Museums

Tulsa in November

On November 6th we went to Tulsa for the night and spend the next Saturday at Woolaroc and the Philbrook.  This was a trip I had been wanting to take since I began this page five years ago. 

Tulsa Weekend-1

I haven't had a lot of time this fall.  No time for myself - no time for anything....  I'm still behind on edits and I'm so tired from the commute from my job I just don't seem to get anything done.  

Tulsa Weekend-1-9

Downtown Tulsa - the last time we were here was in September for the Rob Thomas concert, which was excellent.  

Tulsa Weekend-1-8

We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary on the 11th of November.   

Tulsa Weekend-1-10

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency which was nice.  

Ray and the buffalo -1

We got up the next morning and went to Woolaroc, which was pretty cool.  I've been wanting to visit this place since 2010 when I learned about it.  

Woolaroc-1

Woolaroc has a wildlife preserve and an incredible collection of Western and Native American art.  

Woolaroc-1-2

The mound builder artifacts was something that I wish I knew was here in 2013 when I was working on my thesis.  

Woolaroc-1-5

I was in awe of these effigy pots. 

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Incredible -  looking  into the past...  

Tulsa Weekend-1-7

After we left Woolaroc we headed over to the Philbrook.  Next time I go to Tulsa I need to go to the Gilcrease museum.  

Tulsa Weekend-1-2

Ray and the buffalo -1-2

We made it back to Tulsa later that day.  We really could have spent the day in Bartlesville but we can save that for next time. 

Philbrook -1-4

The Philbrook is a beautiful museum.   

Philbrook -1

It is definitely worth the time to visit. 

Tulsa Weekend-1-11

I'm still behind on everything it feels like but I wanted to put some photos up. 

Tulsa Weekend-1-12

A beautiful mansion filled with priceless art and heritage from around the world. 

Medieval Icon Art -1

Art impresses and amazes me.  Mainly because I don't have the skills to draw and also because I can look back into the middle ages or the Renaissance and see a different world.  

Medieval Icon Art -1-5

This is all I have the energy to do today.   


The Only Underground Salt Museum in North America -Strataca in Hutchinson Kansas

So, Hutchinson Kansas doesn't look like much.  It's actually a pretty cool town.   Last Saturday we went to the Strataca which is a museum, but not an ordinary museum it's 650 feet underground in a salt mine.   

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8600

This is the ONLY place in this country where you can tour a real salt mine.   It is the only time I've been 650 underground and my first experience in a mine.   Now, I don't like elevators (which you go down on) and I do not like enclosed places, but when you enter and watch the initial safety video they put you at ease. 

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8604

So we enter the museum and wait for our turn to ride the elevator down.   We were in Manhattan Kansas last weekend but this is the only place I took photos.  We (my oldest son and I managed to get a stomach bug while we were there).   But this place is highly recommended for your vacation trips.  Spring Break I had a bit of the Facebook envy with so many people traveling to interesting and fun places and I was stuck at home.   My fate seems to be trips to the Great Plains, but I actually enjoy it. It's rarely as hot and never as crowded as some overly promoted tourist trap.  

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8611

 

So this is during the minute and a half 650 elevator ride.   It really wasn't bad.  The guides talked the whole way down.  

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8614

So here we are 650 underground in a mine.  The temperature is a steady 68 degrees is what they told us.  It is incredibly dry and you can taste the salt in the air, after a couple of hours down there I felt dehydrated.  So there will be a lot of pics on this post.  

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8618

Museums are filled with information and I can photograph the information and read more as I edit. It is interesting how the Permian world shapes Oklahoma's landscape, yet in Kansas you still find the remnants of the Permian Sea.  Now, we have our own salt deposits from this sea in Oklahoma - a couple of hours north near Jet Oklahoma you can dig for crystals on the "Great Salt Plains."  

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8619

Salt, the only rock that we eat.  It is so important, yet we don't put a lot of thought into it. 

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8622

So what kind of activity on the ancient earth caused a 400 feet deep salt deposit.  It kind of blows your mind to think that the earth has changed so much. 

