Monday, May 27, 2002

Good Morning;

Yesterday was a recovery day here for the travelers. I got up around 9am local time to answer a phone call from Jonina's husband Bill. After the call Jonina went back to bed and I didn't see anything of anybody for a while. On toward noon everyone was finally moving, however. Jonina said that at one point she had tried to get up and gotten as far as getting her legs over the side of the bed and fell back asleep in that position for a while. I just spent several early morning hours reading again. Isn't jet lag wonderful?

After getting cleaned and coffeed we stopped in and had a chat with Bob and Mary, who were getting ready to go off somewhere for another school inspection. They do some sort of performance audits for schools around the country, which keeps them traveling a lot and were off to somewhere near Liverpool for a few days. Finally got ourselves off to shopping for food and supplies at the Safeway in Consett. The drive is north over the moors from Stanhope and along with the usual sheep-dodging game we had a bout of torrential rain on the way. I've never understood how the sheep can seem so undeterred from their single-minded task of eating grass even by the nasty weather up here. Perhaps that is what a wool coat is all about.

After successfully filling our trolley with all manner of necessary basic supplies we headed back to Weardale and met up with Dave at his place in St. John's Chapel. We found him spending a Sunday in the shed working on his motorcycle, obviously how he loves spending his spare time. Byron and I witnessed a successful fire-up after a bit of tinkering, which left Dave in a good mood. Talked a bit about strategy and logistics for the summer, which all looks fairly straight forward at this point. Dave has finished most of the over-winter projects we left him with except rebuilding the quarry gate, which he plans to finish later this week. The only problem so far is that he hasn't been able to get hold of Lofty for a while and is unsure if he will still be with us. He said he would leave another message for him that we're starting next week and see if he turns up.

Back to the Mine House to unload the provisions, and witnessed the ever-changing Weardale weather. The clouds had broken and the late afternoon sun was lighting up the hills, so Jonina and I took a walk. Fixed dinner and discovered a VERY touchy smoke alarm. That was about it for our first day. Today we are meeting Dave and his van up at Little Allercleugh to retrieve our stored items and bring them down to the Mine House. We also will try to connect with Mark Watson to get the cars, and Jonina wants to make a trip to the Costco in Gateshead for some folding work tables. I'm getting tired already just thinking about it. Guess it's time for more coffee.

Today's photo is of the stream course and an old water wheel here at the Mine House. The property is on the site of the old Greenlaws mine, which was active in the later 19th century and many artifacts such as this can still be seen.

Cheers,

Jesse, Byron and Jonina



An old waterwheel in the race at the Greenlaws mine.

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