Tonight’s pre-season episode of "Gold Rush" gave fans another insight into the season start on Friday, October 25. The episode was titled “Southern Quest.”
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. Rather than $10 a yard, he hoped to find at least $60 a yard. The quest took them to Peru to the high Andes mountains, but conditions there were not safe, and they decided to leave for safer surroundings. At Madre de Dios, they must trek through the treacherous jungle. As they tested the land, they found out that although the ground was rich enough for them to stay; they were not welcome in such a lawless area and an angry mob did not want outsiders and cameras there.
In Haines, AK, Parker Schnabel is now 18 and still the youngest mine boss. He decided to close up the Big Nugget Mine, his grandfather’s legacy, and head 600 miles north to the Klondike. His family agreed to give him his college fund to start his venture. He started out with his gift of 100 ounces of gold worth $160,000. Parker promises to refill the jar several times. As he and his crew headed out to Dawson to meet with Tony Beets, but as he arrived earlier than his crew, the avalanche has covered his path to his destination.
The Dakota Boys have abandoned Porcupine Creek for what they hope to be the source of gold in the area in Cahoon Creek. Their problem is that there are no roads to get there. As they flew over the territory, they found a gorge that is prone to avalanches. Fred knows that he can fly to Cahoon Creek, but the landing strip will only allow 300 feet. Anything over that mark, could cause their demise. After two tries, the takeoff and landing are perfect.
The Hoffman crew went to Chile after they left Peru. Here they were in the desert at a claim that brought in six billion dollars worth of gold in 1986. First, they must test the land before signing on the dotted line. As Jack was busy digging, the rest of the crew was building a wooden sluice. After several tons of dirt were deposited in the box, they awaited the results. If they found $60 a yard, they would stay, but anything less, and they must leave. After a day of mining and building, they found only a dollar a yard here.
At Quartz Creek in the Klondike, Parker has purchased Todd’s old wash plant and bulldozer to mine his new claim at Scribner Creek. The old dozer fired right up, even after spending the winter under mounds of snow and ice. If the highway department has cleared the way, Parker can drive the equipment to his claim. Tony stopped by to tell Parker that the highway people burned their hoe, and it will be at least another week before he can move to Scribner. Now his foreman, Gene Cheeseman heads home to Alaska awaiting his next move. If something is not done soon, Parker could lose his entire crew. Is Parker in over his head?
As hope is barely alive for the Hoffman crew, they fly to the jungles of Guyana for one last try at mining in South America. Guyana has been very good to the gold miners there and many millions of dollars in gold have been taken from the ground there. As a friend from the Klondike sets up a meeting with a claim owner, Todd meets with him to make a deal. As the crew gets the approval to mine a virgin claim, they head there with hope. The path to the area is covered in mud making the journey a challenge to say the least. With the help of a winch, they are towed out of the mud and back on their way. When they arrived, their virgin land had already been mined. With one last-ditch effort, they headed to another claim and tested the land and found it would yield about $50 a yard; enough to keep them in South America. One problem, the area was sold to someone else.
In the Klondike, Parker is on his way to Scribner, clearing the road himself, but the excavator is no match for the icy road of the avalanche. Finally, luck saves the day, and Parker makes way for Tony Beets to bring in his drill and test the land.
As Dustin is attempting to find a way across the gorge, he discovers a cable that will hold his weight allowing him to cross over to the other side. Now they must construct a bridge to bring the equipment to their destination.
At Quartz Creek, Parker finally is drilling and brings up some pay gravel to test in Tony’s gold room. As the first pan comes through, he finds flakes of gold and estimates it to be about $20 a yard. Parker is in the biggest sandbox in the world and he and his crew are ready to play.
In Guyana, Todd arranges to meet with the claim owner who offers him a shot at the land for the same length of time he would spend in the Klondike. After 150-160 days, they will re-negotiate on season four of "Gold Rush."
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