Wednesday, August 29, 2001
We're in a rut. The weather has been marvelous and continues to be so this morning. Sunny, cool, and clear. The only down side to all this is that without a breeze the midges swarm by the millions, especially during the evening. These things are not quite as bad as mosquitoes, but almost. Yesterday evening at the Golden Lion I witnesses a whole group of happy folk enjoying what is really rare weather in these parts by having a barbeque in the parking lot. Around dusk they came rushing into the pub, driven inside by the things. Today's postcard is the view of the dales from our cottage this morning.
Morning began with a continuation of the transfer of boxed fluorite from Little Allercleugh down to St. John's Chapel. Dave showed up with his van around 1000 and with his and Lofty's help we soon had everything shifted. There were additional outbreaks of foot and mouth yesterday in Allendale, just to the north of us, so tensions among the farming community here are running high.
Byron, Dave, and Lofty headed to the mine around 1300, and Jonina left on a host of errands, so Joan, Veronica, and I worked on inventorying the material for shipment. After completing this chore, I drove Veronica up to Little Allercleugh so she could complete packing, dropped Joan off at our cottage, the Mine House, and went to the mine. The hydraulic unit had decided to behave itself, and Byron had completed sawing up a number of large specimens, including a nice large plate from the Solstice pocket that John Land of Gemcraft is interested in. Dave and Lofty mucked and drilled the western face for one final shot. If there is time, we may do the same at the east face.
Yesterday was the last "official" collecting day at the mine and I took advantage of it by poking around in first the West Cross Cut, and then the Birthday pocket. The WXC is getting stingy, and not much of real interest is now showing. I did manage to get a couple good pieces out of the ceiling, however. In the Birthday pocket, I found a nice plate of gemmy fluorite covering the bottom of a rather large rock protruding from the face. While poking at it, it began to move, and as I jumped back, it flipped over and landed fluorite-side up, no damage. What are the chances of that happening again? The rock was too big to carry far, so Byron sawed it in place. Lofty showed up to announce that it was almost six o'clock and time to pack up. I guess my find was the last "official" specimen of the season.
Met up with Joan at the pub. She had taken advantage of the weather by taking a long walk along the upper Dale, and looked almost as tired as we were. Retired to our cottage for a light dinner of salad and local cheeses, and watched the shadows get long across the moors.
Today I hope to get Joan out to Killhope to see the sparbox exhibit, and perhaps a visit to the Weavers in Ireshopeburn. I'd also like to get some mapping done at the mine. We'll see what is really likely to happen when we check in with the crew up at LA.
Stay tuned for more,
Jesse and the crew