Saturday, September 4, 2002

Good morning from Weardale.

One final update before I return to California on Monday. The weather this week has been warm and sunny - for Weardale, that is. Actually very enjoyable to be here. Thursday we had our pickup here at the cottage for the fluorite that is being shipped back to So. Cal. I think this is the first time we didn't have to assemble the pallets in the rain. This morning, however, we are back to having overcast and light rain.

Yesterday I spent the day at the mine with Dave updating the mine map for the season and helping him timber our "problem" area at the face. Having a chance to look at the face, it does look fairly dicey. The problem we have this summer is that, with the unusually high amount of rainfall, all the mud-filled fractures in the rock that makes up our tunnel ceiling are water saturated, and thus well lubricated. Dave made sure that nothing more here will move before we get back to it.

Jonina has been making regular trips to Durham to visit Byron, who is doing as well as can be expected. He is in no danger at this point, but the doctors say that he may require an operation to secure some bone fragments in his pelvis. It will also take about three months of immobility before he is fit to travel back home. I think this is probably going to be the hardest part of it all, for someone who likely hasn't sat still for a single day in his life.

Today I will be going to the annual North Pennines mineral exhibition, held in Ireshopeburn by the Killhope lead mining museum. Afterwards it will be packing up the last of my stuff, and a final get-together this evening with Dave. Tomorrow I will travel to London and fly home on Monday. Jonina will remain here at the Mine House and will be joined next by her husband Bill.

For the final picture postcard of the season, you get a glorious dales sunset.

Until next time…


Jesse, Byron and Jonina

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