Underground Kansas Salt Mine

On our way to my cousins wedding, we stopped at an underground salt mine in Kansas.  I had read about it on OMSH blog when they took a road trip, and added it to our list of “must do’s.”

You have to wear a hard hat and take a small breathing apparatus should you get stuck down there!  AND you have to ride an elevator down to the shaft…not for the claustrophobic person!  Once you get down to the mine, you are on your own to walk around and read the information.

There are a number of hands on things to touch and look at.

This part of the mine has been set up as a museum, but there is another part that is still in operation.  Because the mine is deep, and it salt, it sits at 68F degrees year round, and there is no humidity in the mine.  This makes it great for preserving items including trash!

We opted to take the train through a part where they explained more about the mining process.  It is very interesting!

Especially when we got to the “toilet” area!

As mentioned, this is a great place to preserve items, so there are a number of movie reels, costumes, and other important documents and artifacts preserved down in the mine.

We were able to take some mined salt.

I would love to take my Girl Scouts here someday…they offer a scout night.

Little House on the Prairie

The only vacation we took this summer was a short trip up to Kansas for my cousin’s wedding. We left early Thursday morning (like 4am) and drove all day. I say we…but really Wade drove so I could work. Our plan was to stop in Independence, Kansas and then head over to Wichita. They are not near each other but we promised the girls we would go see the “real” little house on the prairie.

I had plugged in the address into the GPS in the morning and did not think twice about it, until we got to our destination and there were nothing but fields. 🙁 After driving around for about 30 minutes and arguing whether or not the place existed (even though I was looking at their website!), I called.  The lady that answered could not figure out where we were but mentioned they were closing early so we had better hurry.

It was around 4pm. The website said they closed at 5pm, but the lady told us she was closing at 4:30 so she could go deposit payroll at the bank. We had approximately 30 minutes to find out where we were and then find the museum. All of this after driving for 12 hours straight JUST to see this house. Wade was NOT happy and the lady at the museum really did not care that we just drove through 3 states to get there.

We arrived at 4:27pm. She had already closed up the shop and told us to start with the far house because that is the one she locks first. She literally followed us through each small building and locked behind us.


(I only took iPhone pictures for this one.)

Utah- The best snow on earth!

(But I would not know with this crazy winter we are having!)

I had a training in Salt Lake City last week and while I was there I ventured out in the evenings. I have never been to Utah, but am looking forward to planning a trip back with the whole family! It was a really neat place! I only had my cell phone with me on this trip, but really learned how to get the most out of it taking pictures.

Flying over the Grand Canyon

Utah did have a bad snow storm the previous weekend. But it rained the day after I got there so most of it melted while I was there.

It really reminded me of the pretty parts of Colorado. (Because there are some really flat ugly parts of Colorado.) The mountains greet you at the airport.

Wade decided I need to start keeping a food blog when I travel. I found a microbrewery called Red Rock that had a WONDERFUL Fried Goat Cheese and Pear Salad with Pesto sauce. Mmmmmm…it was so good!

The training was at the University of Utah and this was their “cafeteria.” I could have sat in there all day!

I decided to head up to Park City (home of the 2002 Winter Olympics) one evening. Little did I know the Sundance Festival was going on. I luckily found parking and got out and walked around for a while. No…didn’t see anyone famous.

Did I mention it rained…and all the city snow melted?

They have a rail system that is free within certain downtown city blocks, and my hotel happened to be located in that area and the station was just across the street! Score! I was able to walk 8 blocks in to Temple Square, have dinner, then took the rail back.

I started at the Mormon Museum. I am not Mormon but I have an uncle and grandfather that are. I could never practice the religion to the extent that Mormons do, but I will say I admire their values and principles, especially when it comes to family and helping others. If we all lived like that, the world would be a better place! One of the museum curators was kind enough to take me on an 1 1/2 long personal tour of the museum. It was FABULOUS! I was so engrossed in his stories, that I realized when it was all over I did not take one picture! 🙁 Oh well…another reason to go back.

After the museum, I headed over to the Tabernacle. No, the choir was not practicing.

And then on to the temple. As a non-Mormon, you are not allowed into the temple because it is sacred. (Reserving my thoughts on that…) Of course the architecture of it is just amazing!

There are 2 visitor centers where there are several people to walk you through and explain things about the religion. I know this was designed this way on purpose, but I love this statue of Jesus and how the shadow on the wall looks as if He is leaning over the rail looking down.

There were some other buildings (some under renovation) in the square. But really a neat place to visit!

I really want to go back and drive up there in the fall…maybe a camping trip. So cool!

Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari

Wade and I decided to take a little vacation up to Rusk for a Halloween train ride.  We had some time to kill before our train ride, so we found a little drive through safari called Cherokee Trace.  We balked at the price when we got there (something like $50 for the 4 of us)…but it was SOOOOOO worth it!

Once we talked with the lady behind the desk about the drought and the affect it had, we each got a bag of food and we were off. As soon as we entered the park, the deer ran towards the car. They knew what was up!

I think the lady told us there were over 50 different types of animals in the park.

The funniest thing though was this lady. She decided that rather than eat the pellets off the ground she was just going to reach into the window and eat them right out of Syd’s bag. Stacey was screaming (with laughter) Syd was just screaming and Wade and I were laughing so hard I could not even take a picture!

I am not sure how this guy walks. Those horns look pretty heavy. And I did not like how close to the car he came!