Parker should have left the Yukon for home last week but he hadn’t attained his goal of 1,000 oz. It’s October and all the other miners have left for warmer weather. Rick Ness and Parker Schnabel have decided to stay one last week to try to finish adding to their total of 800 odd ounces by themselves.
Parker and Rick have the “monitor” to keep thawing the dirt to try to hit their goal by adding 164 more ounces or so they thought. The guy who lent him the “monitor”, David Miller has come to get it back. He rented it to Parker for 7 days, and it’s past due….he wants to put it away for the cold winter. Parker thinks he’ll be forced to shut down without having the monitor to thaw the dirt.
Rick comes up with the idea of running the dirt under “little blue” which is thawed pay dirt but they must move the wash plant without breaking it. Drama ensues but of course they do it successfully. Running that dirt through the plant keeps them busy for 3 more days. When they clean up they only have 45.52 oz. though Parker still needs 119 oz. to show his Grandpa a grand total of 1,000 oz. for his first mining season in the Yukon to make him proud for backing him.
Parker calls home and finds out his Grandpa is in the hospital suffering from complications from his cancer and he’s torn…should he rush home to see his Grandpa alive or keep mining…..obviously, keep mining, he’s got the fever and really wants to reach the 1,000 oz. mark to show Grandpa or at least in his memory!
Parker needs a dozer to cut a path to the far side of the property where he thinks the path of gold leads. He cuts a deep test trench and finds white sand which he takes to Tony Beets for advice. Tony says it’s good news and he should poke around. Parker needs more men to help mine, so he goes in to town looking for hands, and no one is around. Meanwhile Rick stays digging to bedrock.
Parker takes over and digs early in the morning, tests a pan and finds 50 pieces which makes the dirt seem better than any they’ve mined yet. It’s getting cold, though and they really need more crew, the two of them can’t do it alone. He goes to Tony Beets to see if he knows someone. His wife volunteers him…and he agrees to help Parker for a day. I love Tony Beets and his wife they seem so nice.
The Viking is here! He asks Parker how deep he is digging and he says 1 – 1 1/2 feet of bedrock and Tony says no he should be digging 3 ft. He knows so much more he has many years of experience and that really helps with mining. So Tony starts digging. He runs from machine to machine….he’s so high energy. With his help they are running 3 times as much pay dirt. It’s great! They run into the night and Tony says he was happy to help. I’m sure no one ever expected to see Tony working “with” Parker, not for Parker Tony makes sure that’s a clear distinction.
Parker and Rick work for 2 more days alone, then return to the plant and everything is frozen. They have to use torches to defrost things and the season is over. They winterize everything and leave. The end of the season total is reduced to one last bucket of concentrate that Parker is taking back to Haines, Alaska to total out.
So, their total was 1,029 ounces worth over $1.4 million. Congrats to Parker and his crew! His Grandfather and parents get to see all the gold and are so proud….it is a beautiful moment!
© Evelyn Garone 3.5.14