Strataca

Strataca  – Kansas Underground Salt Museum

14-March-2015

My first road trip here in US and for ones I parted from Lawrence beyond 50 miles. During the mid-spring semester break a senior of mine asked if I would like to join them for one day trip to a destination that was yet to be decided. With no second thought I let him know that I would join them irrespective of where they went, for I was already getting bugged of being stuck in Lawrence for seven months (off course the Kansas city Zoo I visited, but that’s not too far from Lawrence.

Our first destination was Strataca Salt Museum in Hutchinson I was told. The drive to Hutchinson from Lawrence is around 4 hours, and we drove the highway that had beautiful view of the landscape on either side. With a weather that was sunny & cold with strong winds , we saw on the way lots of cultivated land, cattle farms and open terrain land where large number of oil rigs where functioning.

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Strataca Museum is one of its kind that I’ve visited. The museum gives access for the tourists to a part of a salt mine that stretches for almost 168 acres (ramified though) at a depth of 168 feet beneath earth. And its said that if one were to consecutively line up each excavated area, the chamber would stretch for 150 miles (107 km) – CRAZY ! Natural pillars of solid rock salt, 40 feet square are left intact to support each corridor or “room”. And apparently its the only salt mine accessible for tourist in USA that has 14 salt mines in total.

I’ve heard stories of abandoned mine exploration from Carolyn and few other friends in Bangalore. They sounded really excited as they narrated us about their adventure, the reason of which I realized after visiting this place. It’s like a world within another, which when explored in dark can be amazing fun.

The ticket was bought and the elevator took us beneath earth for 168 feet. The cabin of the elevator got pitch dark after the elevator descended for about 30 feet. Then when the doors opened, we stepped into a different world, one that I had never seen before. I loved the place. The temperature inside was cold but comfortable enough. We had a guide assigned who showed us around, giving descriptions about the place and its history. Museum had many of that equipment used during the initial days of mining. They had a place to eat and also a small shopping store with lots of unique souvenirs and clothes.

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Explosives !
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Guys picking salt rocks to take home as souvenir

We also visited the Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center” before heading back home.

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Back home that day’s dinner included “Panipuri”, thanks to Srivatsav and Vaishnavi….

 

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