June 21, 2001

Dear Gang:

The reason for the title of this mornings report is that yesterday we had an absolutely brilliant day. Mind you we had 20 mile per hour winds, but it came with Big Fluffy Clouds and Lots of Sun. Our third sunny day. I got the morning bits out of the way yesterday and retreated to the garage for a few hours. The wind is still too strong to open the doors. I am hoping it calms down in the next few days.

Being able to shift gears on this job is a requirement. About noon I went inside to wait for Byron or Dave to call and tell me what was needed - powder wise. I have a catch twenty - two when it comes to the phone. Under usual circumstances I can take the receiver to the garage and work while waiting, but if the door is closed then no go. I fiddled around inside until I got the call. By this time the clouds were really breaking up. Its not cold, just really windy. Got thoroughly wind blown at the Height's Quarry. It is up on the side of the valley, with an incredible view. I will send photos later this summer. The powder guy was my escort, he has a blinding sense of humor. Was telling me how they 'test' the new guys to see if they have what it takes to work with powder. I passed with flying colors. Apparently since I'm willing to just throw it in my backpack and go, I'll do. I just trundled off to the quarry after that.

I met Byron at the top of the driveway. He was loading the diesel barrels to take to Mark Watson's garage. We will have more diesel today. I walked in with him and gave over my load. Had a quick discussion all around with Dave, Lofty, Byron and myself about timber. Apparently we need more. More good news/bad news. If you have fluorite you will have ground that needs to be timbered. The pockets occur in areas where the ground has been altered from the surrounding limestone. Since this is the case, we have to timber. Anyway I was headed to see Alastair next. I was going to pay for the first load of timber, but we ended up putting this off until he can bill for both loads. Wanted to know if we were digging to China. I told him, more like the North Pole. Maybe one of these days he will get curious enough to check us out. The Guys were getting the East tunnel ready for a blast to the face. This involves wrapping all of the minerals laying about, and trying to stabilize the bits of pocket that might be in the way. Byron poked at the West entrance to the Black Sheep pocket some more and determined that some blasting will need to done to the South side of the pocket, in order to timber and stabilize there. Says that due to drainage conditions, I might have to order him some fishing waders. Huuummmm there is a picture...Trout Fisherman in Tunnel. Everyone is happy and busy.

Next stop for me was to meet my parents and get them settled in to the Mill Race. They arrived safe and sound from London. A little shaky, but intact. Personally, I'll do the driving here. Mary and Denis got them settled in and we took a walk by Tunstall reservoir. The walking paths are still closed, but the road is not busy and it was an exceptional day there. I saw for the first time one of those pastoral scenes with a big grass field (yellow, red and green), and brilliant blue sky. Itís enough to inspire me to paint.

I think that is it for today.

Cheers, Jonina and Byron

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