I've taken so many small trips around the states in past years. From lesser known public parks and nature hikes, to rock collecting and historic spots, travel is one of my favorite things in life.
So I am usually pleasantly surprised when visiting any given place when my husband remarks, 'You've been here before, remember ...' But usually I DON'T remember. The upshot is I am perfectly happy to relearn what is interesting about the place all over again.
It doesn't always happen, big trips stick with me! But all those little places which I spent half hour?!
Just this past weekend, we went to a couple little destinations (which I will probably forget about in 10 years). Both within about 40 miles of our weekend house, we just had never gone down those roads before. Though they do not jump out as highly desirable, we had a GREAT time, very INTERESTING, fun for the whole family. And didn't cost more than $3...
There are 2 borax mines in the world, here lies the 2nd largest (the other is in S. America). And yes, this is the stuff that gets put in detergent, but also loads of fiberglass (insulation, boating) and ceramics.
Remember when Borateam sponsored 'Death Valley Days'? I was 3 or 4! There is a visitors center with video of the old shows playing (Clint Eastwood was in an episode in 1956! and Ron Reagan hosted in the 1950s!). There are tailings piles from the mine which my husband could not resist digging through (see above), but which also the kids climbed right on up and joined him.
The 20 mule team is explained (when the borax was originally collected in Death Valley it was taken to the nearest train by mule team). It said 'NOT ONE WORKER OR MULE WAS LOST during that whole period'. If any of you know anything about Death Valley, especially Death Valley in the 1920s, that IS ONE IMPRESSIVE RECORD.
There was a very educational movie about the mine which depicted the company workings, Rio Tinto Minerals, and I saw my kids absorbed in the chemistry explanations (yay!!). Total cost? $3
OK, next we went on to...
Edwards Air Force Base
The shuttle landed here for 10+ years and we never made a point of coming to see that. One of those things that if it's in your backyard, you eschew it I suppose. But now we wanted in!
On a Sunday the place is mostly deserted, but there was a good number of mounted air craft. As soon as we saw this one, my son leaped out of his seat! 'Blackbird!' he yelled.
Apparently just recently he saw a video in school about breaking the sound barrier and this puppy, the Air Force SR-71 (above), was one of the tools. In fact, he very clearly explained it to me on the spot for which I was grateful because I didn't really know the phenomenon that well! Not bad for reinforcing a bit of classroom lessons!
As we drove around the base, we explained why there was a bowling alley and houses and a library and a school. Who lives there and why, and what those folks were allowed to do. My daughter understood more about what it means to enlist in the service.
So get out and see what's nearby. If you're like me, you can forget the details and relive them again in a few years!
Thanks for getting to the end! And now for a peek at a new mini purse, made from a fine silk men's tie. New from me and available for $6.50 at
Daddy's Little Purse Strings - Classic Grey
Stash the barest essentials in a fine pure silk retired men's necktie. Fits a cell phone perfectly. Take it on your dog walk, hiking or biking.