Last night Discovery Channel presented the "Gold Rush Live" episode and touched on how the crews did on their final rush to meet their goals. This afternoon, Discovery presented the entire episode titled, "The Motherlode," that was summarized on the live presentation.
As this episode begins, the weather is the enemy with only days left to strike it rich. At Indian River in the Klondike, night temperatures have dropped to fifteen degrees, freezing everything in its wake. As Dave watches the equipment, the paydirt is frozen and making it more difficult to run it through. Todd wants his thousand ounces, but cut one is frozen and unable to be scraped. They need thawed ground or the season is over and their goal unreachable. Todd tells the men to bring in the equipment and shut it down. Jack Hoffman is not a quitter and remembers that back in the 1800s; the miners used to build fires to soften the soil. Dave feels that a campfire will not do the trick; Jack tells them it will be the fire from Hell, not a weenie roast. Jack asks Todd and Dave if they want to go home stupid or smart? Dave still believes that it is a bad idea, but agrees anyway.
At Porcupine Creek, Fred needs just twenty-one ounces to make his goal. The ground is getting harder to dig. There is a trail leading down to the glory hole, and Fred wants to take it out. Each bucket he scoops makes the trail a bit more treacherous. As the ramp crumbles under him and his heavy equipment, he needs Dustin to help pull him out with the other excavator as he hangs precariously over a fifty-foot drop. Finally, Fred pulls himself out of danger by gripping Dustin's excavator. Never to quit, Dustin decides to use the dredge again in the now thirty foot deep glory hole. It is fifteen degrees colder than his last dredge, and he hopes that he can last long enough to get something. Unlike the dredgers of "Bering Sea Gold," Dustin has no warming equipment to protect him from the icy water. Two hours is the best he can do and the final clean out will tell if it was worth it.
Back in Haines, Parker has been summoned to see his mother and grandfather. The bills keep coming in and with seriously past-due bills, Parker has to find thirty more ounces of gold in a week, or borrow money. When he tested Emerson Trench last week, the outlook was optimistic for the final week of digging.
At Indian River, a massive bonfire is the only solution to getting more paydirt. As trees are lined up in the cut, the miners have a last shot at redemption. Todd knows that they are the only idiots in the Klondike thawing out their paydirt with a bonfire. Jack's face is burning and knows that he is far away from the fire and stops for a prayer with his crew. Once the fire dims, the digging proceeds. Dave is down two feet and still digging. Jack is a genius, and if they make the thousand ounces, it will be a tribute to him. Jack called the young guys dumb asses because they would not listen to him until he held his ground.
At Big Nugget, Parker is battling the ice and frozen ground to get the last bit of paydirt and finally pulls the plug. As he looks in the jig for any signs of gold, the sluice is frozen solid. Overnight the Alaskan winter hit hard, and over a foot of snow fell. As they tried to remove the gold, they must heat water to thaw the box to remove the pads. He left the mine and locked the gate behind him with his frozen gold the last piece of the puzzle.
As an interesting bit of information, it was announced that twenty-five years ago, a horse kicked out Jack Hoffman's teeth. He designed and built a new set out of glass and an ounce and a half of gold. Today, Jack's teeth are worth over $2400.
At Porcupine Creek, they are hoping to find gold from what Dustin dredged, and the total is 163 ounces of gold for the season.
At Indian River, the frozen chunks of bedrock are endangering their wash plant, but that is where the gold lies, so they take their chances. The wash plant is shut down, and the tally awaits. The last tally gives them another 81 ounces for a grand total of 803 ounces for a record payday, and each one earned the title of gold miners.
At Parker's home, his father and grandfather await the tally of the thawed out gold. If they make 190 ounces for the season, they will be in the black. The total is 192.26 and the family his ecstatic. Parker gave his grandfather the key to the gate and his undying gratitude for everything he has learned from this wise man. Parker told him that some of the best times of his life have been at the mine with him.
Jack has always been the keeper of the gold, and this is no exception. He gives the crew their numbers; the newcomers get ten ounces each; the first-year miners get 20 ounces, the ones who have been with them all three seasons received 30 ounces, and everyone left happy. What happens on the next season of "Gold Rush," fans will be anxious find out.