Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Greetings Everyone,

This is my first real attempt at an update since arriving in Weardale. By the end of the day I am usually too beat to think about anything other than having dinner and a glass of wine and read a few chapters of the book I am on.

Today started with Dave picking up some diesel for the compressor and coming by about 10:15 a.m. and picking up Byron and I followed a few minutes later. Dave spent the day drilling and prepping the face and the Dipper Pocket for moving the face tomorrow. Dave has been using the new Sig drill acquired by Jesse earlier this year, a very efficient if heavy bit of machinery and it did quick work drilling the face. Byron spent most of his time helping me in the West Crosscut area where we cleared huge gobs of thick gooey Rogerley mud with minimal specimen production before lunch at 2:00 p.m. After lunch, Byron with his long reach managed to rake out 4 of the longest quartz crystal stalactites I have ever seen from the mine, each about 5”-6” in length and only about 1.5” in diameter, all are sprinkled with small gemmy fluorites and the odd galena and some secondary drusy quartz. I went back to the same area and found another three stalactites of about the same size, not to be outdone Byron used his long wooden probe to scoot one about 6” in length that has a smaller one at the base – needless to say it is more than a little suggestive.

We had several pallets of blue bins, large and small delivered today, actually more than we ordered so will have to take a close look tomorrow -- in the predicted rain – and decide if we need all that were sent or send some back. I plan on going out tomorrow morning and count the number of flats everything will hold and decide at that time.

This was Jonina’s and Bill’s shopping day in Bishop Auckland at the Morrison’s there to stock up on food, wine and beer. We are expecting an email quote in the next day or so from Shenker to decide how best to send this year’s material back to Fallbrook. We are still trying to sort out the diesel situation but did get enough from a secondary source this morning to run the compressor for the day.

Weather-wise a gorgeous day, if there was a downside it was the swifts that have built a nest about 10’ inside the mine gate in the mine that do not care for the 2 legged intruders who keep walking by and ‘buzzed’ me several times during the course of the day. We are predicted to have rain the next two days so spending time underground should not be too much of a burden, at least for me.

That’s all from this place way north of Lake Woebegone.

Regards, Cal



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