June 27, 2002

Hi Guys & Gals:

Today was a busy day for me and probably for Byron and Crew. I got word from Mick and Lindsey last night that our powder order would be coming in today. So after talking to Bill this morning, I started driving. We've been having these "March" winds all week. Luckily, I don't have the old problem with the garage doors. When I left this morning it was reasonably warm and fluffy clouds, but a really nasty wind. My little Subaru was blowing all over. The only thing I didn't see blowing up and down the road today was the wicked witch and a cow. Felt like a bit player in Wizard of Oz. Even the sheep were finding it hard to keep to their feet. The Wind Farm in Kendal was really going. There are five big propeller type machines there. I find them amazingly peaceful. Sometimes I will stop and watch them for a few minutes on my way into Kendal. Despite the wind the haying is going on all over the hills. The wind keeps things dryer.

I made a quick trip over, but ran into a snag upon arrival at the yard. Mick and Lindsey were still waiting for the powder guys. So we talked for a while. Apparently, two weeks ago the Greenlaws mine collapsed. For those of you who don't know the Lawson's are the only other specimen miners in the Dale. They are uniformly disliked by all. They are from Scotland and are really nasty tempered people. I can vouch for this description. I have met them a few times at the Tucson Mineral Show. Back to the story, the elder Lawson noticed bits of the roof raining down, and thought something was unusual. Told his son to run for it. They both barely made is out. Thank goodness. It really was just a matter of time. They had basically done everything wrong that might guarantee a problem. Their tunnel was an old air shaft. Not designed for men. They put a piece of piping in the shaft, down to the level where they went horizontal. The floor was missing in places so they placed pipes to walk on, over this empty space. Then piled loads of rubble on these pipes. On one hand you have to admire their stubbornness, but on the other, they were truly stupid. The roof came down and hit the pipes, and kept going. The whole area is a wash. They have said they will not go back into Greenlaws. The powder soon showed up at the yard. The truck had gone to Mick's House instead of the yard.

I drove back to our valley and the Height's Quarry. I put everything away and talked to Gordon, the new young assistant manager at the quarry. He and Richard and their girlfriends are going to come to the mine for a visit this year. I then went to Stanhope to the bank and hardware store. Up to this point it has been dry but windy for four or five days. The wind quit and the rain started. It came down in buckets. I just made it to the car. It was amazing. It was literally that quick. Went to Fairless and then home for a really late lunch. Rob had been working hard in the garage all day. There were minerals specimens everywhere. I wrapped four boxes by the time for him to leave and then another couple. There are still more. I then remembered that I hadn't sent a daily update. Its been a bit of a long day here. Byron is drilling and preparing the new cross cut and the Solstice for blasting tomorrow. Then onto the east tunnel and the Black Sheep. We are tooling along. Hope everyone is well.


Jonina and Byron

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