thebiggertrip

The National Park tour

Into Seattle

Yesterday was a short hop to our destination, heading to Leavenworth for the night. As we left Moses Lake we passed along part of the Coulee Corridor, an unusual landscape shaped by past volcanic action.

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At Coulee City we turned west and were again in farmland. It has surprised us how much of Washington is used for growing corn and wheat, in some areas it is similar to travelling through the Western Australian wheat belt.

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As we went further west this changed to orchards and vineyards, with delicious new seasons apricots and peaches for sale direct from the orchards. Around lunch we reached Leavenworth, a town that rejuvenated itself by adopting a Bavarian persona and now a popular tourist destination.

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Even MacDonalds is expected to fit the mould.

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It is also one of the states top birding spots in spring, but unfortunately we did not have a lot of luck.

This morning it was time to head into Everett (just north of Seattle) and swap the camper for a car. It feels very strange being so low to the road again!

After checking into an hotel (another strange feeling) we headed off to Boeing for a tour. It was a great couple of hours. Groups we bused from their visitor centre to the actual ‘big shed’ where the planes are produced. This is actually the largest building by volume in the world and it is hard to comprehend the size until you are on the viewing platform and see 747’s being built in front of you and then you are bused to then next section and there are 4 737’s in a row being built and then on to the next to see a line of Dreamliners = all under one roof.

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Once they are built they are taken to an area next door to be painted. To do so they have to pass over a freeway so this is done in the early hours of the morning. Prior to painting they are covered with green film to protect the metal.

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While the 737’s and 747’s (as well as a fighter jet that was being produced) are built at the factory, the Dreamliner is basically put together from components flown in from around the world. To do this Boeing has converted four 747’s into Dream Lifters.

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The Visitor Centre contained many interesting displays and components, giving a good idea of the scale of these planes as shown by Graham standing next to a 747 tail fin.

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