We moved to Puyallup to camp for three nights at the Washington State Fairgrounds. Gary had a grand plan that we would see stuff each day that had just been too far from our camp in the Olympic Peninsula. The first day after we arrived we were going to go to Olympia and see the State Capitol. The second day we would travel north of Seattle to Everett to take the Boeing plant tour, and on the third day we would tour Mount Rainier. Well, one out of three is good at least for a baseball hitter.
The first day we had gotten a bit of a late start as we sanitized our water system for which we were overdue. By the time we arrived and flushed the system out, it was too late to head to Olympia. The third day it rained all day long and we never got to see Mount Rainier and it turned into a college football day. But we did go on the Boeing Plant tour and it was a good one.
Our last plant tour was of Harry and David. It was quite the contrast to go from the manufacture of candy, cookies, and caramel corn to 747s and the new 787 Dreamliner. Boeing’s factory building covers nearly 100 acres and as measured by volume is the largest building in the world. We toured three assembly lines. The first was for 747 production, the second for 777’s and the third for the new 787 Dreamliner. There are only from three to five planes actually in production on each of these lines at any one time. All of the wiring of a 747 laid end to end would reach 133 miles, the distance from Seattle to Portland. You can order up your own 747 for a mere $350 million.
Although we couldn’t take any pictures inside the factory, we were allowed to take some shots around the grounds. There are always a number of planes out on the tarmac that are nearing completion and will soon be flown away by customers. We were lucky to see one of the “Dreamlifters” land, one of the highly modified 747s used to transport parts for the Dreamliner. And we also witnessed the delivery takeoff of a new Lufthansa plane headed for Frankfurt, Germany.