July 6, 2018
As mentioned in an earlier post, Chloe and I both love rocks so it was with glad hearts that we discovered Michigan Tech has a museum totally dedicated to rocks (well, OK, minerals… which are rocks). For a nominal fee, you can explore the museum to your heart’s content; or as much as you can fit into two consecutive days.
You enter through a nice gift shop, pay your fee and get a map. Yes, there is a map to show you where to find all the different collections. They have rocks from all over the world. The museum is mainly case after lighted case of neatly labeled minerals. Many sections have scientific explanations on the formation of the minerals and some have maps showing where those specific specimens were found.
John turned the camera over to Chloe and she took pictures of just about every rock in the building. We have sprinkled a sampling throughout this posting. There is a MUST SEE room in the back corner of the museum – fluorescent minerals. They have a little video that explains how different lights affect the different minerals then they turn the lights on in the display cases so you can see the glow. We watched the film and lights twice just because it was so cool.
Outside the glow room is a display about mining, minerals and how we use them in our every day life. It was pretty cool seeing what is in our food, toothpaste and other products until I got to the part that said there is titanium in Oreo cookies. I thought, no way! Naturally I checked a package on our next shopping trip and while titanium isn’t specifically listed, just about everything we eat has “natural flavor and color”… and minerals definitely qualify as natural. Makes you wonder.
Once you’ve had your fill of rocks (never!), head on out to the gift shop where they have inexpensive items up to really not inexpensive but gorgeous items for sale. Our pocketbook was saved by our motto “If it doesn’t fit in my motor home, I don’t need it”… sadly rocks fall into the too heavy to drag around category. However, we could drag a few for a short trip so Chloe was allowed to purchase a few souvenirs.
Outside of the museum is a nice, small garden with a few picnic tables. We noticed right away that very few of the plants had identification tags. It took a few extra moments to notice that it was the ROCKS that were tagged. So, naturally we had to wander the garden and visit all the rocks.
The last item here is the Copper Pavilion, just a short walk down the sidewalk. This shelters a 17 ton, world record piece of native copper. Look how cute and little John looks in front of it.
So if you have any rock hounds or budding geologists in your group, a trip to this museum is a must.