Monday, May 29, 2000

Greetings from the Great Wet North. Yesterday dawned sunny and pleasant - the view from the cottage was worth a million. This didn't last too long, and by noon it was getting drippy. After lingering over coffee and enjoying the surroundings (it was Sunday after all, and all good valley folks, being of Methodist upbringing were off at church).Got our selves underway to pay the first visit to the mine for the season. First stopped off at the Durham Dales Center, picked up some maps for Jonina, and visited with Marie at Gem Craft. The shop had been nicely remodeled, and they actually had some mineral specimens - courtesy of the Lawsons. Seems we're providing some motivation for the local competition. Marie, for those who have not met her is a very nice and very talkative lady. We got to hear, in excruciating detail, all about who a black bird had gotten into the shop recently, and in attempting to get it out, various parties had broken a window, a glass case, and reeked general havoc. She seems keen on getting more Rogerley fluorite, and said people had been inquiring about it.

The spring bank holiday weekend brings motorcycle trials to the Rogerley quarry, so the place was full of dirt bikers when we arrived, roaring up hills and trying not to fall over in the mud. A couple of folks stopped by the container to see what we were up to, and after getting the story about mining for mineral specimens seemed sufficiently satisfied (or perhaps confused) and wandered on. The mine looks in good order. There has been a slight rock slide onto the platform, which should take less than a day to clear off. The "Volkswagen" block is still hovering above the portal, and Byron was suggesting we just shoot it instead of waiting for it to come down some winter. It looks like it will stay put for the short term. Alistar kindly had moved the compressor back to the mine for us. The battery was, of course, dead so we will need to get it charged, but won't have need of the compressor for a few days yet. After checking in on the mine we wandered up into the west section of the quarry in order to get a look at the "Sutcliffe" vein outcrop. During the original quarrying the mineralized areas were avoided as they contaminated the limestone. this makes the veins quite easy to find as then are in rock promontories projecting into the quarry. One can see numerous cavities in the wall at several horizons. Lots of coral fossils to be seen as well. It's going to be difficult getting a trend on the vein from the quarry face, and with all the cyclists buzzing about, I didn't feel like going up top to see if I could follow the vein trace. Besides, the rain was getting serious about that time. Something to do after we get up and running.

Returned to the cottage and got hold of Lindsay. We are going over to Kendal today for a 2PM get together with him, Patricia, and Mick. Need to retrieve the diamond saw, check on the status of the various blasting permits, and make arrangements to pay for and get the hydraulic source transported to the mine. Lindsay was very apologetic about the fact that mice appear to have gotten into the bunker and found the rubber handle on the saw rather tasty. If that's the worst of our problems, then we've gotten off easy. Lindsay also says that he and Patricia are putting their personal collection up for sale. Seems that the local tax laws wave any capital gains for three years following a serious illness, so they are taking advantage of this. sounds dangerous. home equity loan anyone?

Went up to Rookhope for dinner with Steve. Food was great, lots of new beers to try. The pub was reasonably busy. He says that he will make us pan hackledy if we give him a days notice. He also wants more fluorite to decorate the place, and mentioned he'd be willing to sell some to the tourists who pass through. Perhaps another small way to sell the average stuff, or at least pay for the bar tab.

Mark Watson says he will be open today, but we're not sure when as this being a holiday weekend meant that the pubs were busy last night. He might get moving a bit late. Hopefully he'll be in this morning as we need to get the car and put in an order for off road diesel before heading to Kendal.

Jim is asking me to ask Kerith who the local supplier for plastic abrasive powder is. I hope Kerith knows.

Sun is peaking through the clouds, Byron is winning at solitaire, and I guess it's time to get moving for the day.

Cheers,

Jesse, Byron,Jim,and the still sleeping Jonina.



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