September 1, 2000

The weather is not cooperating, there were thunder showers on and off all day. Thankfully, most of them past us by with just a sprinkle but on our way home from the mine we encountered a torrential down pour. The type of rain where you have to slow down to 30 miles per hour, have your windshield wipers at high speed and there is 3 inches of standing water on the road because the water can't run off fast enough. We are just praying that Monday will be a lovely day.

The mine officially closed today. All the machinery is in the New Drift, all tools are picked up and put away and most of the machines have been oiled for the winter. The last few remaining large specimens are now wrapped and put into boxes and the crates for the Frosterley Marble are built and ready for loading. We finished early in the day at the mine and went back home to finish wrapping and packing there.

At the house, Jesse did the weighing and inventorying, Byron moved the full boxes from the garage to the house to Jesse, Jonina water gunned the last few tubs brought from the mine and I wrapped the large plates of greens and purples that have been laying around the garage for several months now. Sharon Gordon, my geologist friend from Kenya, wrapped small galena specimens and odd pieces and with our combined effort we were able to pretty much wrap it all up, (pun intended).

In the evening we were all invited to a BBQ at the Golden Lion put on by Berry and Trapper, the gentlemen working on the roof there. It was the most colorful and had the most variety of meat on the grill I've ever seen. Mint lamb, which was green, sweet and sour pork which was a pinkish magenta, garlic chicken which was orangish, as well as seasoned beef steaks, pork steaks, lamb chops, a variety of sausages and several trout. Oh yea, the was a salad too. An enjoyable evening spent with our newly found friends at the Golden Lion.

We have been working hard getting everything done early because tomorrow is a mineral show at Killhope and the Wolsingham fair, both of which we would like to attend and each at the opposite ends of the Dale.

We have just about wrapped up everything for this year and our production is double from last year, a good year all in all and a lot of work waiting to be done when the shipment arrives in California.

I'll keep sending last minutes updates till I'm cut off from my computer.

Cheers, Jim

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