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Field Trip: Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter

I did mention my friend Amy is intrepid, right? We were all tuckered out from our cheesemaking (and shopping and lunch-eating) adventures and were on our way home, when we drove by Don Q Inn, which is a honeymoon suite motel in Dodgeville, WI with all kinds of crazy themed rooms like igloos and wigwams and spaceships. It also has a vintage Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter on the front lawn. We were both looking at it as we drove by and agreed that we'd always meant to check it out at some point, and I thought she'd say, "Next time we go out, let's stop there." But because she couldn't resist, she turned on two wheels and then we were face-to-face with a massive propeller aircraft from the Korean War.

(not my photo...I found it online)

Stepping inside was chilling, because so much of the original stuff was left in there. There were all sorts of straps and gear bags hanging from the walls, and stretchers too! It had that mildewy smell of an army surplus store. We all debated whether any of us had the courage to lie down on one of the stretchers, but none of us were game.

Here we are inside the plane. I think what's weird about it, other than the smell, is that it's basically unmonitored. (There was a little sign that said something about it being recorded on...videomax, I think it was? We pointed at that and said, "Ha ha, that's from 1985.") But other than a table with a few brochures on it, we were on our own.

The cockpit blew our minds. I mean, what was all that stuff? What did it do? How did anyone ever know what to press? And how come I get to sit there now? Many of the buttons read "volume". Volume for what? Why multiple volumes?

"Hey, Amy, there's the auto-pilot button! Press it!" (Nothing happened. Not like that TV in the abandoned house...I still have goosebumps from that discovery.)

The best part? There was a money box in there to collect donations for the maintenance of the plane. I kid you not.

Weirder still? The plane was used in the shooting of this commercial from 1977! It had Farrah's autograph on the fucilage. (I didn't know what "fucilage" meant, so we poked around until we found the autograph on the side of the plane.)



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 29th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
We also noticed every hanging pouch or box was marked with stenciled letters as to what was supposed to be inside.
Aug. 29th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
Another cool field trip! I will have to see if I can out do you ;o)
Aug. 29th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
Get your brain ready for those ideas!!! And take pictures; it helps with the remembering.
Aug. 29th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
I'm bring 2 cameras ;o)
I decided I was going to bring my camera after all - I had bought a cheap small camera for this trip but decided the picture quality was to iffy for me. I'll just have to guard my camera with my life and pray I don't look too touristy
Aug. 29th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't they be surprised if you powered it up and jetted out of there... ;)

That's a very odd spelling of fuselage.
Aug. 30th, 2010 07:25 am (UTC)
Oh, that's what the wavy red line under fucilage was all about :D
Aug. 30th, 2010 07:57 am (UTC)
Aug. 30th, 2010 08:03 am (UTC)
Wow, your brush with greatness, to have touched the same plane that Farrah Fawcett did. Swoon. :-)

Very cool that they just leave it unattended.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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