July 27, 2001

Greetings from the Pennines,

Today was another perfect day, temperatures in the high 70's, a light breeze to keep the bugs down, and blue skies with puffy white clouds.

We left for Little Allercleugh about 9:30 a.m. and spent till 1:30 p.m. packing (Kerith), watergunning specimens (Richard Busch) and sawing (myself). Jonina took off with our newly added teenage help, Ayla, and her family for the mine about 11:00 a.m. and packed them off to Durham around 1:30p.m. then ran to Consett etc. doing errands. Ayla will be staying at Little Allercleugh for the next couple of weeks helping clean specimens.

The three of us drove back to Burnbrae and had left over Chinese for lunch, a nap and off to the Durham Dales Center to meet Athal and his wife, Dot, from he Cross Keys for a quick tour of the mine. They enjoyed seeing the pockets and we hope to see a lot more of them, the food they serve is great and the menu is probably the best in the Dale. The rest of the afternoon I spent with my butt hanging out of the Birthday Pocket, collected a few very nice glassy gem twin miniatures, Kerith sat on her stool out on the ledge washing little pieces and Richard either helped Kerith or was taking digital pictures on his computer for later use. Hope to have a couple later to add and send as attachments. I finally pulled myself out of the pocket about 5:30 p.m.; Kerith accused me of having more mud on my person that specimens, to be truthful, she was right but I had a GREAT afternoon. Kerith got to push the button for the blast in the West Crosscut and the lifters in the Black Sheep Pocket. We had the wrong electrical time delays for the caps to shoot the west adit but the holes are drilled and hopefully by midweek next we can shoot there too.

We all left the mine about the same time, Dave Beadle pushing the wheelbarrow with the tubs of wrapped specimens; Byron and Lofty walking out and Kerith, Richard & I moving more slowly and carrying a few treasures. Back to Burnbrae and a much needed shower then down to the Golden Lion where Byron and Jonina were to join them in a pint and discuss the near term mining needs.

Tomorrow we are off the the Roman fort Vindolanda near Hadrian's Wall and then to Hexham to do a bit of antique shopping and wandering the city. Sunday will be a BBQ up at Little Allercleugh, so likely this is my last missive till Monday.

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



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