Sunday, November 4, 2012

Underground Salt Museum & Mine

The highlight of our trip to Kansas was a visit to the Underground Salt Museum. Before researching things to do in Kansas, I had no idea there was a salt mine, that you could visit.  How cool is that!  Doodle and I paid for all the tours, which included a visit to the museum, train, and dark tram tour.  When you arrive, you are ushered into a room and shown a safety video.  You are then outfitted with a hard hat and a breathing device that you have to keep on at all times.  Once that is completed you enter an elevator, really it is a metal box that clangs while it that takes you down 650 feet in total darkness.  It was so dark, you could not see your hand in front of your face.  The elevator opens and you are in the salt museum.  This part of the mine is no longer being actively mined and has been turned into a museum. 

It is amazing, you are surrounded by salt, ceiling, walls, floor.  They ask that you do not lick the walls... seriously, they ask you that.  There are various passageways that continue on forever, with exhibits that tell you about how the mine was found, old ways of mining, how they mine the salt now, and what is stored in the museum. 

None of the trash that the miners brought down ever went back up.  There are piles of trash from the 40's and 50's scattered around.  It is how they know when that part of the mine was blasted.  The train ride takes you past a part where the ceiling collapsed.  The driver assured us that would not happen in the museum. 

Doodle and I walked around in awe, we were in a salt mine, 650 feet down. The museum stores several famous Hollywood movie props as the temperature is always 68 degree with 40 percent humidity. 

The dark tram tour whisks you around another part of the mine where they found an almost pure 6000 pound chunk of salt, that is on display.  It also tells you that the mine is compressing on itself, but so slowly that it will not affect us.  Finally, you are taken to an area of mined salt and allowed to fill a small bag with salt.  Of course, I was the only one climbing to the top of the pile and was asked not to climb.  The good stuff was up there!

This is part of the large chunk of pure salt that the miners found. 
Doodle and I did sample a bit of salt, from the pile. It tasted like salt but saltier. 
  Whorls from the machinery used to mine the salt.  This is what all the walls and ceiling looked like.
The museum is amazing, people of all ages walking around in awe.  Looking up, pointing, it was a great couple of hours and well worth the money!  GO, VISIT!   

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