander through looking at the patterns that the plants made as they were grown.  Too close and you could see too much of the orderliness and the raised beds and irrigation system.  However, stay back a little and it all blended together nicely.

What Is The Story With This Reverser?

I was scanning through some photos from my travels to Oregon with Mark and came across some photos of a United Airlines 737-700 landing at PDX.  It was braking and had the reversers deployed.  Looking at the shots, there is a dark burn mark on the engine nacelle that is split either side of the join in the reverser.  It looks like something has been cooked a little.  Anyone with experience that can suggest what has been going on with this engine?

Baby Catfish En Masse

I am no specialist on fish (or any other wildlife for that matter) so, if I have got this wrong, please feel free to correct me in the comments.  I was down at Juanita Bay seeing what wildlife was out an about.  I was on one of the boardwalks and looking in to the water to see if there was anything in there.  I saw a black mass seeming to pulse and move.  I was confused as to what it might be but the long lens gave me a clearer view of things.  It was a massive amount of baby fish.

My previous disclaimer comes in to effect here.  I think they were catfish based on the shape of the mouth and the barbs but that could be totally wrong.  Let’s assume for now that they were.  There was hundreds of them, if not thousands.  They were moving around furiously but staying closely packed together for safety.  The group would gradually move around and migrate through the plant life.  Occasionally, a group would split off into a second section and then later they would somehow find each other again and regroup.  They looked almost alien as they swirled and moved.  I did take stills, as you can clearly see, but video seemed like the better way to convey the impression that they left.

B-17 In Pieces

Erickson has a B-17 as part of its collection.  However, while Ye Olde Pub was sitting outside during my visit, there was a second B-17 on site.  This is Thunderbird and it is undergoing some major airframe work.  The fuselage was sitting on stands directly in front of you when you entered the hangar.  The wings and empennage were in racks around it.

I don’t know what the schedule is for sorting out this aircraft but people seemed to be busy working on it so I assume it will be back in the air before too long.  I did enjoy sneaking around trying to find good views of all of the parts that were stored awaiting their return to their rightful place on the airframe.  Madras is quite a hike for me but it might be good to go back when they get the plane back in the air.  It sounds like the sort of thing that Matt Booty might get down to photograph.  Maybe I can be his assistant!

Muskrat – I Think

I had to do some research when I got home to make sure I knew what this was.  I saw the head in the water as it swam around but it was at a similar time to when I saw a mink.  Consequently, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at when.  A little use of Google later and I was able to confirm that this was indeed a muskrat.  They look very small when swimming since they are almost completely submerged.  Once out of the water, they look a lot more substantial, and that tail is very distinctive.

He climbed out on to a branch that was floating in the water.  It looked like someone else had previously been on the branch judging by the droppings that were there, and these didn’t seem to bother him much.  Maybe they were his from a previous visit.  A quick trip along the branch and back and then it was back into the water.  Another time I saw one, the same routine of walking along the branch and back was repeated so maybe it was the same one?

Buzzed By A Bearcat

We were standing out to the east of the runway at Klamath Falls when the Erickson team was practicing their display ahead of the show at Sentry Eagle.  I was looking in the wrong direction when someone called out that the Bearcat was diving in on us.  I swung around and pulled the camera up at the last minute.  Needless to say, I did not get the greatest shots of the plane but it was coming right at me so I will go with the best I could get.  It was pretty cool having a Bearcat buzz right over my head!

Eagle Stealing A Snack

The eagles that live around Juanita Bay are busy hunters.  However, hunting requires a load of effort and it is surely easier to steal someone else’s meal.  An otter had caught a fish and climbed on to one of the buoys that mark the protected area of the bay to eat it.  As it got close to finishing, one of the eagles swooped in and grabbed the remainder of what it had.  The otter didn’t seem too bothered so maybe it had eaten the best of the meal and was okay to let the eagle take it without a fight.  The eagle went to the osprey perch and then ate whatever was left.

Taiwanese F-5 In The Corner

I have posted about a MiG 21 and an F-104 Starfighter that we found in Corvallis and, if you read both posts, you might recall that we were there because we had heard about a Taiwanese F-5E Tiger II that was supposed to be there.  While I have focused on the other two, it was indeed true that the F-5 was there.  It was also tucked up at the back of the hangar.

It was squeezed in amongst the other aircraft which made getting a clear shot of it a touch tricky.  I was using my phone – why I didn’t go back to the car to get the main camera I don’t know – but I ended up taking shots to stitch together when I got home.  The jet looked in good shape.  It even had a data plate on the wing tip which is unlike most other jets I have seen.  I grabbed a bunch of shots but we had a long drive ahead of us and we couldn’t stay forever.