Friday, August 18, 2006

Hi All,

The BBC had predicted 70mm (nearly 3") of rain yesterday along with gusty winds, lightning and local flooding here in the Pennines and along the borders. Happily we got about 1/2" of rain and none of the other bits. Supposed to be more of the same today but the sun is shining and we've blue skies -- mindful of the fact weather here changes on an hourly basis. Kerith opted to spend the day at Burnbrae with such dismal forecast and spent her time doing laundry, cleaning the cottage, baking oatmeal cookies, doing some reading and I suspect a long bath might have been thrown in there too.

Byron and Dave left just about 10:00 and I followed along about 20 minutes later after sorting out some schedule problems with our shipping company and trying to pin down who was going to be the contact person on load-out. They use the 'team' approach, which is essentially between vacations, personal days off, sick time and buck passing a method to insure that nobody can be blamed if there is a foul-up. I left figuring that the gates would already be open but found myself waiting at the front gate for about 5 minutes. Seems a desperate emergency had arisen in the Beadle household. His daughter Shanade had dropped her cell phone in the dog's water bowl and needed an IMMEDIATE replacement, so Dave stopped by the post office to send money for another one. A 16 year old without a cell phone has the same withdrawal symptoms as an addict.

Byron and Dave got things going up above and I did some house work around the containers, laying some tiles in front of the newer container to help with mud tracking and going over to a section of the quarry where there were abandoned old sawmill blades of 2'-4' diameters, very heavy but you can roll them. They are now placed strategically over the muddiest spots to make cleaning specimens a bit easier.

Dave started right in at the face after Thursday's blast, we have not received our wood order yet and have only enough for a single set. The blast pulled a huge amount of rock requiring the last of our timber. We once again have the fault running in line with the tunnel along with a huge mud filled crack, which suddenly showed up full. Byron started in on the West Cross Cut pocket while I was down below and when I got up there around 11:30 he was totally blocked in by specimens. I set to packing and helping Byron and in between times I took the 16# sledge and broke rock in the tunnel to give us some better access. I can really feel it in my shoulders today but you can once again get to the pocket without crawling over a river of boulders.

Byron got some nice pieces and we switched positions in the afternoon when Dave started mucking out the face. Typically after a blast 9 or perhaps 10 tubs of debris from the face will leave it clean, after 10 yesterday it was only half way done. UGH! I managed to get out a couple of very large double-sided floor plates and under them found three very fine small cabinet specimens. Each very much different than the other. I think the floor zone may be very productive. As it is the pocket appears to actually be getting bigger. There is a collapsed roof plate in the back that is going to be a big problem since it is already about 18" across by 10" or more deep and is back about 2' already -- read at least 200 pounds and likely more.

We trundled back a bit early since we were due at at Cowshill for dinner with John and Marie Land. A delightful evening that ended about 11:00. Jesse is due in sometime this afternoon, likely will go directly to the mine and come here and collapse if the drive has been bad.

Today's photo is of a nice specimen Byron pulled out a couple days ago.

That is it from here.

Cheers, Cal/Kerith/Byron

More produce from the West Cross Cut.

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