05 June 2018

Digging night of contrasts

Would we find the dig fundamentally altered? We had blown up a rock the last time on which quite a lot of stuff seemed to be leaning. Maybe so much would have come down that we would hardly recognise the place! But we first had to get there. I arrived on the parking lot, noticing it was very hot. In my long trousers I would be quite sweaty walking up! But I also noticed there was no sign of Miles’ presence. Hm! Would I have to find out alone? I wouldn’t want to do any actual digging on my own as if anything goes wrong I am screwed, but having a look and clearing out is an option. Then I heard a roar. It was Miles! Or rather, his car. Good! I wouldn’t have to walk up in the sweltering heat. 

When we got to the top I did worry about the tadpoles. There are normally some puddles on the path, and they get tadpoles in spring, but one puddle had dried out this year, and all its tadpoles had died. The other puddle was looking a bit small! Would it get any smaller? I suggested chucking some buckets of water into it. Miles suggested there was no need; tonight it would surely not dry out, and there was rain forecast for the day after. So we left them to their tadpole lives and went in. Miles did point out a menacing-looking rain cloud but I didn’t give it much thought. 

We went in. I went up. And found the dig pretty much as we had left it! That blast hadn’t done a thing! That was disappointing. But we would have to just keep trying. I decided on the next rock to blast. I knew Miles was sceptical about it but I thought it would be the logical next step.
Manoeuvring myself into strange shapes I managed to get two drill holes in. Miles had given me three drill bits of different lengths so I could get quite deep holes in quite awkward places. I figured we might make them deep enough for two charges each! That required the fourth bit. But Miles didn’t think that was necessary. And we left it with one charge per hole. And time had flown by anyway. I tried to take a picture but my camera was refusing. Issues with the memory card!

We went down for a cup of tea and detonated the charges. It would be a while before we would see the result! We went back up. At the top of Back Vein Incline there was a lot of water. A lot of it went down the miners’ staircase. And the entrance was quite flooded. Blimey, it must have hammered down! These tadpoles would be absolutely fine. Their puddle was huge now. 

We drove down. The path was scoured! The water had had a field day. And when we got down to the gate, we saw the rubble had backed up against it. Oh dear! The parking lot was now a braided river bed. With my car in the middle of it. Oh dear. 

I asked Miles to not drive off until I was sure I could get out of all that stuff, with my sluggish two wheel drive. He obliged! And gave me directions on how to get out. And it worked! I couldn’t go forward, but I managed to go back, and then forward. Phew! I had never seen that place THAT affected by rain. And I’ve seen some shite weather there! This must have been most spectacular. Luckily, my drive home was uneventful. And now the big wait starts until we can check if our last blast was more successful than the previous one!

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