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8631

This huge salt block is one of the things on display.  But of course the walls, ceiling and floor are also made of salt. 

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8632

So after the Permian period and the mass extinction, dinosaurs and the earth making it to the present eon....  salt was eventually discovered and mined in this town on the plains.    The Carey Salt Mine was formed. 

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8648

Now we move to the twentieth century...

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8650

You can see how salt causes the artifacts to rust.  

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8651

How would you like to ride to your job on this? 

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8652

See the reflectors on the ceiling? 

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8653

I think museums like this are just as important as art museums.  This museum pairs natural history with an education about how things work, our infrastructure.   It is also featured on an episode of Modern Marvels and Dirty Jobs.   But you can't get a good grasp on how the world works until you experience things like this.  

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8654

More mining artifacts.  

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8657

So, one of my favorite parts of the mine was the tractor (which I wasn't expecting to see 650 feet underground). 

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8662

So here it is... Voyager * Yes! Like Star Trek.  I mean who hasn't watched all the Star Trek Voyager episodes at least twice?   I like Star Trek, I've watched Star Trek of some sort my entire life.   

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8659

I've also been around a lot of antique tractors!  So here you go.  This is awesome. 

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8663

This is just too interesting... so here is more. 

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8664

I'm going to have to break this post up into two separate posts.

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8665

Have you read enough about the tractor in the salt mine? 

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8667

Anyways so back to some more interesting stuff 650 feet below Kansas.  

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8712

The earth movers, the salt shakers...

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8738

You also go on guided tours once you're in the mine. This is what a collapsed ceiling looks like.    

Strataca Salt Mine Museum in Hutchinson Kansas by Joy Franklin-8743

 

So I'm about to end this post and will continue it tomorrow.  This is one of the neatest places in Kansas! To be continued! 

 


Santa Fe Depot Museum at Pauls Valley Oklahoma

So, while my oldest was learning to parallel park (I know, I know, I could teach her but everyone who rides with me is terrified). She terrifies me when she's driving and I can't handle it very well.  My anxiety does not make for a good drivers education teacher.    But there you again train travelin'...

Pauls Valley Train Depot Museum BNSF Train-7877

So the boy and I were waiting on the action figure museum to open.  But, fortunately we didn't have to be bored we could go in the old Santa Fe depot and check out that museum. 

Pauls Valley Train Depot Museum BNSF Train-7894

Anyways here is a train.  I assume people like rail photography for the aesthetics of the lines the same as liking a nice photograph of a empty highway or light trails or a barbed wire fence.  Plus they're easy to shoot.  I guess that's why portrait photographers like to get run over on the tracks and people want their photos done on the rails - which is dangerous.  This train was going fast... like really fast.  Okay, enough with that, next up the museum...

Pauls Valley Train Depot Museum -7808

The teen wasn't overly interested in this museum.  

Pauls Valley Train Depot Museum BNSF Train-7862

I love these displays filled with tiny remnants of the past...  

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The past is what it should be the past.   Just a memory to forget, or remember depending on the lessons that it teaches us.  

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There are things in everyone's past that need to be forgotten, yet if we forget for too long are we doomed to repeat history.  

Pauls Valley Train Depot Museum -7865

We hang on to the past; good and bad. Often only the bad memories remain- because those cause the most emotion.  But, with photography and much of what ends up in museums, the physical remnants are usually positive.  

Pauls Valley Train Depot Museum -7869

I would SO love this to use with infant photography.  So cool.   

Pauls Valley Train Depot Museum -7871

This is a neat museum, worth stopping to experience the local history.  There are a lot of little museums like this.  Down the road in the town of Davis you can find a similar museum (which I have photos of and I don't think I ever posted or processed).  

Pauls Valley Train Depot Museum -7872

My inner history teacher loves these old maps.  

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Fonts!  Fonts were important back in the day too!  

