Monday, January 11, 2010

This weekend's halves were so-so. 8,000 of them turned up three 90% silver halves (3 x 1964), thirty-one 40% silver halves (1965, 3 x 1966, 10 x 1967, 8 x 1968D, 9 x 1969D) and four proofs (1973S, 2 x 1979S, 1980S).

I also finished some pennies. 7,200 of them turned up twenty-two Wheats, two hundred four Canadians, six US dimes and one Euro 2¢ (Netherlands). In the batch was also one stamped penny. It has a small shamrock on the front near the date. The Wheats were:

1927, 1935, 1936(3), 1937, 1941, 1944(3), 1945(2), 1947D, 1951D, 1953, 1953D, 1955(2), 1956(2), 1957D, 1958D

On Sunday I finished my first book of 2010, The Darkest Jungle: The True Story of the Darien Expedition and America's Ill-Fated Race to Connect the Seas, by Todd Balf. The book details an 1854 US expedition to northern Columbia to investigate the possibility of a canal (south of the current Panama Canal). The expedition was led by Issac Strain (1821-1857) and attempted to cross the isthmus from the Atlantic side to the Pacific side. They set out in search of a rumored gap between mountains. The gap was found not to exist. The small party's continue descent to the Pacific became a very long trial of disease and starvation as they wrongly followed a river that indirectly led to the Pacific. Strain eventually forged ahead with a few other members of the party and was able to rescue the rest of the party with British help. I found Balf's book pretty readable. The book contains some of the best notes I've come across for such a book. Twenty pages at the end describe, chapter by chapter, the sources he used. Reading these notes really helped me appreciate the excellent job Balf did combining the existing original sources, some modern jungle research and his own Darien hiking experiences.

Found: 5 pennies (1 at Bank of America, 1 at the BBQ restaurant, 2 at Costco, 1 at the doctor's office), 1 dime (at Target)