Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Greetings from Weardale,

Well the morning started bright, sunny, warm and without much wind. By noon the clouds had rolled and the drizzle started but the temperatures stayed warm which meant a heavy mist hung in the air.

Kerith and I and Andrew drove in about 9:45 a.m., Kerith left immediately for Barnard Castle to do some shopping and Andrew and I went up above into the Penny's Pocket zone where we had a go at the huge plate. Using some of the holes drilled with Helen's borrowed hammer drill I was able to get a crack in the rock to propagate and after a few hours we were able to drop a 50 kilo section into an already stressed and fractured blue tub full of wet carpet sample sections. While this project was underway, Steve Knox and Alan Benson showed up to say "hi" and then went in search of a B&B. They ended up at the Cross Keys in Eastgate. Hope to hear how that is since it may be a convenient place to put people while Roger and Fiona renovate their home into a B&B. Dave and Joe set to putting in the final timbers then laying a new section of track.

After bait, Andrew and I trooped up to Penny's Pocket to get the other portion of the big plate. When it finally came out there was a nice cavity of mud behind it, which yielded a number of specimens including several very nice ones. From there we all moved to the face and started washing it down. Almost immediately I exposed a portion of a plate facing into the rock about 20"x10"x10" in size. After considerable convincing it came out and I believe this is the first time that we have ever had a plate of gem glassy twins come right out of the face. It needs sawing but will produce a specimen or two reminiscent of the Jewel Box. There may not be much more in the face but that one piece sure makes it worth-while. Today’s photo shows Andrew with the specimen after giving it a bit of a scrub.

Dave and Joe spent the afternoon working on moving the fan system into the exit tunnel and should finish it up tomorrow. With luck I will be able to finish up the face and we could look forward to another blast there and in Penny's Pocket, which has reached an impasse with large rocks again. Andrew and I did up our first pallet over at the lumber mill and the container is full of pieces that need to be binned and washed.

That's it from the Dale for today.

Cheers, Cal & Kerith

Wish we had more like this one!

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