Wednesday, November 5, 2014

W.M. Keck Museum--Fun with Minerals, Fossils, and a Tea Service

 During our fall break with its focus on culture, I told the kids we were going to concentrate on museums instead of hiking. Believe it or not, they were happy about that. Our first museum of the trip was the W.M. Keck Museum in the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering. We had looked at their website before we went to get the address, and went there. But that ended up being the general address for the University of Nevada-Reno. After wandering in circles for awhile we got directions, left the parking garage, and drove to the other end of campus, where we fortunately found a parking spot and then did the short walk to the museum.

We had the museum all to ourselves, which after our experience at Sand Mountain, was quite welcome.

On the first floor we saw hundreds of different minerals. We oohed and ahhed as we went past.

Then we headed downstairs, where we saw real gold--both on rocks and on the Mackay tea service. The kids were more interested in it than I thought they would be.

Next we headed upstairs, to see some fossils.

I was also quite interested in the carbide lamp collection, as that became the primary lighting source for miners in 1896 (before that they used candle lanterns). Cavers used carbide lamps for decades. I even used one when I started caving, but after having super hot water run down my face because I didn't have it adjusted quite right, I decided to stick with electric. Nowadays most cavers use electric lights, which over the years have become smaller and brighter.

As we were leaving the museum, a staff person stopped us and let the kids pick out a rock. They were both delighted! We used the restroom and I admired the beautiful radiator. A heating duct next to it blew hot air.

Then we took a little detour into the library and found this electric vehicle that had been built for Burning Man. The sign welcomed folks to give it a ride.

It only took about half an hour to see everything at kid speed (we didn't read much), but we all had a good time. Then we got back to the van before the parking meter ran out (we didn't have many coins with us). I was so impressed that I had actually parallel parked. That's not a skill I need out on the ranch!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

blogger templates