Saturday, October 11, 2014

A visit to Inner Space (Part 1)

After visiting the Cosmosphere and eating a hurried Chinese buffet, we headed to Strataca, an underground salt mine.  I did NOT get any photos of the exterior of Strataca because the weather had turned very hot after we ate, and I forgot to take photos when we went in or came out.  However, once inside,

we all donned helmets.  I couldn't put the air purifier around my neck, but carried it on my shoulder, sort of like Kathy (my friend on the left) was carrying her purse.  Both Sally (on the right) and Kathy carried their purses, but I left mine in the car, because I had my camera, which was heavy enough.  I'm a low maintenance gal, and didn't need anything in it, since I carried money in my dress pocket.   At this point, we were still topside.

I apologize for these photos.  I swear they remind me of the ones I took with my old camera, but the lighting was so weird and once I was back up top, I realized I had somehow changed to the wrong camera setting.  Please be aware, I never use my flash.

I'm hoping you can enlarge this and see we are 650 feet below the surface of the earth.  It is a constant 68 degrees F (20 degrees C) and I was starting to feel comfortable.

You may read the plaques and I will let you scroll at your own pace.

I took the close-ups of the block of salt and was glad I got one good photo of the block, although you can't see it all.

Note how far ahead both Sally (far left in photo) and Kathy (second left) were.  It goes to show what happens when you try to read and snap photos, too.

This area on the floor was garish on my monitor, so I tried to color correct it.

Now I think it's too green, but can't tell for sure because of the colors coming out of my monitor.

We kept asking Sally if she wanted a wheel chair, but she said no.  So, Kathy and I left her behind sitting while we went forth and explored the rest of the museum.

This ax was in the wall, and it begged for a photo.  Kathy obliged.

Blasting caps and cord.

One man's trash is . . . .  Actually, since it was more cost effective to leave trash in the mine, rather than bring it topside, it was left there, where the low humidity, lack of pests, and preservative nature of the salt has left everything from food wrappers to reading materials left behind, intact.

Kathy is looking at all the names of miners from this salt mine who either lost their lives in WWII or served.  I took NO notes since Kathy was talking most of the time.

Next to the heros of WWII is a plaque showing a mine in Louisiana.

More photos of those who served and where.

Kathy was intrigued by this old newspaper that cost TWO CENTS.

There were several videos that played over and over so you could watch them from the beginning or until you got the gist of the machine or technique that was covered.  Please remember,  the walls, ceiling, and floor had been mined by the very equipment that was being shown.

I swear this is my motto, or if it isn't, it should be.  After all, it's how I live my life, since I was raised by grandparents who were born and grew up during, and right after, the Great Depression.

What the well dressed miner wore.  No Ralph Lauren or Christian Dior here!  Note the steel toed shoes and safety glasses, similar to what I wore when I worked in industry.  The only thing missing are the ear plugs, since I suspect the machines not battery powered were noisy, too.

I never got a good photo of this machine that took up so much space.

I hope you can read that this is the male plug to a battery plug that could run much of the equipment, including the locomotive shown earlier.

The scoop shovel was used for gathering the salt and rock so it could be placed on the conveyer belt.

I shot this photo and the one of the shovel through this fence.  The boxes in the background represent boxes of dynamite used in the process.

I encourage you to enlarge this photo that argues both pro and con about how a new species of bacteria found in the salt rocks could explain or disprove the theory of how life was formed on this planet.

I couldn't reach the hole in the wall, but I did stick my finger in the one below the sign.

Although Kathy and I didn't realize it at the time, we had entered this display at the end and were working our way backward.

Age of the geek, baby.  This is the exact type of computers we used when I worked in industry.

Since I was taking computer classes in college, I was friends with the "data processing" people and we became close friends.  Most people at the factory thought they were weird and wanted nothing to do with them.  I kept telling everyone, this was the wave of the future, but of course, that made me seem weird, too.

I darkened this photo in hopes you can read the sign.  Again, since my monitor colors are so far off, I'm not sure what you will see.  I remember I got to push the red button (on left) at the factory where I worked as it began generating data I collected for my Master's thesis at Pittsburg (KS) State University.  Each disk in the tray was a BIG floppy disk, called a Winchester drive.  Yep, now my geek is showing!

Note the arrow.  It shows we should have started at the beginning, not the end of the display.

This is a good place to stop.  Since I don't have a Craft Barn challenge to worry about tomorrow, we can finish visiting this museum. 

12 thoughtful remarks:

Helen said...

what a fascinating museum - well worth the time it took my browser to decide to load the photos!! look forward to part 2.

Lady Catford said...

Very interesting. You sure find some neat places to visit. Thanks for sharing.

TwinkleToes2day said...

Wow - you visit the most fascinating places!! :o))

Karla B said...

Gorgeous museum, gorgeous photos! What an amazing place Elizabeth! That's why I love visiting your blog: there's always something inspiring here, Thanks, my friend!

~*~Patty S said...

WOW what a fabulous museum and tour Elizabeth!
I was raised and live by the same Use it up motto :-)
You really made use of the Smithsonian Museum days with your space 'travel' tour and more!
Happy Weekend to you...

Nan G said...

Fascinating museum! How lucky to have it so close to you! Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed touring with you! Hugs to Bleubeard from the Girls. We're still sorting and prepping to move.

Gaby Bee said...

Wow what a fascinating museum! Thanks for this interesting and educational tour, Elizabeth. I have really enjoyed it!

Have a lovely Sunday!

Corrine at said...

Finally feeling better after a week and catching up. Bravo to you for some great pics. I don't like being underground so salt mines are out for me no matter how big the caves. Thanks for sharing such an interesting place. xox

Eliza said...

Wow this was so interesting thank you so much for the tour. I even giggled at your comment about the System 38 well guess what! I worked on a IBM System 32 LOL these were the days of really high tech stuff, now look at us.

Hugs Eliza

pearshapedcrafting said...

Another really interesting tour, thank you for taking us! Don't get the computer stuff, but two thumbed gloves - wow! - that is a good idea! Off to start the packing! Chrisx

Halle said...

Ok that place is super cool!!!!!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Really interesting look at salt mining!