Birthday

Great Salt Plains Selenite Crystal Digging Area.

Or something like that. It’s also called Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge. It’s so confusing.

I call it Crystal Lake, but it resembles Camp Green Lake from the movie Holes.

Anyway, the place is difficult to find on a map to use GPS for some reason but it really is easy to find when you’re there. It’s in between Jet and Cherokee, OK and there are big signs pointing down the roads you need to turn on.

That’s where my family and I went for my birthday this year. It’s free, except for gas to drive there and meals. It’s a dried up lake (I’m guessing? I should look it up but nah, I’ll keep guessing) and these little dirt/salt crystals form and you can dig for them.

This is me, looking like The Grudge trying to dig for Yelnats treasure. You know I’m probably just looking for Kate’s lipstick. Or I could be digging up Jason? I do like his mask.

Me

This is what the crystals look like. Salt and dirt, like I said. These are leftovers from our last trip like maybe 6 years ago. I had a few from this trip but lost them. I came home with some of the kids digging tools and lost that bowl I was using in the picture above. I didn’t lose it at the digging site, it must be in someone’s trunk or with their stuff.

Those weren’t the best ones. I gave quite a few of them away.

Here is what the place looks like.

The road

A storm was coming in. It got really cold after a while. It’s usually burning up and super bright. I warn everyone to wear a hat and sunglasses. I usually take an umbrella because I want to be fancy like that but the wind was out of control so I didn’t get to use it. The white areas are where you dig. But they section it so the crystals will have time to reform in the other areas so you’re limited to one digging part each year. The rest of the sections are closed.

So normally when we’re here, there is never more than three vehicles (if even that many), including ours, that are here to dig but I guess the Quarantine People have been coming here all this time. There were around 8-10 vehicles already parked and a couple of more driving up when we arrived. And they had the big shovels, like they were planning to dig underground shelters and tunnels. I was disappointed at how much the place was dug up, and it’s only May. I don’t even remember it being this bad in late August. At this time you wouldn’t even need sunglasses because there was barely any salt on the surface to reflect the sun.

Dug TF up

As far as you can see.

It’s all right though. Next year the pandemic could be over and Quarantine People will be back to their usual crowded public places with each other and we can come back here and have the place to ourselves again.

This is some of my family.

Somewhat social distancing

Around 6 pm, people started leaving so we did eventually get the place to ourselves. It’s open from sunrise to sunset. But sunset was about to happen soon because of the storm so we left. Plus the wind was getting colder and colder.

Before going home, when you’re away from the dig site, be prepared to stop somewhere to clean your shoes and get a carwash and maybe change your clothes. You want to take water for digging in case it hasn’t rained recently and the ground is dry. So we always have extra. This wasn’t even our water, but it ended up with us! Haha. It belonged to either my sister or mom but like I said earlier about my stuff, everyone’s belongings seemed to get mixed up.

That was my second favorite part of the trip-hanging out at the carwash in the dark pouring water on our shoes. That had to be a funny sight.

My mom said her memorable moment was me getting stopped by the police for speeding. I didn’t get a ticket luckily, and the officer was very nice. And young. And cute. But they take their speed limits seriously around those towns and I appreciate that. I’m so used to driving in 75 speed limit zones where everyone else is going well over 85.

But my mom…I don’t know what it is with her and me being a criminal daughter. Read this. Haha.

My first favorite part of the trip was before we even started, when we stopped at Target. I made masks for the kids and my dad but I didn’t put the ties in so we all had to stand around in the parking lot assembling them before going into the store.

Mom, Dad, Niecey, Sis, Niecey

You should take a trip up there sometime. It’s a lot of fun and not expensive at all. You won’t find any treasure or lipstick or jars of peaches and I hope you don’t find a Jason but you’ll go home with memories and crystal dirt!

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