Thursday July 24, 2008

Greetings All,

A cool and very muggy overcast day, so much water in the air it was much like a fog all day.

Byron left early to stop by Fairless' yard to modify some parts for the air chain saw. While there he also picked up a good supply fish plates that Neil had left over from when he worked at the Cambokeels Mine some years back. These are the metal connectors that join one piece of rail to the next. We had gotten so desperate for them that for the last 60 of rail we've put down we had cut the few we had in half and used two carriage bolts instead of four per section of rail.

Kerith and I picked Dave about 10:00. He had a fine time in Belgium, but perhaps not as good as if he had been able to race his bike. We got to the mine just as the crane arrived and followed it up the track. At the top he had to back up to make the sharp right turn. We've had so much rain this year and last that we have eroded a small canyon in front of our track and the crane got hung up there. In finally freeing itself, one of the hydraulic stabilizer feet was ripped off. At this point we left Dave to help out and turned toward Gateshead and the necessary CostCo run to pick up food essentials, wine for our 10th anniversary party etc. We got back home about 1:30p.m and I changed into my mining gear while Kerith put all away and did about 4 loads of laundry.

I missed the move-in of the battery operated loco and its charger but today's picture shows Dave with a huge grin on his face while pushing the bogey forward. We still have a few minor safety points to take care of as this thing weighs 4000 lbs and needs to be used carefully. It will save our backs and legs the strain of pushing multiple 2000 lbs tubs of muck out onto the dump.

The balance of the afternoon was spent lugging fishplates up the stairs, getting the dead battery out of the hydraulic unit so it can be charged up this evening, and creating a stand in one of the few dry places in the mine for the charger. I also did a bit of digging at the face, though very little. The next thing will be to shoot the face, every so carefully, and try to move forward into what looks like virgin pocket ground. Before we can do that some necessary infrastructure needs attention, namely putting in more 2" plastic air line to run the Eimco as we are at the very end of our present line. The siren call of a as yet to be examined pocket zone is hard to resist but to do it right we need to back off and extend the air line. I also laid a new section of carpet between the containers and redesigned the working area a bit and raising some of the screens to make working at them easier on the back.

On the way back I stopped by Fairless' yard and made arrangements to dump a couple tons of gravel in our erosional canyon. It has obviously become a problem for large vehicles and the next one will be from Shenker when we ship our fluorite out. We also have a drop off on one side of our track which I am going to have filled, which should help everyong on the daily drive in.

Tomorrow,Kerith and I are off to Penrith to the potfest and to Leyburn to check out some interesting sounding bits at the auction house there.

Regards, Cal, Kerith & Byron

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