August 4, 2001

Greetings from the Pennines,

Yesterday started off very cloudy and threatening and later in the afternoon we developed some severe thunderstorms and windy conditions but by late evening the weather appeared to be clearing and we awoke this morning to clear skies and light breezes.

As most mornings Kerith and I drove up to Little Allercleugh around 9:00 to start work on cleaning specimens, I did some sawing and watergunning and Kerith did some packing and watergunning. Byron left about 9:45 to pick up Dave, this is our last scheduled Saturday work day for the mining crew, and Jonina left about 10:30 with Ayla to drive up to the mine and drop her off to try a day of underground packing and a bit of collecting. Jonina got back around noon and the three of us cleaned specimens till about 1:00 when Kerith and I broke for lunch.

After lunch, around 2:00, I left Kerith at Burnbrae - she was under the covers and heading quickly for a nap- for a run into Stanhope to pick up the other half of the bubble wrap (5 large rolls) that Jonina had left for me along with as many of the large cardboard flats for specimens as possible. I made a quick run back to LA. As I was opening the gate I could see a thunderstorm literally coming down the car path and when it hit me it was raining so hard I could not see my hand in front of my face. I waited it out since wet cardboard flats don't hold many specimens. When I finished that run I drove back to Stanhope and picked up the last of the flats and then on to the Rogerley for an afternoon of collecting. I found Ayla in the Black Sheep pocket wrapping specimens and in certainly the muddiest condition she has been since she was two or three; Byron was wrapping in the West Crosscut and had excavated several fine plates covered with glassy gem small twins and cubes to about 1/2"; I opted for an afternoon in the Birthday pocket in the other adit and had fair success, one really superb small cabinet specimen about 4"x4" covered with glassy gem twins to 1" and a few smaller but choice miniatures and thumbnails.

Dave and Lofty had used the new drill to put in the necessary rounds for a blast at the west face, this area is really difficult drilling - just a giant broken breccia zone held together by Rogerley supermud and aragonite. Cleaning up the blast debris and mucking it out on Monday should be nothing short of exciting/scary.

After the blast I drove Ayla back to LA where Veronica Cubitt had been delivered by her dad, John, to also help with the specimen cleaning. We might actually get a handle on things this coming week and get at least even with Byron's ability to collect and pack. Everyone had to have a quick turn-around since we had 7:30 dinner reservations at the Cross Keys in Eastgate. A very good meal there, across the room Roy Foerster and Mel Hindin from the Los Angeles area were having dinner with the English couple who are taking them around, they are off home in another couple of days but it sounds like they have had a good time.

Today, Kerith and I are off to the Peak District and to attend the Newark Antique Fair on Monday. So several days without news from us though I am sure Jonina will fill you in if anything exciting comes up.

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



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