September 8, 2002
Good Morning All:
Rained yesterday, looks like rain today. For a while yesterday afternoon we had both rain and sunshine at the same time in the quarry. Makes for an interesting effect.
I started out the day hosting my last tour of the season - three folks from the archives section of Beamish Museum and three from the British Geological Survey. Everyone got quite muddy and had a good time. The geologists, as I would expect, spent a lot of time crawling around in the flats exposures, breaking rocks and looking at alteration patterns.
After everyone departed, presumably for warmer and drier places, Byron and I got to the final tasks of closing the mine for the season. He decided that some of the equipment needed a good washing so fired up the power sprayer and had at it. The Eimco was so caked with mud and rock that it took him an hour to get it all off. The hydraulic power unit went a little quicker, but we soon found that the final yellow coat of paint did not adhere particularly well and came off in ragged strips exposing the red primer paint below. The unit is now clean but looks like some sort of strange red and yellow zebra. I hauled the last of the tools and supplies down to the container, helped Byron push the equipment into the drifts, and finally we pulled the water line in, leaving all valves open incase of a winter freeze. Locks in place and we are now closed for the season.
Got back to the cottage and found that Jonina had spent a rather fruitless day chasing around Bishop Auckland and Darlington in search of extra keys for the gate lock. We wanted to have a few extra keys for the back gate so we could leave them with Dave and Allistair. The lock we purchased is considered a "secure lock" meaning it is hard to get key blanks. The one locksmith who said he could have them for us by Saturday, of course didn't. No one else in the area could get us any either. As a result, we will have to have Dave chase this one down over winter.
Took Dave and Sandra out to dinner at the Mill Race last night and had a nice bit of year-end socializing. I ask Dave what he was going to be doing with all his spare time now that he has only one job to worry about until we return. Something was said in unison about motorcycles and kitchens, so I suspect there will be no spare time, one job or two.
Today will be more packing around the cottage and if time allows, Byron wants to go exploring the cross vein in the west quarry. The latter will, no doubt depend on whether it is chucking down rain again today.
Today's photo is a view looking up the Dale from the quarry landing.
Jesse, Byron and Jonina