August 23, 2002
It is midday Friday here, it started out very rainy and overcast and has moved to just very overcast and cool with temperatures in the high 50's or a nice Summer day.
Jesse is due to arrive later today and should hit the huge August Bank Holiday traffic which combined with the rainy weather should really have him wiped by the time he gets here.
I spent Thursday or much of it recovering from Wednesday's kidney stone attack but had to meet Clinton Burhouse at the Durham Dales Center about noon for a tour of the Rogerley mine. Kerith and I had gone in a bit early to Stanhope and purchased some extra sandwiches and cookies in case he came with a friend - and he did. An author doing 12 volumes on the mystical properties of minerals from a religious viewpoint. Clinton and his family run the largest wholesale mineral, fossil and jewelry business in England, similar to what Rock Currier does with Jewel Tunnel Imports in the states. We had a quick tour and lunch and we talked about doing something, most likely next year. He is keen if he can see a way to market Rogerley fluorite through his catalog.
The big news at the mine is that Byron was finding a lot of very nice specimens in the East Face and broke through - dead center - onto the end of the Solstice Pocket from last year. The ground is looking somewhat wicked so at least two timber sets are necessary and a lot of mucking before Byron can get in and continue collecting this zone. Dave Beadle drilled the West Face and shot it at the end of the day.
We had a dinner with Bob and Mary Coates who are the owners of the Mine House and the smaller portion, The Drift, that we rent for Byron and Jonina and occasionally Jesse. The had their friends Vernon and Valerie over - he is the only dentist in the Dale. Mary mad way way too much food and we all ate too much, to be honest I don't think I have ever seen that much food outside of a cafeteria. This over indulgence on my part, quite stupid, led to a another smaller kidney stone attack which abated about 5:00 a.m. this morning in time for me to catch a couple hours sleep and get a last look at the mine. I was leaving for the mine just as the local house cleaners arrived to give Burnbrae a good once over.
Byron had the entire tunnel along the way to the East Face lined with tubs and individual specimens, all looking quite nice and a few truly outstanding pieces, when I arrived this morning. The shot on the West Face was successful enough that I could see nothing but mud on what little of the face was exposed, I suspect that we are finally crossing the water course that we expected to hit about 10' back. The East Cross Cut above the Black Sheep Pocket was mucked out by hand yesterday by Andrew and Byron was spending some time washing the face down and seeing what the quality of fluorite is we have exposed there, not bad but not good enough at this point to pull us away from other areas. I think he was going to move over to the West Cross Cut #2 as there is still a lot of good specimens exposed there and they need to be cleared out so that a final blast can be set. We've about 52 sticks of dynamite, enough for blast in the West Cross Cut #2 and on the East Face which should end the summer's blasting and we've just about enough timber -- 3 sets worth - to finish up with. Anyway that is the plan, rarely do things work out as planned.
I was still feeling much under 100% so came home about noon with the trunk of the car full of dirty rubber mine outfits that Kerith plans on washing and then throwing away what is truly unsalvageable.
Tonight we've dinner at the Cross Keys and say good-bye to all and tomorrow we are off to Harrowgate and a brief stop at the mineral show there and then a night with our friend Ralph Sutcliffe in Yorkshire than on to London and HOME. That is all this year from us.
Regards, Cal & Kerith