Wednesday, June 17, 2014
Monday was a gorgeous day by local standards. A bit cool and overcast in the morning but by afternoon we had puffy white clouds and scattered sunshine and warm temperatures.
Dave, Jesse and myself put the finishing touches on the rail support structure with a several hour delay while Dave made an unplanned trip to Bishop Auckland to refill an oxygen tank. Once that was accomplished we set to mucking out from last week's blast with the newly fixed up Eimco on the tight curve in the rail we had installed to head more quickly into the fluorite. This took much of the rest of the day and we finished up about 6:00p.m. As Jesse and I were closing up the mine, Dave headed downstairs to turn off the compressor. When he did so we could hear a really high pitched whistling which turned out to be several large tears in the section of air hose between two couplings joining our buried permanent compressed air line. Ah well, more gremlins from the mine interfering with our search for green fluorite.
Tuesday morning dawned drizzly, cool and overcast with little breeze and stayed that way all day which meant we were hampered by the midges when outside. Jesse and I headed up to Heights to pick up explosives then opened up the mine. Dave arrived about that time and gave us a camping stove and bowl to fill with water and heat to immerse the hose in to make it a bit squidgy so we could get it onto the metal nozzle. This accomplished turned on the compressor and headed up to the mine.
Dave was already underground and setting up to drill to blast again to square off the heading. While Dave was doing that Jesse and I wrestled with a 20' section of air pipe up the stairs with Jesse heaving up from the bottom and me yanking upward from the top of the pipe. Getting it up our stairs, into the mine and finally into place underground took us nearly as long as it took Dave to drill the holes for the blast. While Jesse and Dave did the loading up of explosives and dets I made a run downstairs to get the detonator and ohm meter.
Thankfully everything went off without a hitch and we headed back downstairs for bait. About 2:30p.m. we headed back up and mucked out from the blast with Dave running the Eimco, Jesse on the loco and myself helping disconnect the tub of waste from the loco and Jesse and I dumping the tub. This went on without a hitch until for some reason the loco jumped the track and Jesse and I had to manhandle the nearly 6000# beasty back onto the rails. Thankfully we had a 14' long lagging board for a lever and a 6' section of 6"x6" to use as the fulcrum. After a few unhappy tries it all went into place after a half hour of grunting and cursing. One or two final loads and a quick inspection of the heading showed that we had quite a bit of green fluorite and lead showing.
Tomorrow we will get the winch to tug up a bunch of timber and we will do the timbering and lay about 4' of rail in for the Eimco to run on and probably mid to late afternoon Jesse and I will get to wash the face and see if we have anything.... yet.
Kerith made a wonderful meatloaf, broiled potatoes and cauliflower and broccoli for Tuesday dinner and Lloyd Llewellyn joined us. Things are looking up.... knock on wood.
Cheers from the north,
Cal & Kerith, and Jesse