Last night’s long awaited season four premiere episode of "Gold Rush" was titled “Learning Curve.”
As the episode begins, the Hoffman crew is in Guyana as Freddy Dodge and Todd venture to explore the ground they found on their prospecting trip. Freddy found the best paydirt on their trip, and Todd persuaded the illegal miners to leave for other areas and let them mine there. However, when Todd and Freddy arrived, the place was already mined out. When his crew finds this; it will not be a good time.
At Porcupine Creek, Fred is preparing his glory hole, where he knows there is gold, but they were not able to find it all last season. Before they can do anything, they must drain the hole by pumping the seventy feet of water out of the hole. Dustin has had enough of the glory hole and wants to mine the new claim in the mountains above Porcupine in Cahoon Creek. One problem they have is getting equipment there, so Dustin visited a friend, Kenny, who has mined in remote areas. He assured Dustin that they can get a small dump truck and excavator there by flying them in. When Dustin returned to Porcupine, Fred told him that they were finding the gold in the honey hole first, then with money in their pockets, they will go to Cahoon. Dustin is not happy with his father’s choice and expected to mine only at Cahoon.
At Scribner Creek in the Klondike, Parker is digging for bedrock. He dropped a shovelful in the creek and started panning. He only found two flakes, and that will not keep him solvent. As Tony Beets arrived, they went to another part of the claim that Parker was yet to test, a river channel that runs through his claim.
Freddy and Hoffman crew rookie, Brian went prospecting into the jungle, watching their step for snakes all the way. After several hours, they found nothing.
Parker took Tony’s advice and panned a shovelful from the new location and sure enough, there were about ten flakes, a lot better than two and Parker is optimistic. However, Parker and his foreman, Gene have never worked Klondike ground before, and Gene is not a patient person, as Parker soon found out. Against Tony’s advice, Parker widened his channel to have more ground in his cut. The original ground was thawed, but he went several yards into the permafrost which will take longer to dig. As Tony arrived, he was surprised that they went into the permafrost. He advised Parker to take the easier ground in the channel until he is sure of what he has. Tony told Parker to find workers who have Klondike experience, since he and Gene do not.
At Porcupine, Fred knows how frustrated Dustin is feeling, as he faces the third year mining the glory hole. Fred decided to pass the torch to Dustin and put him in charge of the operation, which Dustin accepted. So immediately, they started to drop the pump down twenty feet to the glory hole. Nerves of steel were required to do the job, and it was done and running in no time and ready to be moved another twenty feet below. As the ground below the heavy excavator starts shifting, Dustin goes to find Fred for assistance. So Fred takes the excavator and moves rock to stabilize the excavator and reaches the pump and moves it to the new platform. The next morning, the hole was nearly empty, as the pump ran all night.
In Guyana, Todd bought five off-road motorcycles which they took to the first barge. Then they had to drive 75 miles to the next barge to take them to camp. As Jack hit a log and was thrown from a motorcycle, he was shaken, but not deterred as they made it just in time to meet the last barge. Back at camp, Freddy had to return home for business, but the rest of the crew headed into the jungle to continue their search. As they encounter fallen trees, they must saw their path to clear it. As they stop by a creek, they pan for gold along the way, but keep going to the next creek with the same results. The third creek turns out to be a winner. Now they must break ground and get that trammel in.
At Scribner Creek, Parker brings in Greg Remsburg, who left the Hoffman crew, and is now a seasoned veteran of the Klondike. The newly expanded crew is making great progress and made it down to the gravel in one day in the channel.
In Guyana, they are moving the trammel in unsteady ground and finally reach their destination. As Jack leads the team in prayer, they hope their prayers will be answered on this season of "Gold Rush."
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