Sunday, November 05, 2006

stop 2: national chloride

I did a fair bit of jumping on this trip...

National Chloride is a brine-producing company. They dig trenches in the desert where there is a thick rock salt layer. They add water to these rock salt trenches or let groundwater/seasonal water fill them in naturally, this obviously produces quite salty water. They sell this to Del Monte mainly, and Del Monte uses it to make pickles.

From our perspective, the salt that precipitates from evaporation on the sides of the trenches (and on the neighbouring salt flat) "solar salt" is pretty. Also the blue-green of the brine is pretty.

Matthew: "can I taste it?" me: "sure, it's just salt water" Matthew: "is it salty like the ocean?" me: "it's probably saltier" Matthew: "but I can taste it? really?" me: "if you want"
Then he and several others went down to the briney edge, tasted it, cringed and declared "ewww, that's really salty"

Riley, the faithful, genuinely enjoying every second of the long long day.

Pretty salt precipitates.

While some were tasting the brine, others wandered out onto the salt flat (Mojave's answer to Death Valley's "Devil's Golf Course") and enjoyed the crunch of the pristine white salt "ice" beneath their feet.

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