I don’t know if any of you out there follow the “Gold Rush” Series but I can’t help myself, it’s one of my guilty pleasures. It’s a Reality Series on The Discovery Channel 9/8C that is on for the third season and these guys crack me up. Now I don’t know if their ineptitude is for the camera or if it’s for real, but My God these guys have taken it to a new low on how many ways they can mess up a plan! The main character or I guess the “leader” of the miners is Todd Hoffman a self-admitted religiously educated Christian non-miner trying to strike it rich. As each season unfolds Todd’s plans go awry and the crew follow him through the pitfalls as they believe they will get rich and get themselves out of their debt and bankruptcy. You can’t help but watch the train wreck and wonder if each season they’ll learn more about mining and perhaps finally get an expert or two to help with their scatterbrained plans. Not having been involved in mining myself, perhaps I’m being too hard on them, perhaps these difficulties happen to all miners, it just seems some could be avoided by better planning?
Case in point, this season, Todd swears they will get 1,000 ounces of gold. I’m skeptical of the amount, where did Todd pull this magical number from? Even if this number of 1,000 ounces of gold is reached, which I hope they far exceed, I don’t see how they think that will make them the millionaires that they wish to be. There are 6 guys in the main “crew” and this season they’ve added to that number now that they’ve opened two mining camps in the Klondike, Yukon Canada hoping to have a better chance of getting more gold. They also have the expenses of all the heavy equipment they’ve bought and shipped all the way up to Canada.
In the opening episode, they showed Todd Hoffman and Dave Turin presenting an amateurish untrained proposal to garner funding to a roomful of millionaires. I thought it was scary how unprepared they were to ask for backing, but luckily they got it. So, I don’t know how that works, they never went into it, but I would assume they somehow owe these people a percentage or eventually some money. Just ruminating, but wouldn’t that cut into that magic number of 1,000 oz. x $1,600 (going rate of gold) = $1.6 million divided by 12 people – expenses – equipment – backers – lease payment of 10% = barely getting by……just saying.
Todd has made some interesting and questionable decisions in the past. Whenever Todd has made one of these “questionable” decisions it is usually against the advice of Dave Turin’s. Now some background on Dave Turin. He comes from a family who owns a quarry, which he took a leave of absence from to follow this charade, which isn’t exactly mining, but is in the earth moving-family and it is a hell of a lot closer to mining than religion and Dave also has a degree in Engineering. So, you’d think that Todd might listen to Dave? No, he listens to his gut…and what do the guys do, they follow Todd and his big fat gut like lemmings off a cliff! And then they form a circle, Todd says a short prayer, to get the most out of his four year-theology degree and they hit their hats together in solidarity every time. It’s hilarious!
So, back to the story, this time Todd decided he wanted a super-capacity experimental trommel (it can handle 4-6 times the amount of dirt compared to the original design, and again Dave disagreed because the bed itself where the dirt falls isn’t any wider) that was supposed to take six weeks to deliver. As they wait at the mine site, ready to go with all their expensive new heavy equipment sitting at the ready, waiting for Todd’s brandy-new trommel, it’s costing money every day that it hasn’t shown up. Again, another fabulous plan of Todd’s! Didn’t he check on it……why is it late? Supposedly it will be delivered 2 weeks late. So, he has decided Dave and his crew should stay on his site and help get them “ready” as they try to get the old “shaker” and wash box up and running that’s been sitting out in the Klondike winter freezing and might not even run. Good plan Todd!
OMG! It’s shades of the last two seasons. You can’t even wonder why Dave Turin and the other guys are ready to move onto their site and leave Todd with his father Jack to blunder around. I’m hoping Dave’s new design is fabulous and he gets their butts out of the fire by mining so much gold they will become millionaires.
Meanwhile, down in Porcupine Creek Dakota Fred is mining on their old claim that Todd forgot to make a lease payment on so Fred claim jumped it back during season 2. And that pretty much sums up Dakota Fred’s personality. He never met a snake he didn’t like! This episode when Fred and his son showed up they said it had been the worst winter in the last 50 years in Alaska, leaving 12 ft. of snow, and there was still 4 ft. on their equipment. Two miles away is the Schnabel mine where the nice kid Parker is still digging through 75 feet of dirt swearing he’s going to get to the pay dirt. It is obvious when gold fever hits, there’s no escape! Parker’s Grandfather had mined as more of a hobby, but has had the patience and money to let the kid have free rein and is letting him run the mine since right before he decided to retire at 90.
Dakota Fred had no compunction to run down to The Schnabel Mine to ask Parker for help with the snow. With no hesitation Parker helped, bringing his generator to start their equipment that was frozen and a plow to plow them out. But low and behold, later in the show when Parker went to Dakota Fred for a little show of return gratitude, Fred let him down. I was not at all surprised. Whether it is for ratings, or is really Fred’s personality, Fred shows no kindness when asked a favor. Parker needed an electrical board, as his was old and fried and Fred had one in his trailer that would have been perfect for Parker’s needs but was asking an outrageous amount of gold in trade for it and would not dicker, nor would he lend it to Parker. So much for remembering how one hand washes the other. Fred is not a sympathetic personality.
This season is called “Do Or Die!” Supposedly one of the group of miners is going to hit it big this season. I think I speak for most viewers and if it has to be someone, let it either be The Hoffman Group or Parker Schnabel and his Grandpa who I love, NOT Dakota Fred. He is not a nice person.
(c) Evelyn Garone 10/27/12