This blog is posted mostly everyday when we take a break from our usual retired Life as former full-time RVer's and travel overseas.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Visiting Hutchinson

Great breakfast this morning as Linda cheerfully set about baking some awesome and very healthy muffins. I don't know what all went into them, but I saw her chop nuts and add some dried fruit, plus I saw her looking at a recipe, but knowing her, she used it only as a guide, adding those special secret touches that she does so well. We ate those muffins with a little almond butter smeared on them and were they ever good.

Before the above there was this. "You are not going to use a photo of me in the drawer."
"But it will show how hard you worked to make the muffins."
"No it won't, it will just show how messy the drawer is."
Way to go Bob. Great way to start the day. Here she tries to do something nice for me and I mess it up by taking a picture of a drawer. What is it with us men anyway? We men go and pull so many dumb stunts like this it's a wonder any of us ever got the opportunity to become father's. Oh well, at least I must have done something right at least three times in my life, since we ended up with three great kids.

This one is to get back into Linda's good graces, if there are any graces left for me to get back into. And yes, they were as good or better than they look.

Another day, another museum, another smashed penny. This occurred above ground, but we were headed 650 feet underground to visit a salt mine. Hundreds of millions of years ago this area was something akin to the Great Salt Lake or The Dead Sea, but on a much more vast scale. Now all that salt is hundreds of feet unground and we were going down to see what it was all about thanks to a tip from a reader who suggested we might enjoy visiting it.

A little old and very salty miner looking at a large crystal of salt. It is really an interesting place, as all the displays are down below. There are only three underground salt mines in the world that are open to visitors, and after having toured the one near Krakow, Poland several years ago, we have now seen two of the three. The mines and tours are so different that it is impossible to say which one is better. Think of it as this one having the American experience and the one near Krakow as having the European experience, or put another way, industrial might versus cultural heritage.

There are displays of the older equipment that was used in the mine. We heard over and over that goes into the mine stays in the mine. This piece wasn't going anywhere soon, but it was going somewhere eventually. Notice the ring of reddish material on the floor underneath it? That's rust. 68 degrees all the time. 40 percent humidity all the time. Trillions of tons of salt. Equipment made out of iron. Salty humid air and iron equals rust. Given enough time and it will be a pile of rust dust. Glad we saw it when we did.

Miner hard at work. Underground there is museum with displays, a train ride and a tram ride. During the tram ride there was a stop at a pile of salt where you could pickup a sample, either a fist sized lump, or by filling a small bag. I went for the bag, filling it with what I thought were treasures, including black, red and crystal clear pieces of salt. Linda first went for the lump, then decided on the bag. It really wasn't what we ended up with, it was the fun of collecting it, and Linda sure did enjoy that part.

The family salt miner getting ready to go back up to the surface. This is one of those places where photos just don't seem to do it justice, making it a need to visit place. We both really enjoyed our time underground. You are on your own much of the time, and you can take your time or rush around, the choice is up to you. To say that we have enjoyed Kansas is a major understatement, and just as we discovered the Upper Peninsula of Michigan last summer, so did we discover Kansas this year. Just another of those unexpected pleasures we have stumbled across as we wander around, living the fulltime Life.

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