After a disastrous 100 days in the jungle the Hoffman crew still haven’t found any gold. They only have 50 more days of the season left. After a 20 hour test-run Todd and Dave check the sluices of “little red”. They don’t see any gold, but Todd sees a “frickin” diamond. So he tells Dave to shut it down. Todd puts gold mining on hold until they can fit “little red” with diamond jigs fixed by Freddie Dodge. They need to be totally over-hauled and of course it’s a total drama that Freddie will need to work miracles to fix, but after all the suspense, he does the impossible! So they’ll mine diamonds and gold!
Onto Porcupine Creek, AK and Dustin and Dakota Fred who are working on a new downstream cut of their claim, trying to make enough money so Dustin can go up to their new claim where he found gold. They need to make $100,000 to go to Cahoon Creek up in the mountains and look for more gold. Fred thinks this cut is the best they have ever seen. While they are digging and running dirt, they get a flat tire on the loader and can’t run the plant. As usual this is dire news and will effect mining, and they don’t know how long they’ll be down, for of course there are no other tires in all of Alaska…….
Back in the Klondike where Parker Schnabel’s dirt they’re mining is only producing $7.00 a yard they’ve decided “Big Red” the wash-plant needs to be run faster and for more hours, to make more money for Tony Beets, the Viking who leases them the land, gets 15% of the top and is complaining about the take. Parker decides to have Rick run the plant himself at night, though he is a novice with no experience and has already worked a 12 hour shift. Who doesn’t see this not working out well?
Everybody else goes home for the night. Why the hell doesn’t Parker who’s always bitching stay and work late too? As Rick loads the dirt there are big rocks that jam the feeder, and he has to shut the system down. As he’s running around the system, shutting it down, it’s apparent he could use help. After it takes him 30 minutes to clear the blockage and reset “Big Red”, he’s made one big mistake, he’s forgotten to shut-off the bi-pass valve. Now with half the sluice water running through the bi-pass valve the ripples are full with thick slurry so the gold can’t settle and it’s running out and for the next 6 hours they’re losing gold. (They have a camera crew……did that guy not notice this water was running out…..just saying)
When Parker shows up he sees the bi-pass valve is still on and is pissed at Rick and mentions firing him to the camera. It could have cost Parker all of $4,000 in gold for the time that Rick ran the dirt inefficiently, so he says it’s not going to work. Rick is very upset. I think it’s Parker’s own fault, he shouldn’t have left an inexperienced young guy all on his own running HIS mining business. So, Parker decides to call in a pro. Guess who it is?
Back to Guyana and another drama. They need to place the jigs that Freddie fixed and I’m thinking that if they just did it without the drama, they wouldn’t have a show, they have to yell and scream and act as if it’s going to be the end of the mining season if they drop them but “miraculously” they get them into place and can go back to work!
So back to Alaska and the Dakota boys with their tire problem. Of course somehow, Fred found the only tire in all of Alaska, but it’s the wrong size they find out soon enough as they try to put it on the loader. They go through many dramatic gyrations with wooden spacers that are 1/8 inch too short in length and instead of fixing them to the correct length they then need to use 5 tubes of silicone grease and muscle to finally get the tire to fill with air so they can get on with mining while losing a full day of mining. Hallelujah!
Back in Guyana they’ve finished working with the jigs and are loading the first pay dirt and the pulsing action will work with the wash plant and hopefully they’ll find diamonds. Dave shuts it down to look and they see one little one. Whoopie!
Scribner Creek, the Klondike. Chris Dumond is the surprise worker from the old Hoffman crew who Parker called who wants to work the wash-plant. Ten minutes in with the wash-plant running high speed a rock jams it, and Chris realizes it’s going to keep happening. He talks to Parker telling him, if he wants to run consistently, he’ll have to slow it down by 20% with such chunky material, but run constantly and well. Parker agrees.
Back in Guyana the guys shut down the operation again and sieve through the material with Tony Melvin “Diamond Mining Legend” of 40 years. (okay, so why does this guy still live in the jungle looking for diamonds if he’s such a successful diamond expert?) As they sieve through the gravel to see, or as Tony likes to call it, “looking at the wheel of fortune”, they actually find 1 gem quality minute diamond that they all get very excited about. It’s ridiculous! Hey, I wish them the best, but I don’t see them getting lucky any time soon! If there are any real big diamonds around there, why is this Tony still here, not living it up, rich somewhere else with all the money he’s made finding his diamonds, inquiring minds want to know? (Though there was a blurb saying a 56.75 carat diamond worth $5 million was found 2 miles from Todd’s claim.)
In the meantime Todd has been summonsed to see Tony McDeason, his claim owner who he owes 12% to. He expects $100,000 and Todd tells him he has NO gold. Tony tells Todd 6 diamonds is peanuts and doesn’t want to hear him complain, says they have a problem and doesn’t think he can go on like this. He tells him to pack up and leave! Uh oh!
Porcupine Creek is having their weigh-in and Cahoon Creek in the mountains is a dead issue unless they have a great result. They want to have at least 25 ounces a week. They have 72 ounces worth about $100,000 so they can and will go to Cahoon. (Obviously gold fever is like a drug and instead of just mining where they are and making money and being happy, they already have decided how to spend the $100,000 they JUST made to go on to the next site hoping to make even more money!)
Parker is weighing-in his gold with Tony Beets. He had great results showing 140 oz. worth almost $200,000. If he can keep going this way, he might beat Todd’s last season of 880 oz.
Let’s see what happens next week. Will Todd and the crew really have to pack up and leave? Will Cahoon Creek really be as good as Dustin hopes? Will Parker keep being so successful? Will Chris Dummond work out for Parker? Will Fred and Melanie still have success at Porcupine Creek?
I can’t wait to see what new ways these character can find trouble. AND where’s Jack?????
© Evelyn Garone 1.18.14