Sunday, March 6, 2022

February 13 : Strataca - Salt Mine Tour

 As we prepare to depart the great state of Kansas we want to get in all the things we had wanted to do. There are these salt mines about 45 minutes outside of the city (In Hutchinson, Kansas) We hadn't been able to go at the start of our Kansas living because children have to be four or older to go underground. Thomas has been four, for half a year so we were well in the time frame. 

We bought our tickets for Sunday afternoon. Left church a tad early to go home, let Harpo out, then make it there in time for our reservation. 

There was a little museum area while we waited to go in. I really knew nothing about this until going there. Crazy how far DOWN you go into the earth! It was super fun!

We made our way into this little room with everyone else in our 1:00 time slot. We watched a video talking about safety in the salt mine, then got our hard hats on and ready to board the holt (fancy word for elevator) Masks were only required in the holt since we were all packed into a little space. 

When we got down to the space it was a big OPEN space, not like a cave you think of. The walls, ceiling floor was all salt. 

At this point we were just allowed to explore the large museum. Our tickets included a train ride and a dark tour. After learning so many cool things about salt and the mine we made our way toward the train ride. BTW all this salt is salt used for roads (obviously not Kansas given the week before last, haha)

The train ride took us through the mine, stopping along the way at six different spots to teach us about what it used to be like down there when this area was a working mine. It currently is a working mine, but not where this museum is. The mine would look like a waffle from up above because of the columns holding up the ceiling. 

This is an area that had the ceiling collapse 

Back in the 50s when they worked the mine they never took their trash with them. It was more expensive to take it with than to leave it. So now, for this museum it was like a time capsule. So much trash that all shares a story of history. 

Even a toilet. 

After the train, we got on a tram and did another tour in a different part of the mine. 

This one taught us more about the salt structure itself. 

Once things come down to the mine they don't leave. Here's a super old tractor. 

Then we got to take a pit stop and collect a salt rock as a souvenir 

After the rides we finished up the museum part where we learned about all the things from Holly wood stored here in the mine (in another area of course) but since it's temperature controlled they keep lots of things down here. 

It was a super cool experience and we all learned so much! Highly recommend if you're ever in Kansas! 

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