My mother often said, “Back to the salt mines” when she finished taking a break from work, and I do the same. Today I had a chance to visit a salt mine.

This is Strataca, a working salt mine in Hutchinson, Kansas. We were able to visit a section of the mine which is no longer being worked.

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We went down in this elevator. It is completely dark in the elevator — a cost-saving measure, apparently. The Little Girl was a little bit scared at that point, but the lift operator was very kind and jolly, and we managed.

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Here it is: salt.

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We were very far below the earth and it was cool, quiet, and in its own way beautiful. We got to ride through the mine in a little zoo train and see a bit of what life was like for the miners. We also learned that the salt mines are a perfect storage space, and that enormous amounts of data and also Holywood films are stored in the spaces where there used to be just salty rocks.

I also got to learn more about halophiles. Then we came back up to the surface and headed back to the main route of our journey.