February Journal – Where Did Winter Go?

Spring came early, which brought tornadoes. A large one picked the whole RV up and plopped us down in a strange, alternate dimension of some sort. Unfortunately, the rig landed on a woman with these gaudy looking red shoes. The locals who consisted entirely of little people didn’t seem to mind. They just rolled their eyes and said, “You’re from Kansas too, aren’t you?”

Goodbye Winter

That may be my most bizarre opening yet; there is, however, a grain of truth to it. The days of freezing seemed to get less and less thoughout February. I’m sure you didn’t meet me in my journal land to hear me talk about the weather, though, so on to the interesting stuff.

We had applied (sometime mid-January) to the Sugar Beet Harvest in North Dakota for this coming fall. Each year hundreds of RVers are hired to help with the harvesting and shipping of literally tons of sugar beets that go into making a sizable portion of the country’s sugar. We heard back from them this month and we are on board. We also received an email from Amazon, in Kentucky, letting us know that we were signed up to work the Peak Season with CamperForce. While all of that was happening, we were invited back to our current job for the same time period next year. We really enjoy working for the owners at USI RV Park and we signed a contract for next year. We now have our employment planned out for a year. Not bad for February!

On to the touristy stuff. We visited Strataca which is a salt mine in Hutchinson, Kansas that does tours 650 feet underground. Here is an excerpt from their site http://underkansas.org/:

Kansas Underground Salt Museum (now known as Strataca): By 1999, the Executive Director and Board of the Reno County Historical Society recognized the importance of preserving and presenting the Hutchinson salt story to the public.  It soon became apparent that the logical, yet most challenging solution would be to re-open a portion of the mine to public tours. Today’s attraction is the product of collaboration of the Historical Society and the two business entities that exist in the mine: the Hutchinson Salt Company and Underground Vaults and Storage. UVS is a large facility that is known for storing a vast number of original Hollywood movies, as well as millions of documents and items from all over the world in a secure and environmentally conducive environment. In the late 1990’s, when it was decided that in order to expand their storage business a new elevator or hoist would need to be built, a partnership was formed that resulted in the development of the museum.

This is a great experience, if traveling 650 feet underground is not a terrifying thing for you. The mine is huge; the walls and ceiling are all made of sparkling salt. The museum is in a location that was mined in the 40’s and 50’s so there are a lot of artifacts from that time. Since the conditions are so good for preserving things, many files, documents, film reels and movie props are stored down there. Some of which is on display for the public to see. The conditions in the mine allow preservation of everything so it doesn’t look like it has aged a day. If you decide to go, you will not forget the experience.

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Disk Golf

As the weather got warmer, we were looking for things to do with Brewy…something other than walking in one of the city’s many parks. We saw some people throwing a Frisbee into these metal chain baskets. As it turned out, they were playing disk golf…a sport that is pretty big here. We went to the local sporting goods store and got ourselves a set of discs each. Just like golf, it has driving, mid-range, and putting discs. Each have their own design and weight. The biggest differences between regular golf and disc golf are that the courses are built into local parks and they are free. We have played a couple of times now and it is a blast! Our form…not so much…

As the leaves come out and the weather continues to warm, we may be getting pretty good at this disc golf thing.

Photography Lessons

I had an idea awhile back to write a small e-book about how to work a camera. I decided this month to make that book a reality in the form of a series of posts. The idea came to me because many family members and friends have asked me to help them use their brand new, barely touched cameras. It is unfortunate that the salesperson didn’t offer free lessons when he/she sold the device. As RVers, we are treated with many photo opportunities and I think that everyone should have the ability to take full advantage of the fancy cameras they bought to capture those photos.  I have completed three lessons so far and anticipate a total of ten.

The lesson of the month: When you move somewhere that is notoriously very cold through March…bring your shorts.

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