Oakdale Municipal Airport (o27)

Oakdale, California

What task could possibly be 'nobler' or more enticing than a flight to a chocolate factory.  In planning this flight, I made sure I accounted for the changes in weight-and-balance, on returning from the chocolate factory.  Technically, I had been to this airport before - during my student training for my PPL, Oakdale was one of my initial dual cross-country flights.  All we got to do was land and take-off again for home,,, so I count THIS visit as my 'first'. :-)

Directly over the nose cowling, my first waypoint, Livermore Municipal Airport

Byron Airport is right next to Clifton Court Forebay (the large body of water)

Woodward Reservoir

Stanislaus River

In the distance, the town of Oakdale and Oakdale Airport

Welcome to Oakdale Airport

The wonderful staff in the pilot lounge helped me get a taxi (even made the phone call).  There were snacks and sodas available, as well as a small assortment of pilot goodies.

Downtown Oakdale,,, shine up those spurs! Real farmers and cowboys live here! :-)

This store is also the spot where you wait for the free shuttle bus which will take you to the Hershey Factory.  Of course, while you wait you are tempted by more varieties of chocolate than I can bear to think of <grin>.

It wasn't hard to get here from the airport - the staff at the airport called a taxi told them where I wanted to go; the cab came quickly and I was there in minutes.  The cab company has a flat rate of  $10 from the airport to the Hershey Store in the center of town.

An outside view of the Hershey store and nearby park.

Okay,,, let me apologize right now, that I have NO pictures of the inside of the Hershey Factory (the taking of photographs was not allowed).  While it isn't a long tour, it is certainly interesting and definitely worth it if you are a 'chocoholic' like me - the wonderful smells in this factory are the stuff of dreams <grin>.  I was amazed by what a variety of products were made in this factory (even Reese's Peanut Butter Cups), though I took special 'scentsual' enjoyment watching hundreds of chocolate bars zipping by every minute.  One thing that surprised me (and maybe will surprise you) is the fact that the chocolate morsels (some call them nibs) are produced in a mold, not just squirted out of some extruder  By the way, I learned something interesting about what happens to the Reese's Peanut Butter cups that are irregular in shape - they are sold to feed stores where they are bought to feed to cattle (I guess it fattens them up like it does, us).

At the end of the tour you get a coupon good for a free Hershey's candy bar when your shuttle bus takes you back to the Hershey store.

(SPECIAL NOTE:  Call before you go.  As of 3/30/02 the factory was still closed to tours  after 9-1-1 tragedy)

If you have the time,,, visit this town and fly back home in chocolate-bliss :-)

Below graphic designed by: Jeff Bucchino,

"The Wizard of Draws" (copyright owner) http://www.wizardofdraws.com

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