Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Great Salt Plains

Today's drive was longer than normal at 315 miles. You can see Tucker was happy to be out of the car. Actually he was rolling around for a few minutes it was pretty cute.
 We managed to get one of the last sites available at the campground. It is right on the river near the dam. Herons and Pelicans are all hanging about.,
We are only spending 2 nights here and we started by visiting the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge.

Someday I'll know what all the different National "blah" designations mean.
 Along the lake we did a few nature walks seeing lots of birds and turtles.
There is also a scenic dirt road which we drove through.
 Oh and some snakes!  Luckily we don't have the dog with us on these walks.
One side of the lake is all dry in a big sail plain.  It is a little bit like a small very flat version of White Sands NM.

 Except here under the salt groovy crystals form and you can go digging for them.

They take a while to grow so they mark off areas where people can dig and move it around periodically.
 I like the way the salt sticks to the tired when you drive on the salt.

I am certain this is not good for the car. But seeing as how we are from Boston where they use tons of road salt it can't be any worse than winter.
 Here is Will and random people digging.

 The basic method as I read was to dig a hole about 1-2 feet deep and put water in the bottom.

You then use the water to wash down the sides of the hole feeling for the crystals.

We didn't really have a shovel but we found some abandoned equipment.
 You can also easily adopt other people's abandoned holes.

They aren't the most impressive crystals but they were fun to find.  Also they are unique, it is hard to see but they have a funky hour-glass of sediment in each one.

Not one is sure why they form this way but it only happens here.
We ended the evening watching all the birds.

I also found a scorpion under the trailer. The pictures didn't come out sadly.

It was a little unnerving because we both left our shoes outside to let the crystal digging dirt dry off.

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