Saturday, August 11, 2007

Good Morning,

Yesterday was overcast, mid 60's temperatures and very light breezes, when the sun did come out it felt quite hot. Kerith, Byron and I got an early start and were up at the quarry by 9:30a.m. I sorted out the cleaning bins for Kerith and we weighed and wrapped the last of the blue bins full of fluorite.

After Byron's had a banana he and I headed up to the Rat Hole and fired up the hydraulic unit and commenced cutting out some specimens. One in particular that had sat on the wall -- a glassy twin almost sitting on a ridge almost by itself elevated above its smaller brethern. Trying to manuever Byron's 6'2" frame plus a diamond chain saw and all the attendant uncooperative hose lines took some time. After perhaps three hours he or I taking turns had managed, depending upon whether it was a right hand or left handed cutting job, to get perhaps a half dozen nice pieces.

After lunch, Byron trundled back up and decided to get into the Well Pocket -- he braces his feet agains a wall and sits over the solution cavity. I worked down at the containers cleaning up the bins full of specimens Kerith had put to soak, when emptied I put new material to soak. This took perhaps and hour and a half. Kerith had left shortly after lunch to get dinner ready -- we were having our neighbors Simon and Kristie over to BBQ steaks and Boston baked beans and mushrooms.

By the time I got up to where Byron was he had several buckets full of mud, several wrapped tubs of specimens and piles of mud covered rock or mineral specimens that he had been pulling from the west face of pocket zone. After a half dozen crawl journeys up and back to extract muck and specimens I managed to get myself set up next to Byron and start washing and wrapping the pile of specimens he had produced.

Byron has not had enough of wet underground experiences for the week so he and a local caver and collector, Helen, are wet suiting up and going to go in the horse level of the Greenlaws mine which, according to the maps Helen has, goes in about 2 miles then angles off for another 1/2 mile before reaching an engine room where rumor has it an Armstrong engine resides. Kerith and I are opting for something not so strenous -- the beer and food festival being held at the Black Bull pub in Frosterley.

Today's picture is of several specimens we got on Saturday -- one from the well and a lovely lustrous purple cluster from the face.

Cheers, Cal & Kerith and Byron

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