Monday, July 19, 2004
Today started sunny and stayed that way most of the day, if anything a tad warm compared to my last four days here. I was first out of the house this morning since I had a few stops to make before I arrived at the mine. My timing was pretty close and I managed to get to the gate just before Byron and Dave. Matty had an apprenticeship interview so did not make it today.
We were low on fuel and decided not to run the compressor since we may or may not get fuel tomorrow, at any rate it only has about an hours were of fuel in it and if we ran it at all that would suck in the guck at the bottom of the tank and lead to a clogged fuel filter. Dave was busy all day at the face doing timbering and I started out mucking out Dipper Pocket area so it can be drilled later this week, then I moved over to the West Crosscut area I had worked on Saturday with such success but it was stingy and I only got a few small pieces out. I then moved over to another area about 6 feet away that had a bit of layer cake geology left to it and worked there the rest of the day - some success, a few nice small cabinet sized specimens on aragonite that need trimming.
Byron spent the morning in the Northeast Crosscut collecting, that has started to produce material very much like the old Solstice Pocket material of several years back that it is headed toward -- I estimate still 12' but perhaps as little as 10'. In the afternoon, Byron spent some time scaling and a bit of collecting he had exposed a huge block coated with bright gem small twins with some contact areas in it. Around 4:00 p.m. I started hearing rocks drop and he kept saying he was fine but when he came by to check on me around 5:30 p.m. he had a finger wrapped. A rock caught him unawares of the ceiling and cut the base of his finger through the skin and fat layer. Looked to me like he needed a stitch but he felt he could get by with tape (read Band-Aid). So we closed up shop and loaded some of the days take in Peugeot along with 4 empty diesel fuel containers and headed home. Jonina took one look and basically frog marched Byron with Bill's help into a vehicle to drive him down to Bishop Auckland to the emergency room. Byron tends to make light of these things but for it to heal quickly he needs a stitch or two which means I am left as the chief fluorite collector for a bit.
Dave will be busy since we need to move the face forward, as well as the Dipper. We decided how best to approach the problem of taking down the pillar between the two West Crosscuts. We will start in the most northerly one and drill several holes at the base of the pillar about two feet in and try and crack it up so we can remove rock and work our way up the pillar looking for material. That's all from here.