WESTWARD TRAVELS WITH A BORDER COLLIE

Miles pass quickly when the speed limit is 80 mph.  In spite of beginning our travels on Friday of the Labor Day weekend, traffic has been light.  No accidents have been observed.  State Troopers were not seen at all until Idaho.  As always, Magic is Mr. Steady:  Never sleeps in the car, minds his own business, no surprises, a very steady and level Border collie.

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My last visit to (famous or infamous?) Wall Drug was some 30 years past.  Sort of like a mini-amusement park now.  The patrons could be “movie extras” for zombies in “Dawn of the Dead.”  If you’re in a hurry, DO NOT enter Wall Drug…

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Devils Tower in Wyoming.  Looks much bigger from a distance.  A lot of hornets attracted to all of the bug scum on the front of vehicles.  $20 entry fee.

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At the WELCOME TO WYOMING Center.  Magic found the Mountain Lion sculpture very interesting.

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Gillette, Wyoming has a lot of art and sculpture.  This piece entitled “ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS,” is positioned outside the local newspaper.

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Built in 1901, the Northern Pacific Terminal in Missoula, Montana has been converted to private offices.  No more passenger trains come calling.  Heavy coal train and freight train traffic.

 

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GRANT COUNTY (MOSES LAKE) – AIRFRAMES OF INTEREST

As a life-long aviation enthusiast, former U.S. Air Force enlisted puke, and subscriber to Aviation Week and Air & Space, I have often read about flight testing, especially by Boeing, at the Grant County International airport in Moses Lake, WA.  During our travels westward, the primary reason for the two day stopover in Moses Lake was to experience the Channeled Scablands, the results of the Ice Age floods.  But rural airports are always a place to check for exotic or unusual airframes and Grant County did not disappoint.

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MSN 52-2694, a Boeing KC-97 sits forlornly in an open field on the northern fringes of Grant County.  The #694 is visible on the nose.   The airframe was to be converted to a restaurant.  The last Internet comments about 694 is that she was preserved at Grant County…nope.

 

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N7874, the fourth Boeing 787 built and commonly referred to as test item ZA004.  004 is visible on the nose gear door.  Now with weights instead of engines and sealed up like a long-term storage airframe in a boneyard.  Parked adjacent to Boeing Test Facilities building/hangar on the east side of Grant County.  Apparently, the last flight was from Seattle to Grant County in SEP 2017.

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Tanker 103, N293EA, an MD-87 formerly used by Iberia Airlines, Spanair, and SAS.

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Tanker 912, a DC-10, N522AX, formerly used by Japan Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Omni Air International.

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The white aircraft with orange cheatlines is a Douglas B-23 Dragon, Bureau No. 39-0036, now N777LW.  Only 38 were built prior to WW II.  They were used as maritime patrol off the west coast.  This one served as a corporate aircraft for ESSO, Standard Oil, and Westinghouse.

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In the distance, a white Boeing 727-22, N151FE.  Served with United Airlines from 1967 to 1983.  Also worked for Air Atlanta and FedEx (thus the ‘N’ Number).  MSN 19147.