July 23, 2001

Greetings from the temperate Pennines,

We awoke to a nice day and later a great day, puffy white clouds, temps near 70 and a light breeze. Just a fabulous day.

About 9:00 a.m. Kerith and I drove up to Little Allercleugh and spent the entire day watergunning and packing flats for later sea shipment. Our only break came about noon when we drove down to Stanhope to the Durham Dales Center to stuff five large rolls of bubble wrap into our little Ford rental. The way it was packed I'm not sure we would have even felt somebody hitting us in the rear. Had lunch at the DDC's Tearoom which serves some great hot items and sandwiches and home made sweets that are really good.

Jonina had made a run to Kendal for explosives and then to Consett for groceries and large plastic bins for the larger specimens and got back to Little Allercleugh about 5:00 p.m. We took off shortly there-after and I walked over to the Golden Lion about 6:15 to join Byron for a pint of Black Sheep's. His prize of the day was a total surprise. A small cabinet sized specimen with four or five scattered lustrous gem twins to about 1.25" with aragonite and a few small aragonite stalactites from just opposite the Black Sheep Pocket in what we are calling the west crosscut which is in only about three perhaps four feet. We had not expected to hit anything in under 10' and perhaps nothing at all. It is a fishing expedition to see if the flats continue on the west side of the veins; this may be the only piece or it may be the start of something else of interest.

Tomorrow promises to be a busy day. Our friend Richard Busch is due to visit for about 8 or 10 days and we expect him in the late afternoon. If our chemical order is in Kerith and I will make a run to Durham and I need to go by the mine and drop off one of the big rolls of bubble wrap for Byron and give him my opinion on chainsawing up some of the larger pieces which are beginning to pile up in the mine next to the rails; in between times we will try and make some inroads on the burgeoning number of bins full of specimens.

That is all from this place way north of Lake Woebegone. Cal



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