July 28, 2000

It has been warm here but the weather alternates from sunny to cloudy to rain and then back to sunny. Late in the afternoon large thunder clouds appeared and that was the source of the rain. Didn't realize it until on our way to the pub after work, every time lightening would flash there was a burst of static on the radio although we didn't see the flashes.

Dave and I started mucking out our new drift first thing today. We wanted to give Byron a place to dig and the greens are priority. We didn't quite muck out the entire tunnel when we pulled up a large rock from the floor that contained a medium size cavity of green fluorite crystals. Cal is always wanting us to cut out any cavity intact, he says they are in great demand. We don't see to many that are esthetic and retrievable. So we stopped at that point to allow Byron to start cutting out the exposed crystals.

While Byron was digging in the new drift, Dave and I started mucking out the main tunnel. We are nearly at the end of the 18 foot sliders and can put in a new set of track after the next round. We only had the usual types of problems, the mucker jumping off the tracks and the ore car jumping off the tracks, each happened several times. At least the mucker is self propelled and is somewhat easy to get back on but the ore car is another story. We have been pulling the thing out of the tunnel using the tugger and it's kind of funny to see Dave come running out after the car as it comes barreling out of the tunnel entrance trying to stop it. After the hump in the tunnel, there is enough of a down hill slope for it to gain some velocity and it's a bugger to try and stop. Several times to slammed into the tugger mounted at the end of the tracks and once it hit hard enough to jump off the tracks and, of coarse, no where near where we dump. So Dave had to bring the mucker out from the face and use it to put the car back on the tracks. If we are not watching the ore car will jump the tracks at the switch while we are pushing it back in the tunnel. Apparently, as the car comes out of the tunnel the points springs out to the middle of the switch so the car can't enter either tunnel. On it's way back in, it goes right up the middle. At least an empty ore car is easier to handle than a fully loaded one and we don't need the mucker to put it right.

We have been talking about timbering the new drift and today a largish piece of the ceiling came down. Luckily no one was near it when it came down but now we must move to do something, otherwise, it will continue to come down. Since the tunnel is somewhat narrow we are thinking to jam timber across the roof of the tunnel from side to side and not use any legs for support. This way we will still have the room necessary to work and still have a safe roof. Next week we will order the timber and lagging and start installing it following the tunnel as it moves through the "flat".

Tomorrow is Sat and I'm not sure whether we can get explosives or not. If we can we will probably drill and shoot both tunnels again. If not we will finish mucking out the new drift, scale as much as possible and prepare for the timbering.

Till tomorrow, Cheers, Jim

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