Thursday, June 14, 2012

Greetings from Weardale,

Yesterday was actually fairly nice, though overcast and a bit windy we had almost no rainfall. The same cannot be said of this Friday morning with near gale force winds, temperatures to get to about 50F and 1.5" of rain is expected to fall today, same forecast for tomorrow and the same for Sunday though temperatures are supposed to rise to nearly 60F that day.

Yesterday morning, Ian and Jesse stuck around to pick up the delivery of explosives, which arrived about 11:00 a.m. I went in a bit after 9:00a.m. to open things up and await the delivery of steel I-beams we had ordered and to begin washing up the tubs of specimens we had soaking and setting them out to dry. I then took a break and walked around a bit to see if any of our quarry orchids had shown up this year. They are not predictable and don't seem to show up in the same places from year to year. I found several at the lower adit entrance where we had never seen any before.

Jesse and Ian showed up about the time I had finished with the specimens so we joined Dave who was in the process of putting in the timber. When Jesse arrived he set to helping Dave while Ian and I resumed our respective picking away at Penny's Pocket, happily Jesse had found a 2"x4" long enough to set onto the 6' pry bar we had been sitting on the previous day which had left a deep indentation in our respective rear ends so we could be a bit more comfortable. Some few nice bits came out along with a fair amount of wholesale material before bait. After bait, Jesse and Dave hauled up some timber and a bit of the steel while Ian and I switched sides of the pocket. Again a few good bits and more wholesale. I found a very jumbled extension of the zone heading off to the left hand side of the pocket, which was partially cemented in with some calcified mud, which is a real pain.

About 4:30 p.m. I needed to stretch and let Ian take over. I went below and put all the specimens that were out drying back in the container. I took off a bit early only to get back to Burnbrae and find the back door locked which meant Kerith was out visiting. So I grabbed the spare key and went to the front door only to have the good fortune to have the key get stuck in the lock. At which point I decided to heck with this and went next door to the Blue Bell for a beer. Kerith was sitting and chatting with our neighbors Simon and Christie. Simon said he had encountered the same problem so once I was back inside Burnbrae and had rummaged around for a flat-head screwdriver (found 4 near new Phillips heads) finally came up with a rusty partly broken one but was able to take the lock off and ultimately retrieve the key, put the lock back on and finally head upstairs for a hot shower.

Cheers, Cal, Kerith, Ian & Jesse

A few wild orchids blooming near the mine.

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