Last night’s long awaited season four premiere episode of "Gold Rush" was titled “Queen of Diamonds.”
Last season Todd Hoffman vowed to transform his operation to into a more profitable operation; even if he had to go to the ends of the earth. This season the Hoffman crew is in Guyana in South America. Unfortunately, Marshall, the person who helped Todd procure the land has fallen ill due to the perils of the jungle environment. Understanding the diseases that the crew can encounter, several of the men dropped out of the expedition. Malaria and dengue fever are a risk, but as Dave Turin stated; he was tired of working for pennies, and he is taking the risk.
In Denver, Colo. Todd commissioned Freddy Dodge to build a wash plant that would be capable of handling the sandy dirt in the jungle. Last year, he spent $250,000 for a trammel that did not even work properly. This time Freddy knows it will be a worthwhile investment of $300,000. After the test run, Little Red exceeded expectations.
In the Klondike at Scribner Creek, Parker purchased forty-year old wash plant, Little Blue from Todd and is taking it to its new home, the land he leased from Tony Beets. After Parker and his family agreed to use his college fund to finance the operation, he ventured to the Klondike in search of his fortune. Already, he is over $280,000 in the red. As Little Blue was gingerly unloaded, tension was high that it would arrive safely.
In Guyana, the equipment traveled from Denver to Miami, then was loaded on a ship for transport to Georgetown, Guyana. Once it arrived, trammel, generator, bulldozer, excavator and loader had to travel another 175 miles through the dense jungle. As they inspected one of the low-boy trucks, they were not completely sure it was worthy of taking such a heavy load, but was the only truck available. The trek to Pamela Landing where the equipment then had to travel downriver to their claim was not an easy one. As they reached a narrow winding road, the tropical rains came transforming their path into a slippery mess. Dave would much rather drive through icy permafrost than slick mud.
It took nerves of steel, provided by Jack and the crew to get this extremely heavy equipment to its destination without loss of life or equipment, as the old low-boy, not used to so much weight snapped the drive shaft line. Without any way to fix it at the moment, Jack had to drive the loader the last 75 miles of the trip. However, five miles up the road, the crew was halted because of an unstable bridge on the road ahead. This creaky bridge has a weight limit of ten tons, but the trammel weighs 23 tons. No other option but to cross the creek that is now at low tide. First, the loader got across with Jack behind in the excavator. As the loader had to navigate up the steep incline, Jack helped push it with the excavator bucket. Next up, the trammel, but first they have to repair the bridge and pray it holds. There is no way the trammel will make it the same way the loader and excavator did. Jack started a group prayer asking The Lord for help that their work is not in vain. If the bridge does not hold, the entire operation will come to an abrupt end. As their luck held out, the trammel made it across the creaky bridge.
In Porcupine Creek, in southeast Alaska, the Dakota Boys, Fred and Dustin Hurt are closing in on their mine, but seven miles from the mine; the road is impassable due to the massive snowfall. At the end of last season they had to end their hunt for the gold at the bottom of the waterfall. This season, they plan to resume the chase for where they believe the gold is hiding. As Dustin drives the custom-made ATV, they trudge through the soft snow across the frozen river, praying that it holds their weight. As the ice is cracking beneath them, they get stuck in the deep snow. Once they dig their way out, they resume and barely make it across.
As the Hoffman crew reaches the old mining town of Mahdia, the power and telephone lines of the town are dangerously low, and as they hold up the lines, they risk electrocution as well as disabling the entire town. Teamwork prevails once again as they make it through.
At Scribner Creek, Parker is borrowing the drill rig from Tony Beets. The first three test holes are duds. However, Parker drilled in the off-season and found good gold at 20 feet down.
In Guyana, the first piece of equipment makes it across the river by barge. As they are preparing to load the trammel, they got word that the dozer is not running. The filters are clogged with contaminated diesel fuel. Todd calls in for help via helicopter to bring in more filters. If the dozer does not run, they will not be able to unload the trammel. As they arrive with the trammel, there is no sign of Mitch and Andy and no helicopter. As they try to unload the trammel with the undersized loader, it is unable to do the job, and the barge must be back for another job. Just as they were about to take the barge back, the helicopter shows up and saves the day. When they finally unload the trammel, Jack leads them in prayer of thanksgiving and hopes for a golden future.
In Porcupine Creek, Dustin and Fred are busy plowing the snow with the loader as it slips and slides with the bald tires. Soon, they abandon the job. But Fred knows a guy nearby who has a 50-year-old dozer that may just be able to handle the job. So Dustin goes to procure it, hoping he can get it running.
Still drilling, Parker is conversely hoping to find gravel and finally, at sixteen feet, they found good gravel. They will test the gravel and pray for gold. Tony takes the buckets to town to test them and will return in a day or two with the results.
In Guyana, the Hoffman crew return by boat to their home for the next five months. As they are on the river, they spot a snake gliding across the water and grabbing onto a tree limb, another creature they must be wary of. Now to move the trammel closer to their mining operation, another five miles away. One problem lies in their trip, a turn that will require dexterity and awareness, so they don’t topple the trammel on its side.
As they reach camp, strict rules must be adhered to in order to keep out malaria-carrying mosquitoes. As a group goes in search of water, they see creatures that creep them out and a few guys are having second thoughts about staying there. When Todd finds out about the morale situation, he and Jack go to meet with a local who has been mining there for about twenty years. He gives Todd some good information to bring back to the mutinous crew.
In Porcupine Creek, Dustin gets the dozer running after being idle for over five years. This dozer uses cables and pulleys to lift the bucket, no hydraulics on this old dog. When a cable snaps, they work to repair it, and soon Dustin is on his way, but fuel is running low. Fred loads up the ATV with fuel to come to Dustin’s rescue, but gets stuck in the snow. Soon Dustin shows up, plowing as he goes and must make it to rescue Fred, who is ready to give him the fuel he needs to complete the job. Now they can start mining. First, Fred has a surprise for Dustin, as two new excavators drive up, one with Melody Tallis and the other with new crewmen Jeremy Scalicky and mechanic Mike McGregor. Fred told them that their season goal was 320 ounces, and with new equipment and more crew, they should reach their goal.
In the Klondike, Parker clears trees while waiting for the results of the test run. When Tony returned, Parker was not happy to see that the results only gave them traces of gold in the digs. Parker owes his family 100 ounces of gold for his college fund and Todd 100 ounces for Little Blue, but Parker is in too deep to quit now.
As Todd talks to his crew, they are scared of the conditions in the jungle. He told them of his meeting with Antonio this afternoon. The man told him that one day he found over $250,000 out of the ground; but not all gold. As Todd showed them that some of the find was diamonds that ran right with the nuggets of gold. Now they know why their mine is called the QOD, meaning the Queen of Diamonds on this season of "Gold Rush."
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