Pauls Valley Train Depot Museum -7807

Here is Mr. Garvin of Garvin County.  It's so weird to think of a person as being the reason behind a place name.  Of course, these places always had a name, but the settlers came in and renamed these places.  

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I photographed this in 2013.  What I find the most interesting is how differently I edit.  

Paul Valley Oklahoma in 2013

Pauls Valley Train Depot Museum -7973

And this is true,  and I like the memorials all around the park.  Did you see my previous post about The Heartland Flyer-  we have decided that we need to take the train to Fort Worth soon and have that experience! 

Pauls Valley Train Depot Museum -7977

But if you're in Pauls Valley, go ahead and take a few minutes to stop and explore the history at the Santa Fe Depot Museum and then head over to the Toy Action Figure Museum (which is really neat). 

 


Toy Action Figure Museum in Pauls Valley Oklahoma

So, it's been a couple  of years since I've stopped at Pauls Valley and yesterday I had to be there for a few hours.  My oldest son and I decided to visit the museums in town and the Toy Action Figure Museum was the main attraction. 

Action Figure museum in Paul's Valley -7968

Oh hey!  I love this museum already! 

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I was too lazy to go across the street and get a good shot of the building. 

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Godzilla! 

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So this is a pretty cool place!  I bet if you're a ten year old boy it's a dream world.  

Action Figure museum in Pauls Valley -7900

 

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It doesn't take very long to walk through the museum so even if you're stopping off the interstate you won't have to worry about messing your schedule up. 

Action Figure museum in Pauls Valley -7913

Then we went into the Batman room. 

Action Figure museum in Pauls Valley -7918

Star Wars Episode I.  

Action Figure museum in Pauls Valley -7919

Or Star Trek?  I actually watch more Star Trek than Star Wars. 

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Lots of stuff to look at. 

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Wise Master Yoda is... 

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Vadar and Boba guard the restrooms. 

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Super hero underwear. 

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I think this would look awesome in my living room. 

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What time is it?  It's SUPER HERO TIME. 

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I approve of Han Solo.  

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The Doctor will see you now...

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"Don't make me angry.." 

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The Simpsons.  

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No comment needed... 

Action Figure museum in Pauls Valley -7961

I don't have a lot to say about the museum but it's pretty neat and your kids will love it. It also has the nice nostalgia factor for you or your loved ones.  So if you're on I35 heading to Dallas or further south stop on by.   


It Belongs In A Museum!

"It Belongs in a Museum"  - - This  article just came out that the Museum of the Great Plains is Set to Close For Major Renovation Project.   

Ice Storm in Rush Springs OK 12-2013-7726

Because I feel very fortunate to know of this project I was contacted about some ice storm images from last December.  So, I pulled out my archives and gave them a fresh edit.  I hope one is used but if not, I got to revisit some old images.   

Ice storm in Stephens County -7463-2

I enjoyed taking a break from portrait editing to go through these images I shot last winter. It's funny because last winter I was in camera despair, my favorite lens that came with my Canon 7D, the 28-135 was broken. I spent most of my time shooting with my first lens purchase which I made Christmas of 2010, a Canon 55-250 zoom lens which is a world away from what I use now, yet I still like my landscape photos from it. 

Ice Storm in Rush Springs OK 12-2013 matte-7907'

It's late and here is a reminder about what a wonder winter can be.  I'm just fine without ice storms though.  :-)  It is bedtime for me.  Goodnight readers.   

  


Seeing the Sights in Abilene

So today I'm no longer sick in Manhattan. In fact I ventured away from the Little Apple to the town of Abilene to visit the Eisenhower library and museum.   Eisenhower's hometown is Abilene Texas.  It is an interesting town, the railhead for the Chisholm Trail; museums, mansions and a lot of history. 

6-2-2014 Flint Hills and Abilene Kansas  WM-1664

Oh Abilene, there are more posts to come from today's photos (over 400) but to give you a glimpse into my busy day sightseeting up here in the Flint Hills.

6-2-2014 Flint Hills and Abilene Kansas  WM-1666

By the time I made it to Abilene, like my hometown of Duncan it is another Chisholm Trail town. 

