Summer Road Trip – 180813 Day 9 Boron CA/Homeward Bound

August 15, 2018 Paul Groves

We had Breakfast with Peggy and Cliff, said our goodbyes, and headed home.

About an hour after we started we arrived at the California state line.  Just on the other side was the Solar Plant that I mentioned on Day 1.  Took a couple more pictures.

Rather than continue down the 15, we decided to take highway 58.  Along the way we stopped at the small town of Boron!  It is home to the huge open pit Borax mine of “Twenty Mule Team” fame.  

The picture of the badges are of workers who used to work underground in the mine before it became an open pit.

It’s a sad fact these days that towns like Boron that used to see lots of tourists for both the mine and space museum are now very seldom visited.  In fact the space museum next to the mine museum was closed because they couldn’t find anyone to run it.  I suspect the mine museum will follow shortly (there is a great visitors center at the mine if you’re in the area).

BTW, that block of black Stone was used by JPL to develop drill bits that are currently in use on the Martian rovers!

Paul was interested in the chemistry of the borax (sodium borate) being mined in the area.  He always knew of borax as a laundry additive and it’s use to make slime from PVA (polyvinyl alcohol), but it has hundreds of other uses in industry such as a way to adjust pH, a flame retardant, a preservative just to name a few.

A short hour later, we were home!!