August 22, 2000

It's the time of year that the weather can't make up it's mind. Today it was a nice pleasant day, about 60 degrees or so. We heard this morning that it snowed 6 inches to the south of, not to the north as I said yesterday. But it is definitely cooler at night now so the summer is ending and winter is approaching.

This morning Jonina, Byron and myself sat down and went through what we need to do to wind the project up for this year. The last day of collecting will be on the 28th and all specimens need to be at L.A. no later than the 1st of Sept. Not much time left. Our goal is to finish up in Mick and Lindsay's tunnel in the next few days and then help Byron with collecting.

Dave and I drilled three holes first thing this morning in the middle and lower section of the face in Mick and Lindsay's and blasted. We're being careful trying not to dislodge our timbers if we can help it. After the shot, we went in to inspect the results and found one of the caps we put in suspended in air, just wedged in-between the walls. The blast had taken the lower rock away that the timbered was placed on and now there wasn't anything below the right side but air. Dave and I both looked at it and said "what can we do about it now?". Before we can put a leg under it we need to muck out the debris from the blast and the noise and vibration from the mucker may dislodge it. Tapping the timber produced a solid sound, so we proceeded with the mucking and quit worrying about it. Soon, we had cleaned the area just below the suspended timber and were able to place a leg to support the cap. The timber had never moved, boy, we do good work. We also installed kickers (stretchers) between the caps to keep them from moving laterally and to tie them all together. We shall not have any more problems with them now.

By mid afternoon we were ready to drill and blast again. This time we wanted to move the upper rocks to be able to install another cap across the width of the tunnel and lag it together with the previous set along with a set of kickers between the caps. We were going to drill 3 holes but the last one, near the ceiling on the left side, brought the rock down instead of producing a hole. Dave had anticipated this and was drilling with the longest drill steel we had on hand so as not to be near it if it came down. This has happened before if you'll recall. After we set off the charges we went back in to inspect any damage we had done to the timbers, but they were still there solid as a rock.

With the little time left in the day we chipped away the hole for the timbers to seat in and brought up the last two 6 X 6 timbers we had sitting down by the compressor. Tomorrow morning we will install the cap and lagging and then crib it to the ceiling. I suspect that we will have to continue this process while we are tunneling through this broken up section along this fault. The fault does cross the mineralized rock and there is a nice contact of the "ankerized" rock against the hard Limestone. The main part of the fault, or the separated part, is now against the left hand side of the tunnel and, wouldn't you know it, we are now starting the turn to the left, back into the vein which means the fault will move back across the tunnel again.

The scary part is the scaling. Blocks 3 X3 X1.5 feet have come down with no warning and when you are able to bar one out no telling what will come with it or whether it will chase you down the tunnel. I have been close enough to the rock to have my hand on it when it came tumbling down. I'm not sure whether I was trying to push the rock away from me or pushing myself away from the rock. It really get the adrenaline flowing!

Byron is now ready for some lifters in the cavity and tomorrow we will drill the face for the last time in Mick and Lindsay's tunnel and then concentrate on the finish up digging any fluorites left in the cavity.

Tomorrow is another day, one of the few remaining.

Till then, Cheers, Jim

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