Monday, July 10, 2006

Notes from Underground

Administration! It really is the pits! My salt-mine has a lot more extensive galleries than I ever suspected. I thought I saw light at the end of the tunnel, but it was just a ventilation shaft.

Well, since I'm not getting out any time soon, I'll try to enjoy the scenery.

My middle daughter, Anne visited the salt mines for which Salzburg is named. She said it was incredible not only what God had wrought, but what men have done. The walls sparkled, and wherever they were thin between chambers, light could penetrate so that the walls shone like pink hurricane glasses around a candle.

The miners of salt have an absolutely amazing method of extracting and purifying the salt that they mine. They dig drainage tunnels between the galleries to the outside world, where an enormous holding tank awaits. Then they pump the gallery full of water. Salt dissolves! Remember? When the water has reached its saturation point, they pump the water out into the holding tank and allow it to evaporate. What is left is pure salt. Water, air and gravity have done the heavy lifting.

What's more, the miners ride an enormous slide down to work every day. Picture one of those mountain slides you ride for hundreds of feet under the summer sky - only underground.

I gotta figure out how to make my salt mine work like this...


Anonymous said...

Consider least for the sliding into work part, you have the necessary changes in elevation! A bumpy ride, granted, but can't the Boy Scouts do something about that? The best that could be done here is one of those slides that you fill up with water and thus slide along on a level surface. The salt mine slide sounds like a lot more fun!

Kim Anderson said...

Boy Scouts! Of course! I've got one of those right here.


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