August 8, 2002

Hi All,

We awoke to a very pretty morning but listened to dire weather warnings on BBC that said heavy showers due today and tonight. Of course, we saw no rain today with that sort of prediction.

The three of us trooped up to the Mine House about 9:30 a.m. and Jonina was having a really bad migraine so we decided to take Rob up to the mine to continue with his chain sawing of specimens. The three brown ducks were decidedly friendly so I tried feeding them oats from my hand and have the pinch marks to prove they enjoyed me and the oats. After tanking up on oats they went to the bucket full of mud from the saw and ate mud for a bit -- gross!

Anyhow the day was spent by Kerith cleaning up and sorting the little crystals into various qualities and Richard and I spent the entire day again in the West Cross Cut #2. About lunch time I got upset with going soooo slow so I used the hammer and chisel to break up a block of aragonite then started prying on it. Amazingly it started to give and at that point we broke for lunch. I wanted Byron's opinion and help before proceeding further. Sure enough by the time I finished my lunch and went looking for Byron I was informed he had gone up to give the pocket a look. By the time I got there he had the smaller of two pieces out which after Rob sawed it is a 10"x6" plate of white aragonite partially enclosing perhaps a half dozen glassy gem twins to about 1" -- very striking. Together we got the big piece out which I had originally hoped to be a fine aragonite stalactite cluster good enough for the garden. It certainly is that but the aragonite is thick enough to show the large twins scattered across the piece which when coupled with some 4" or so white aragonite stalactites will possibly be stunning. All that if we can cut it up. A pin on the large chain saw blade gave way and so we are now using just the short bar and chain. Hopefully Byron can use the repair kit to fix it; if not we will need another large premium chain.

After moving the behemoth out of the pocket by sort of crab walking it down about 30 feet, Richard and I got back into it and about 4:30 in the afternoon broke through into the original West Cross Cut. The two cross cuts are about 16' apart so that means the pocket was at least that big between the cross cuts and it definitely goes one both sides still and forward and has produced some great pieces.

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



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