“Gold Rush” is all new Friday February 17, and if you thought Todd Hoffman was out of the woods with his two Colorado operations, you’d be wrong. After the best cleanup they could have hoped for at Fairplay as well as Sacramento Creek, putting them on target for the lowered season goal, nature is about to take over. A decades-old commercial for Chiffon Margarine had a tagline of “It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature”, and Todd Hoffman met her, and met her in spades. Update posted below.
In the episode titled “Miners vs. Beavers” Todd’s whole operation comes to a halt when a beaver dams his water supply. Is he cursed? Nah, it’s just the way it works for the Hoffmans. Perhaps they did too much celebrating after a weekly clean up of 146.7 ozs, which came from what Jack Hoffman declared, “The best ground we’ve ever been on”. Logan, Todd’s nephew found new a location at Sacramento Creek that brought 27.4 ozs after its first test run with the Fairplay site providing the rest.
Parker Schnable needed his dad to get up to Scribner Creek to help him untangle a mess. After spending $300,000 for a new conveyor that took the place of three rock trucks, dumping 900 yards of overburden an hour, Parker had the pad he needed to move Sluicifer from the now depleted boundary cut extension. It wasn’t without time lost due to mechanical failures, as usual, but he’s ready to get that washplant moved and working again.
Luckily for him, Rick and his crew at the second site running Big Red came up strong. There were smiles all around when the cleanup produced 136 ozs. of gold, pushing Schnable over the 2,000 oz. mark. His goal was 4,000 ozs. but there’s little time left to hit that target without both sites running without too many hiccups. In the sneak peek posted below, watch what happens when the crew begins to move the pipes, pumps and feed system for Sluicifer. Brace yourself, because it isn’t pretty.
Monica Beets, just like Rick, is earning congratulations and swelling with pride. Her first solo operation brought in 76 ozs. of gold. Without her washplant operation, the Beets family would be dead in the water. The dredge has yet to come back on-line, and Monica’s success leaves them only 150 ozs. shy of their 2,000 oz. season goal. Tony praised her in his way, by telling her it was “pretty good”, with her mom picking up the slack with a lot of praise. Coming up this week, the parts for the dredge arrive.
“I win beavers! We’ll have water now”, shouted Freddie Dodge as he went underwater to guide an excavator towards the gnarly dam built by beavers. There he was, gloating after the big rocks and branches were dislodged so that water could once again run through Double Trouble at Sacramento Creek. Unfortunately it took almost a half-week from mining gold and the cleanup showed that.
On top of that, Fairplay’s water stopped flowing as well, and Hoffman couldn’t help but wonder when he’d catch a break. In total, the two sites only produced less than 70 ozs, 30 short of the weekly goal. “No water, no gold”, Dodge said. Ya’ think?
For all the talent on a claim site, perhaps second to the brains of the organization is the mechanic. A prized commodity in everyone’s organization for sure, but even more so when an operation has ceased to run for one month. That was Tony Beets’ dilemma when the part delivered for the dredge didn’t fit, despite hiring a machinist. It was left to Mike Beaudry who has worked as what the show calls a “bush mechanic” for some 15 years. He got it going and the dredge began rolling. Lost income amounted to $700,000.
Over at Scribner Creek, despite Daddy Schnable’s help things just continued to go sideways for Parker. Moving Sluicifer to the Creek Cut turned into something akin to scenes of building the pyramids in ancient Egypt; all except for the cast of thousands! After the major potential disaster of getting the pad ready, Brennan broke a track on an excavator as it got stuck in deep water at the old cut. Mitch got involved to maneuver the equipment to the lowest water point to avoid blowing the electrical on the excavator. It was delicate and incredible to watch.
Despite it all, the new cut proved that Parker’s still got the right instincts, producing 273 ozs. of gold. If you add that to Rick’s Indian Creek haul of 129 ozs. it appears that Schnable has hope for that 4,000 oz. season. He began the week at just of 2,000.
“Gold Rush” airs Fridays on Discovery Channel at 9 p.m. ET/PT Image/video credit: Discovery Communications, used with permission