August 29, 2000

Today was a beautiful day and I hope it stays this way till we're finished with the packing and loading.

I spent most of the day outside wrapping up the specimens that have been laying around since we started producing fluorite. I lost count of how many pieces I wrapped or even the number of boxes I filled. In one box I was able to pack 180 thumbnail size specimens. The large cabinet pieces were wrapped in bubble wrap and put into piles waiting for some sort of box or plastic bin for shipping. Actually, I think we have bought all the plastic bins within a 50 mile radius of here so we may have to build some boxes.

In the afternoon, Byron and I took turns trimming the larger pieces with the diamond chain saw and then wrapping them up and taking them down to the container awaiting shipment. We probably reduced the weight by 2/3 from the trimming and produced some great pieces.

In the morning, Byron continued digging in the pocket and found some very nice pieces. Two specimens were near flawless twins perched on plates. They are coming from the north side of the cavity and it seems to be opening up again. In the face of the New Drift (north) Byron dug a little and it opened up there also. One plate he pulled out had a group of 2 inch crystals on it, we have seen singles in that size range but not groups of them. We actually expected the "flats" to continue to the north, but you never know. Now we know. They will just have to wait till next year. It's a good thing we have good security at the mine.

We have made great progress in wrapping all the pieces laying around, both outside and along the tunnel walls. There shouldn't be any more stray pieces laying around and we can concentrate on the main cavity now. We only have three more digging days left when everything has to be up at the house for a light cleaning, inventorying and packing.

More on our exciting news of wrapping it up tomorrow.

Cheers, Jim

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