June 21, 2000

It a bit rainy and drippy today, so its a paperwork day. We are still digging. Not to the back of the green yeeeet. But we are much closer. I imagine about the time that Bill arrives we will be there. Dave (our miner) needed to have the 4th of July off, so we did some swapping and managed to get the 3rd and 4th off, with everyone still getting their 40+ hours. Dave makes up the day he would have lost and we traded a Saturday for a Monday. So the gang and Bill are going to Scotland. We have two days. It didn't make sense to try this on a summer weekend. If we get to the greens though, all bets are off. Everyone is getting itchy. Scotland is nice, but would rather have rock.

Other than that, Paul called yesterday. He is in the wilds of the Isle of Skye. Apparently found a fossil digger up there. The gentleman is taking him out to look for ammonites today. He won't be showing up here until at least Friday. Fun is being had by all. I'm trying to track down Pam to tell her of the delay.

Anyway back to business. Last Saturday the guys took the rebuilt pump and placed it back in the compressor. Second try finally got it in sync. But still not happy. I filled the garage with the rock the guys have been bringing. I need to make a run to Killhope to drop rock soon. Lots of shiny bits, but no great shakes. Some yellowish crystals in the back, but highly unstable to sunlight. Byron put two little ones out in the sun, and they were clear in a few hours. I'm going to box purples later today. Dave R. is still coming by to look, but hasn't surfaced yet. I may go to Barnard Castle and chase him down. GemCraft is full up right now.

Sunday we took Jim to Housesteads at Hadrian's Wall. Byron and I had both been there, but Jim had not. Hasn't changed at all. Is a truly great piece of history. If you ever want to visit Hadrian's Wall, this is hands down the place to go. We all then went to a museum called Vindolanda. Not far from Housesteads. Absolutely incredible. It blew all three of us away. The sight has had three wood forts and five (?) stone forts built on it. There was a treasure trove of letters, leather and other amazing things found there. It sits on the site of a natural spring (artesian). The mud has managed to create small pockets of sealed packets around vast areas on site. The museum foundation is gradually stripping the layers and exposing these wonders. Right now they are exposing a bath house that seated a thousand men. Most of the letters and leather they found was Pre-Hadrian. There is an incredible amount of information to be had from these treasures. They have about another 200 years of digging to do. Byron commented that we came too early. Got a good chuckle out of the archeologist. He was wonderful about explaining what they are doing. Teaches during the year. Is a good insightful lecturer. One that makes History interesting. Definitely a must go sight.

Monday - They guys went back to work on the compressor and the tunnel. I set off for Kendal to pick up explosives. 5 hours later I returned. Talked to Mick and Lindsay about supplies and slushers. They are fine. Picked up cables for the Emco and 10' of reinforced hosing for the compressor connection. Byron had the injectors from the compressor out when I got back. They were also incredibly clogged. Took them to Peter in Tantobie to get them fixed/cleaned. He had them done in an hour. This guy is good. Back to the quarry with the injectors and antifreeze. Just in time to set the round off. Got good breakage. Headed for home.

Tuesday - I went to Kendal again and the guys mucked and drilled. When I got back, Byron tried to jump the compressor with the red car battery. Eventually I took the battery to Mark's. The compressor should be working once we get a charged battery. In theory. I hope so, they have tried. I then went to the bank and then to Consett for shopping. On the way back some German/Swiss/Austrian(???) driver sped past me shaking his fist and yelling. Now I know the road to Consett rather well by now. There is an S curve down and up a bank (where a mill used to be) that is rather tight up ahead. Hence, the other two cars and I having slowed down. We all slowed way down. Sure enough the one time that a Big truck would be coming down the hill this hot shot was going up. Let me tell you there is no room for the truck and a car. The truck always wins. The German now has a very skinny car. The truck waved us through and we watched the Germans jumping up and down. No one was hurt, but lots of pride was. I then arrived home to rain and record keeping.

Today is the longest day of the year. It cloudy so hard to enjoy. Maybe it'll clear latter. Hope all is fine and well. Talk to everyone soon. Cheers Jonina

P.S. Kirstie's baby is adorable. I even got to hold him. Dinsdale the hedgehog of in back of the house wandering. All is well.

Part 2

Greeting from the again Great Wet North. Back to the normal weather. It has been oscillating between rain, just clouds and some occasional sunshine. Every time I look out the portal I see something different but always windy, very cold penetrating wind. Well, what did I expect on the Moors in Northern England? The farmers are happy except those who cut their hay in the last few days.

We mucked out the tunnel from the previous shot and took some measurements which I will plot tonight. We are against a solid wall on the right side of the tunnel due to a rather large crack that has not had the impact of our blasting. The trend of the crack is about 15 degrees off the trend of the main tunnel but I guess we have only 10 to 15 feet to go to intersect the green pocket. In that distance we would only be off 3 to 4 feet and it would be nice to have a solid wall on one side at least.

I went to get diesel after lunch, now we have two full barrels that should last for a while. When I returned Byron and Dave decided that we couldn't afford the 3 or 4 foot difference and put in 4 holes at an acute angle in the solid wall right on the right side to enlarge the tunnel to the full width we intended to have. Dave overloaded the holes and really shattered it, looks like we will have to do some timbering in our new tunnel as well as the old tunnel just adjacent to it.

The battery is not back for the compressor from being recharged so we don't know whether or not the thing will run yet. And we are out of powder. Jonina called Mick and he says that the powder should be here tomorrow so she's off to make another powder run in the morning. If all goes well we should be in the green pocket in another 2 or 3 rounds.

Well, tomorrow is another day. Bye from the gang. Jim



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