Monday, July 09, 2012

Greetings from Weardale.

Monday was an overcast and clammy day but one without showers, sadly no breeze either so we had lots of midges darting about looking for exposed flesh to feed on. Our ponds had mostly receded from the road and we only had a few 20' patches of water to drive through. This morning however our local forecast is for sustained rains occasionally quite heavy ... at least no midges that way though they are small enough to dart between the rain drops.

Yesterday morning on the way in to the mine I stopped in Stanhope at the Durham Dales Center to get Kerith more yarn and then stopped at the hardware store to replace a gate lock. On Sunday when Kerith and I went up to the mine I had a devil of a time getting the inner gate lock off and when I finally did I could not re-lock it. I took it back to Burnbrae in the afternoon and really oiled it up and was able to get a goodly amount of dirt out of the mechanism but sadly still a no go so a new security lock was called for. When I did get to the mine Dave and Joe were already hard at it mucking out the pile of debris from the cross cut dumping it out on the tip. This process took them the entire day since much of it has to be done by hand pushing it out onto the rails for the Eimco to handle.

Jesse and Ian spent their time till bait working to get some of the rocks under the face pocket out but with little success. These large limestone blocks tend to be keyed into each other in a nearly unsolvable puzzle pattern. I spent the rest of my morning and early afternoon till bait sawing up the pile of specimens we had accumulated. After bait, Jesse, Ian and myself decided to attack the remaining fluorite in the pocket directly and had fair success. A number of very nice single and small miniatures came out and a few larger plates ... mostly scraped clean of crystals. At this point we have done all we can there. Dave will finish up the mucking at the cross-cut and we can renew our efforts there.

Andrew spent much of his day cutting back branches and weeds along our track and at the point where we enter the A689 toward Stanhope.

When we got back to Burnbrae, Jesse and I tackled replacing the front door lock since the old one was totally knackered and no longer worked. Following that we opted for a pint at the Blue Bell, today's picture shows the pub lit up at night. A beacon for the weary.

More soon,


Cal & Kerith, Jesse and Ian

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