The show starts off this week with all the usual mushy family goodbyes for Parker Schnabel preparing for his first season all alone in the Yukon. He won’t have his father, nor his grandfather to lean on anymore. He’s 18 and as usual for a young buck, he assumes he’ll have the pick of anything he wants. He tells us he’s taking the excavator and the dump truck with him. His grandfather, forever the soft touch tells him when half-ass asked, of course he can take the equipment. Fortunately, his parents put their collective foot down and tell Parker, no they want him to learn and live on his own. They do give him 100 oz. of gold, which depending on the going rate of exchange differs from about $130,000 to $160,000 which he will have to use judiciously in the Yukon for supplies, equipment, etc. Parker is willing to blow his college fund for a chance at the “big time” in the Yukon.
When he arrives, 600 miles later in Dawson, Yukon early in the season, he’s actually too early for any real work. He attends an auction for a D10 bulldozer with Tony Beets but loses his choice of dozer to a higher bidder. Tony Beets has the maps for Parker’s property, but it’s not accessible because there is a road glacier in the way. So to kill some time, Parker goes to see a guy Tony referred about a bulldozer and a wash-plant that he can afford. Who does it turn out to be? Todd Hoffman acting like the devil himself while he wheeled and dealed with Parker. He looked downright evil and seemed to be enjoying driving a hard bargain and telling us in an aside, that he “would” get his 100 oz. of gold and be there to take his D10 dozer back so fast Parker’s head would spin. What was up with that? When did Todd start living in a luxurious compound in the Yukon? Isn’t he in Guyana? I didn’t remember Todd and Parker having problems…..
Moving on…….Dakota Fred and Dustin fly over their property which is an interesting death-defying gorge that seems impenetrable. After seeing the lay of the land they realize they’ll need their own plane to get to their property. They’re going to build their own airstrip of 300 yds. for take-off which Fred then practices with a plane…..and after only two tries one bad and one good they decide he can do it. To me, and I know I’m no expert, but the odds of 50-50 seem shitty! I think I’d want some more data before I decide it’s a go!
Dustin gets to one side of their gulch and after searching for a good access point to cross comes across a cable that he decides will fit the bill. Interesting and more interesting. He’s going to “make” a cable car after testing the cable can hold his weight. How in God’s name are they going to get their equipment in……..oh, well we’ll worry about that later I guess, like we do all the problems in this mad “gold rush” fever these guys have!
Back to Parker and Tony Beets. Tony suggests Parker go home, the glacier won’t be removed by the county in time for Tony to lend him his drill before the season starts to even see if this whole jaunt is worth the risk. Parker in his enthusiasm and youth won’t be denied. He decides to hot-wire Todd’s excavator and “borrow” it to clear the road himself. I am appalled! As if Todd won’t hear of it? What if something invariably goes wrong with the borrowed piece of equipment? The’ll be hell to pay and Parker is wrong for being so cavalier about borrowing an expensive piece of equipment like that.
Tony hears about the plan and decides to meet Parker at the site of the glacier with the drill before he is in his field with it. The tension mounts……of course, it works out but Parker has a hard time and almost goes off the cliff, but in the nick of time he clears the road for Tony’s arrival and they go through to the property and drill and guess what? The land seems to have gold!
Tune in next week…………
© Evelyn Garone 8.24.13