Monday, August 20, 2007

Good Morning,

Yesterday was very cool with temperatures not rising over the low 50's, drizzly and overcast though the sun did peek out around 4:00 p.m. for several minutes to remind us that they do get a bit of it now and then. The morning was taken up by me making arrangements with Shenker and the compressor hire people; today we try and sort our the Peugeot's status till next season.

Byron and Dave and Shanade were off about 10:00 a.m. and Kerith and I followed about 11:00 stopping in Stanhope for a brief shop and picking up lunch then on to Ward Timber to settle our accounts there and say goodbye till next year. We arrived at the mine about 11:40 and Brian Young, retired from the British Geol. Survey was already there. We suited up and he spent a good hour and a half underground looking at the pockets, clay and geology. We've tons of clay and know it is ilite clay and of absolutely no use to anyone, as far as we can tell.

Dave and Byron spent the morning hauling timber up to the landing and were tired and hungy about 12:30 so they took bait then. I had sent down about nine tubs of specimens on Sunday so Kerith and Shanade had plenty of work and we packed several more bins of specimens bringing our total to 60 so far.

In the afternoon Dave finished timbering the face and started drilling it around 4:30 with Byron's help. Between times Byron spent more time exploring the specimens in the West Cross Cut area in front of the Rat Hole Pocket which seems to be just riddled with small pockets unlike anything we have ever seen. I continued by mucking in the Second East Cross Cut which has mountains of material to be rid of and lots of 200+ pound boulders which require being beaten down to the point they can be picked up. I took a break about 4:00 and saw that Stan Esbenshade had made his way to the quarry and was looking at the tables of cleaned specimens awaiting wrapping; made my way down. Stan suited up and had a brief tour of the mine though he was already beginning to feel the effects of the long time delay.

By the time we finished looking around and greeting Byron who was busy hammering away on something it was 5:30 p.m. and we took Shanade home and guided Stan back to Burnbrae. About 6:30 Don Edwards showed up, sadly without Jane who is looking after their daughter, Sophie, who has developed a serious infection in the kidney's and is not feeling well -- this only a week after she started an internship with an interior architechtural firm.

Kerith started in on dinner and Stan and Don and I went over to the Blue Bell for a drink, found Barry and Helen at the bar and got the whole story of their adventure with Byron in the Quarry Level of the Greenlaw's mine. About 7:30 p.m. and Byron had not showed up I started to worry so Stan and I took off for the Rogerley mine -- passed Byron and Dave just outside of Stanhope; it had taken Dave a lot longer to drill and shoot than planned but he really wanted to use up the rest of our explosives and Byron really wants to see more of the face ( well, I do too).

Over dinner of chcken and dumplings comfort food Byron said he had found another pocket about 5' in size in the West Cross Cut -- god only knows where since it would be hard to wedge another one in the area. He said some very pretty pieces had come out so we shall see later today.

Don Edwards hauled out some fluorites from a new find in Derbyshire from a quarry which are a deep golden yellow, similar to some of the German from Wolsenberg (spelling?). Not twinned but cubes to perhaps 5/8" on edge and highly fluorescent under UV. We sat around till after 11:00 p.m. and Stan was reeling and Byron and I were nodding off too -- Don seems to survive on just a few hours of sleep and wee dram or two of Scotch to keep him going.

Today's photo is of Shanade holding a perfect rib of fluorites to 3 inches on edge and quite glassy and with large gem areas. You can also tell how warm it is by the way a local dresses in the middle of Summer.

Cheers, Cal & Kerith and Byron

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