Monday, July 26, 2004
Sunday we awoke to a gray, overcast and rainy morning and decided to drive over to Cumbria in the Keswick area and visit the Threlkeld Mining Museum. On the way we stopped at Melmerby at the Bakery. They have their own grapevine. Threlkeld has a very fine collection of mining artifacts, history and mining equipment. The museum is currently housed in a concrete block building in a granite quarry; surrounded by at least 65 vintage excavators dating from about 1920 to the 1960’s plus rolling stock and vintage steam engines an underground mine etc. etc. After a thoroughly enjoyable three hours wandering around in the drizzle we said our goodbye’s, the next time we see the museum it will be in Keswick since they are moving in about five weeks.
Next we took a short drive to see the Castlerigg standing stones circle on top of a hill with one of the most breathtaking views you can imagine. The circle is estimated at 3500-4200 years in age and has a 360 degree view of the mountains of the Lake District.
Home before sunset and just in time to see the rain and drizzle end. We had such a good time we had all forgotten to eat lunch so were starving and Bill Pogue whipped up a delicious and quick spaghetti dinner.
Monday we awoke to absolutely clear skies and light breezes and it stayed absolutely gorgeous all day. Dave dropped Kara and Shanade off to help sort the little specimens and we took off for the mine. Byron spent the day trying to get into the Corner Pocket from the back side in the exit tunnel and while most of his time was spent pounding rock he did get a couple of dozen nice specimens including a nice 3” stalactite coated with some ¾” green cubes. I was working about 30 feet away on the pillar and working my way through the wad of clay I had exposed on Saturday. After lunch I actually started to make some headway and found one killer small cabinet as good as we have ever found and another slightly larger piece which would class as the best ever if not for a small ding on one crystal – about five 1” gem classy twins and one an elongate “L” shape on one end, still a striking specimen and perhaps another 10 or so nice specimens and a number of nice nearly 1” single gem twins. The pocket still has more in it but everything is now cemented by aragonite to the wall rock. Dave and his helper got most of the East Crosscut cleaned up – still some ways to go yet since there are some huge boulders in there to be either pushed out and broken up or broken up there. They also just about finished timbering the face. Over the weekend Dave welded up a frame for the winch to sit on and we will drill a new spot in the rock for it to sit on and bolt the form to the rock and the winch to the welded frame; then the track has to be moved over again.
That’s all from the Dale.