18 July 2017

Digging not as expected

I was bristling with impatience to go back to the dig! I knew how I wanted to proceed. And we hadn't been in the dig for a while.

The trip started a bit confused; the night before, David had suddenly mailed he was taking some people (which I knew would include his sister) around Cwm. He wanted assistance with that. But I would be in the dig before it would be clear if he had enough of that! I decided that if he wanted me he could be a bit more specific, and I stuck with my plan.

I met Miles on the way up. He had lots of kit in his car! I would take Jenny, my Welsh tutor, underground the Saturday after, and I could borrow stuff from Go Below for that. Very nice! He also had some stuff for the Manager's Office. We quickly dropped that off and changed; it was one of those days you want to change into your underground kit close to the entrance.

Miles suggested we first go see his new bridge. I had only seen it without the decking! Now it was as good as complete. Cool! Then we went to the dig. I immediately scurried up. There was stuff to remove by hand! I started. Miles had the drill so I could not start drilling until he appeared too. But things weren't as clear-cut as I remembered them! I suddenly wasn't too sure whether the path I had had in mind was quite as good an idea as it had seemed. I prodded a bit, and looked at some other possible directions. Everything looked difficult! But nothing looked impossible. Miles came to have a look too. He figured that going straight ahead was the best option. I though that required another drill bit; I set off to get it. And with me out of the way he decided to chuck some rocks down that were in his way. One of them was one I had tried but failed to chuck down one of the first days in this part of the dig. It was no match for Miles! It came crashing down, and then another, even bigger one, followed. Very satisfying!

I went back to the bit where I had been working. Miles mentioned that the chucking down of stuff had opened up a new hole, and that I should stick my head in. I sure should!

I finished what I was doing and then did as suggested. It went up! Quite a while! That was excellent! I had a bit of a look at what way it could continue and what was overhead. Then it dawned on me. What was overhead was the ceiling! I could follow the rock all the way to the wall. It clearly meant the chamber was, at least down here, filled up to the ceiling, but the ceiling undoubtedly sloped up. If we could follow it we would certainly come out on top of all the rubble in the chamber. And if you stay close to the ceiling, nothing can fall on your head! It did look like it was becoming a Margot dig, as it all looked rather squeezy and crawly, but Miles would just follow and make the passage bigger. I hadn't expected for the dig to proceed like this!

We did one round of blasting, but we didn't really have time to clear out the rubble. But that was OK. Next time I would certainly be heading for the ceiling! Exciting times!

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