Wednesday, May 16, 2018

a good day

As I said on Twitter: "More days like this, please." (Edited to add Laura's photo; now I'm glad I stayed up a bit later)

Laura and I had plans to meet up in Grand Saline. I had a map, though I wound up taking a different route (69 to Emory, get on 19, take it to 80, which takes you right to the Salt Palace - which was the destination.

Like me, Laura seems to like these little unusual roadside attractions - I think she had been there before but I had not. (And now I can check it off on Atlas Obscura from my "list of places I want to go")

The Salt Palace is a monument to the history of Grand Saline - a big salt deposit (a salt dome with brine, and I know just enough geology to expect that some of the nearby oil deposits are probably associated with it). Apparently there was even a salt marsh sort of thing years and years back - the ancestors of the Caddo tribe would boil the water to get the salt. (I suspect salt was a valuable trade item with people living in areas not near an ocean or salt deposits).

The Salt Palace itself was made out of rock salt. I guess they have it under a pretty deep roof to protect it from starting to melt in the rain). They say people try to lick it but of course they discourage that, so there was an irresistible photo op)

(At some later point, if she gets the picture she took of me posted, there will be a photo of me pretending to prepare to lick the Salt Palace that Laura took. Think Flick getting ready to stick his tongue to the flagpole in "A Christmas Story" and you've pretty much got it)

And here it is. I don't know whether to day "BREAKIN' THE LAW! BREAKIN' THE LAW!" (they supposedly ask you not to lick the salt palace but it's not REALLY against any law I know) or "Bad girls, bad girls, what'chu gonna do?"

This just cracks me up because I am normally 100% the rule-follower and it amuses me to contemplate breaking a rule. (Not that I would....licking a salt wall that has air pollution on it and probably bacteria, ew.)

There was a short video showing how the salt was mined - the Grand Saline plant is still active but I guess they mostly do kosher salt and ice-cream-maker salt. (I was early and drove on down 110 - South Main - to see what else was there and I saw where the plant was)

They had souvenirs. And one of the consolations of being a grown-up adult with an income: no parents telling you not to spend your money on that stuff. So, souvenirs were had:


Because how could you NOT? (Spoiler alert: I did not actually lick the Salt Palace.)

There was also one that declared the area "SALTY. since 800 AD" which it funny given the current slang meaning of "Salty" (Laura bought that one but I liked this t-shirt even better).

They also had one of those penny machines, which was the sort of thing I loved as a kid but never got to use because I was told not to spend my money on it. But they had one, it was 51 cents to use it (50 cents plus the penny that gets squished), and really, what can you get for 51 cents any more? (And it's possible some of that 50 cents goes to the museum, anyway).

I had to tweak the photo a little (lightening it and making the contrast more...contrasty) but here is my squished penny:


Yeah, I kind of like the "I licked the Salt Palace" trope.

From there, we went on to Mineola. Got burgers at the East Texas Burger Company (I got a cheese-garlic burger). We walked around and looked in some of the antique shops, then ran over to Stitchin' Heaven, which is a large and excellent quilt shop. I got some fabric:


The top two are "I just liked them" fabrics (though they might factor into the pink/green/brown quilt I am planning) and the lower two are for the tiled-garden quilt I am planning to do.

Laura got some fabric, too, including a piece to go in an ongoing "travel crazy quilt" she's making.

We ran back into Mineola, went to another, large, antique shop (I bought a souvenir plate, which I forgot to photograph featuring the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Then, it was time to part ways - Laura had a last-minute gig, and anyway, I needed to get on home. But it was a good day and we have tentative plans to try to meet up for one of the big sales in Canton later this summer.

On the way home, the temptation to go to a SECOND out-of-the-way quilt shop (well, coupled with the need to stop for a bathroom break) was too great, and I stopped at Quilt Mercantile in Celeste. And bought some more fabric:


The butterfly fabric is to go with a layer cake of similar fabrics I have, and the other fabric is for my pink-and-green quilt. And the scissors are because I have five or six pairs of little scissors for my knitting kit and I CANNOT CURRENTLY FIND ANY OF THEM. And the pattern is for a quilt that looks like the old granny-square afghans. I'm not sure if I'd ever make it (those are awfully tiny pieces) but it looks cool and I might give it a try.

The drive home was long, in part because at one point I got trapped behind a crew spraying oil on the gravel berms of the road and it was a v. long several miles before they pulled off to the side and we could all pass them. 

No comments: