Visit to the Salt Mine

We visited the Underground Salt Museum in Hutchinson, KS. It’s 650′ below the surface. The mine is still active today. They said they could mine rock salt from this mine for the next 2700 years. This mine provides rock salt primarily for large cities that melt snow, and animal feed primarily.

We received our safety talk, they explained that we would be using the same safety equipment that the miners wear. My favorite part was when they said to use the carbon monoxide converter…They said, “If it feels like your lips are burning don’t worry it’s working.” They also asked us not to touch or lick the walls.

This is a former mined area and now serves as a hall to the museum. The exhibits explain how miners keep the mine level, and how they believe all the salt was deposited.

This is a 6,000lb piece of rock salt.

It is cheaper to keep everything in the mine rather remove old equipment, because of that miners maintain their equipment regularly. They have machines running today that they were using in the 1940’s. No one makes equipment just for salt mining, so the miners are good at scavenging parts and making their tools.

The temperature in the mine is always 68 degrees with 40% humidity. For that reason it seemed like a great place to store items for safe keeping. Currently Hollywood stores lots of movies, TV shows, and memorabilia.  There are many other important documents stored in the mine too.

We also went on a “Dark ride” they showed us what it would be like for a miner if the lights went out. It was so dark I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.

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