Friday, August 1, 2008

Greetings All,

We had a day of showers and sunshine with temperatures approaching near 70. Unfortunately, too cloudy to see the eclipse of the sun, but the wind helped to dry specimens on the tables fairly quickly.

Byron and I left early for the mine, around 8:30 a.m., a quite stop by Fairless' yard to see if the 1 3/8" soft steel doweling rod was in for timber support, no luck and then a stop in Stanhope for gas for the generator and diesel for the Puegot.

Byron got things opened up while I prepped for cleaning, emptying the tub of specimens that had been soaking overnight, putting tubs full of specimens on the table, filling the cleansing bins with water and laying out the brushes etc. for when the girls arrived. All that took near to an hour. We've found a system that seems to get the process moving fairly well along. First thing, you wash specimens till the drying racks are full, then go in and start loading dried specimens into the blue plastic bins, when done there go and pull the singles out of the soaking tubs and dump on the drying screen then start putting the dried specimens back inside to make room for more washed pieces. Any other route seems to slow the crawl to a glacial pace.

I joined Byron up at the face about 10:15 a.m. Today's pictures show the face with the large amount of alteration and numerous pockets in the zig-zag pattern of the fluorite bands. We were there till lunch time, mostly me wrapping and throwing large rocks onto a pile as Byron burrowed into the pocket zone. Quite a few specimens came out today including a few that will be very nice small cabinet pieces when trimmed.

Dave had a chiropractor appointment and got to the mine about 10:45, he and Joe immediately went up and finished installing the blue air line then set to work putting in the new pump line hose and had it laid out a bit before lunch. Right after lunch they fired up the pump and it drained about 1 foot of water from the face in about 10 minutes. Our "lake" had stretched back about 70'. What a joy not to have to shuffle through the water near the tops of my wellies. They then moved onto drilling the West Cross Cut and Joe got to fire off the shot for the first time in his life.

Overall a very good day. A few great rocks, lots of engineering problems solved and a bit of sunshine and warmth. It does not get too much better here.

Regards, Cal, Kerith & Byron

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