Wednesday, September 1, 2004


Good morning from Weardale.

Believe it or not, there has been no rain for several days now. In fact, yesterday was a glorious, sunny, if cool day here in the North. Today looks like the same - so far.

Since Byron's accident last Sunday the planned schedule of events for our last week here has been rearranged somewhat. For those who have not yet heard about this, last Sunday afternoon Byron was struck by an unannounced falling rock while inspecting the recently mucked out main face of the tunnel. Fortunately, I was right behind him and was able to get help quickly. He is currently in the hospital with multiple bone fractures and bruises, but no life-threatening injuries. The down side is that we currently have no idea just how long it will be until he is able to travel back to California, which we were planning for next Tuesday. Just serves to remind one that, despite having spent a small fortune on timbering for the mine, it's still a dangerous place.

This has put an effective end to mining activities for the season, so, along with trips to the hospital in Durham, we are doing our final packing of specimens for shipping tomorrow. Dave and I secured the mine on Monday, and I have a meeting there this morning with the mine safety inspector to go over what happened. Afterwards, I'll try to update the mine map to reflect all the burrowing Byron and company have done this season. Today, Jonina will finalize all the packing and start trying to sort out insurance issues for Byron. As he is a U.S. Marine veteran we were hoping that the VA would help in some fashion, but so far we have been stonewalled. After ship-out tomorrow, we will have a few days to settle down and figure out what needs to be done next. I have to return to California next Monday to help with the money-earning business at home, and Jonina will remain here for the time being. Her husband Bill, a currently job-seeking computer geek, will come over to help out. This weekend is the annual Killhope mineral exhibition here in the dale, which should give us an opportunity to see some nice things from various local collections without having large rocks hanging over our heads.

Today's photo is of the sunlight creeping across the dale this morning around 0730.

Until next time…

Cheers,

Jesse, Byron and Jonina



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