July 30, 2001

Greeting from the Pennines,

A pleasant cool and windy day yesterday with lots of clouds and occasional sun, the rain held off till about 10:00 p.m. in the evening.

Richard Busch, Kerith and I drove up to Little Allercleugh about 9:00a.m. to get a head start on packing, sawing, etc.; Byron left to pick up Lofty and Dave about 9:30; Jonina left for a run to Kendal to pick up caps and a shopping in Consett; Ayla joined us about 10:00 to help with the watergunning though she has a fairly severe head cold. We broke for lunch about 1:15 and told Ayla to lay down for a while. Richard and I left for the Rogerley mine about 2:00 and Kerith opted to stay at Burnbrae and do some reading and shopping.

At the Rogerley, Byron has spent much of the day collecting in the West Crosscut since the last blast had exposed a nearly 2' pocket - much of which was out in the rubble pile. Nothing great but some very attractive aragonite and small gemmy green fluorite combinations which, if the calcite fluoresces, will be very attractive. Dave and Lofty had by the time we got there drilled the Black Sheep Pocket again since the first 5 sticks used as lifters had done nothing, all we can figure is they blew into a pocket or mud flat near the base of the pocket zone; both the Black Sheep and the face of the west adit were wired and ready to blast.

Richard and I spent several wonderful hours hopping around pocket robbing. I spent nearly 2 hours in the Birthday Pocket and while mostly material from the bottom of the pocket zone was recovered I did find a few goodies that had dropped from the top. Richard visited and played in several spots and was able to reach into the Solstice Pocket and pick up a few very fine miniatures from a seam close to the steel arches. Byron had perhaps four or five tubs packed from the West Crosscut and I filled one with the pieces Richard and I found.

We left about 4:30p.m. to go back and shower and catch a quick bite of soup Kerith had prepared before we zipped off to Durham to wait in line and purchase tickets to the concert by the Cologne Chamber Orchestra. We were in line at 6:35 they started selling tickets at 6:30 and were sold out before 7:00p.m. with many many people not getting tickets. We were amazed at the attendance since the cathedral holds a lot of people. Byron, Jonina and Ayla got there about 7:30, Kerith and Richard had gone in to save seats. It was a fantastic, it is hard to believe that the accoustics in a building of nearly 1000 years in age can be so good - no echos and you could hear every string on the violin during the playing of Vivaldi's 'Summer'. They had four ovations, one of which comprised the Pachebel Canon, one of my most favorite pieces of music in the world. Concert ended about 10 and we were all famished and headed off to a little chips and anything you wanted - as long as it was fried - place. Got home about 11:00 p.m., exhausted since the rain started which made driving slow and tedious.

This morning it is overcast, cool but not windy. That is all from this place way north of Lake Woebegone. Cal

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