SATURDAY 31 JULY GEMTREE
John revealed over breakfast that he really wanted to go back to the garnet valley and have a dig at the hole in the creek bed that he’d explored at the end of our last day out there. I was rather expecting this, as he’d seemed to have an attitude that it was unfinished business.
John chatted to the woodman, who said we could borrow a bin top for a sieve. He’d made a new one the other day, when he noticed one gone – and then it had turned up again. John ‘fessed up!
Took lunch with us and drove out what, by now, is a familiar route.
We dug from 11am till 2.30pm and found several cutters. I looked only for bigger pieces and left chips and obvious non-cutter pieces alone. We have already found enough, so being fussy is a luxury.
An Englishman appeared in the gully. His only experience was having done the Gemtree tour. John offered him advice, encouraged him to dig near us. He found some pieces. We suggested that he move into “our” hole, when we finished.
We left mid afternoon, feeling that we really had done it all justice.
There was a surprising amount of traffic on the Plenty, coming towards us. We worked out that locals were heading into Harts Ranges settlement for Saturday night festivities.
Back at Gemtree, John packed up the mining gear and the back of Truck.
I sorted today’s garnets properly – a good haul, it seems.
I made soup – minestrone. Talked with assorted neighbours and visitors.
Tea was soup, then steak, potatoes, onions, pumpkin – all done on the BBQ plate or in the coals. All very nice.
We decided not to go to paddy melon bowls but just have a final quiet night, sitting at the fire, watching the stars and soaking in the bush surrounds for the last time for a while.