6-2-2014 Flint Hills and Abilene Kansas  WM BNSF train depot with train going by-1693

I was told in the visitor's center that Abilene was the home to three train depots.  I imagine so, considering the volume of cattle that came through here in the late 19th century. 

6-2-2014 Flint Hills and Abilene Kansas  American Indian Art Center-1716

This was an interesting place! I had a good discussion with the owner about Native culture and history.   I will be posting more photos of it. 

6-2-2014 Flint Hills and Abilene Kansas  Eisenhower Museum and Library-1959

Next stop, made by the dutiful registered Republican (I'm a libertarian but I tend to vote to the right).  I made my way to visit my first Presidential Library and museum. It was more interesting than I anticipated.  

6-2-2014 Flint Hills and Abilene Kansas D-Day paper from eisenhower museum-1797

So since we're nearing the anniversary of D-Day this week. Guess what - my wifi is awfully slow.  So this is all there will be for this post!  Tomorrow the adventure continues.

 


The Hastings Museum

We picked up some flyers for other museums while visiting Red Cloud and my Son decided he wanted to go to The Hastings Museum in Hastings Nebraska.  I had intended on going to the Pioneer Village in Minden but he didn't really consider those to be museums.  I aso like to visit the natural history museums so it sounded pretty interesting.  

The Hastings Museum in Hastings Nebraska-0200
We found it, only about 45 minutes north of Red Cloud. 

The Hastings Museum in Hastings Nebraska-0206
It has an imax theater but my fifteen year old can't watch those films, it makes him sick. We know we've had him get sick or almost sick all three times we've taken him to view a film at these theaters. Not a good idea. 

The Hastings Museum the bear exhibit-0207
We walk into the museum and see the stuffed animals and my son proclaims that "This is a museum."  So, apparently the only museums that count are natural history museums.  

The Hastings Museum the badgers-0215
I have a badger story to tell from our Nebraska journey.  It was not these badgers who were sacrificed to be on permanent display for science decades ago, this is a real live badger story.   We were going to take tubes from Naponee Nebraska to Bloomfield Nebraska and float down the river, well this began as a fun afternoon but soon we discovered that we were walking and pulling our tubes down a partially dried up river.   With a 10,12,15,20,36, and two over 40 and Buddy the dog we discovered that a few miles down the river was a very long afternoon.  So, it was decided that I would leave the river and run back to where the vehicles were parked and return to rescue the family.  Of course, I'm in an unknown place with no cell phone and wasn't sure how many miles we'd went down the river.  I left the river and headed across a huge field to find the road, but as I finally made it to the road I saw a critter meandering across the road.  Very slowly, it was broad daylight and I knew it wasn't a skunk or a raccoon by how it walked. It was in no hurry.  I then deduced that it was a badger.  Badgers are not known for their docile personalities.   So, I returned to the field and began walking and saw him peeking up at me from the side of the road.  No, I really don't want further encounters with badgers.  I did make it back to the car in about a half an hour and returned to rescue the poor tired crew.  So, that was off topic, but I will always associate badgers with Nebraska.  

The Hastings Museum -0218
I know these animals were at one time hunted. But I enjoy the displays and believe you can learn from them in these older museum exhibits.  

The Hastings Museum -0222
The Polar Bears.  I'm afraid I will have to split this post up and show you more of the museum, it had a lot of exhibits. 

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We went to the In The Dark exhibit...

Rowan in the bat head at Hastings Museum -0234
We got to experience what it felt like to be a bat. 

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I'm a bat.  

Dorothy Lynch Salad Dressing from Nebraska-0238
When I was a kid I didn't eat ranch.  We always had Dorothy Lynch dressing a Nebraska invention. 

Dorothy Lynch Salad Dressing from Nebraska-0240
I am tired and will end with Kool-Aid. 

Kool-Aid exhibit at the Hastings Museum-0261
More to come on the Hastings Museum, the Kool-Aid exhibit is pretty neat.