Pass the salt, please…

You know it occurred to me.  It has been a long cold snowy and icy winter.  Has it seemed that way to you?  Seems like it snows every day.  A couple of weeks ago I made a comment that it snowed just enough every day to be a nuisance, and wouldn’t you know it, we got dumped with 6-8 inches. 

Well this has not only been on strain on the homeowner, but it has been a strain on many of the communities in Michigan, already hard hit by the economy.  Now we are going to throw a nasty winter on top of it. 

 Snow removal fascinates me.  We can get 8-10 inches of snow and we may be out of commission for a few hours.  In a few hours time, the state, the counties and the cities rev up their snow plows and salt trucks, clear the streets and away we go.  Pickup truck with snow plows make their rounds clearing parking lots all over town.  The cities even have an annual snowplow rodeo competition to see who can remove snow the fastest.  The buzz of snowblowers fills the air.  And then there is the salt.

It really is remarkable how valuable the salt we trample under out feet can be this time of year.  Due to all the snow and ice, many communities have run out of salt.  In the summer they estimate how much salt they will need, place their orders and stock up on salt.  Where does all this salt come from?  Where do they keep it and what would we do with out it?

As far as where it comes from, much of our road salt comes from the Detroit Salt Mine.  The Detroit Salt mine covers over 1500 acres, with over 100 miles of roads and has been in operation over 100 years over 1100 feet beneath the city of Detroit.  At one time you could get a tour, but not any more. 

You can learn more about Detroit Salt at this link

Have you noticed a little more snow on the roads?  The reason is that many communities have run out of salt.  They buy it on a contract in the Summer and unless you want to pay 3 prices for you can’t get.  I know several of the communities in the Greater Lenawee area have run out of salt.  One County had to “borrow” salt from one of their cities just to try and make it through. 

But boy does salt do the job on streets and roads.  We were driving through subdivision the other day reading meters and parts of the streets in the “subs” were clear and part were not.  There were also signs that indicated “no salt”.  When inquiring minds wanted to know they found that the streets had just be repaved and the city waits for a year for the new concrete to “cure” before they allow salt to be used.  What a mess!!!  Ice all over the street and sand over the top.  Not very safe.  What a graphic depiction of what “the salt of the earth” can do.  Powerful stuff. 

 Personally, I don’t use much salt on my food.  I was told it would raise your blood pressure so I never used much of it.  I am more of a sugar addict that a salt-a-holic anyway.  Sugar probably is not too good either. 

Well, I must be off…

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