Written by Don "Deuce" Gill (email)
posted under 'gold rush alaska', 'prospecting humor'
I have to say, of all the episodes of Gold Rush Alaska to date, Episode 8 “Bad Blood” has been my favorite. As I rightly divined in last week’s posting, “Welcome to the Hurt Locker”, old school expert miner Fred Hurt comes into the camp with his mind set on finding gold. From the opening scene, Fred quickly identifies that the grizzlies are too small and slowing production. No mincing words, takes a cutting torch to them to increase the opening to a full eight inches. After a small pissing match with Harness, Hurt's decision is quickly vindicated when more than twice the material they have been able to process before starts flowing. With the ability to run more material, ol’ Fred Hurt pushes the crew into high gear (when they can be found) to work. The more material they move, the more gold they get.
It was pretty apparent Fred Hurt and Harness are like oil and water, which sort of surprises me. I have read several threads on the Discovery Channel forums over the last couple of weeks that reported Jimmy Dorsey as saying that Harness was the real pain in the ass of the crew; the person in camp that bitched the most and was a hot head. Based on what I had seen in previous episodes, I couldn’t believe it. Well, in this week’s show, Harness came off looking pretty bad. Putting a hammer in Fred’s face, yelling and pushing the old fella around is a bit much. I would have kicked him in his bad ankle. Guess editing has saved Harness' butt.
It also looks like Jack is starting to get into some pretty good diggings. I can’t say that it is the Glory Hole that claim owner Earl was talking up during the beginning of the season, but those large boulders are looking yummy. Really yummy! Big rocks typically means big gold when you are on the gold streak. Keep digging Jack! Now if everyone would calm down and start listening to and asking advice of Fred Hurt (a man who has been there and done that) perhaps they can start making money?
I doubt they will though.
Adding up the gold
As this was the crew’s second official gold cleanup, I thought it would be fun to start tracking how much gold they found to date. With the 3.4 ounces recovered during Episode 8 added to the 2.7 ouches panned out during their first cleanup, my running tally has the Porcupine Crew recovering a touch more than 6 ounces for the season. That’s two ounces a month for those keeping score. Take out the owner Earl's 20% cut, and the crew is down to 4.8 ounces to cover costs and split for profit. They sure must have a couple of really good cleanups coming up if they are going to make it to the 28 ounces of gold Jimmy Dorsey says they end up with.
The show made a point to call out that with the past four days of mining during Episode 8, their 3.4 ounces was more than they had found during the first three months. That works out to a touch more than three-quarters of an ounce a day. The crew was so happy that they were lighting off fireworks and were dancing for joy. If you figure that the crew is burning about a thousand dollars a day in fuel, food and spare parts, three-quarters of an ounce may be just enough to break even. In comparison to John Schnabel from across the river recovers more than $30,000 a day in gold. Using a rough $1300 an ounce calculation, he is mining more than 23 ounces a day. Seems like the Gold Rush Alaska crew are a mere 22 ounces behind the curve.
Playing the Gold Rush Alaska drinking game
Reading the Discovery Channel post, “1 more day till show, let’s pick a drinking game”, I believe that I have found the ultimate way of really making the show interesting and fun. The rules are simple, every time you see something predictable on the show, or hear a particular catch phrase, you take a drink of your favorite adult beverage. Here are some ideas that you can use when you watch Episode 9, “Bedrock or Bust”. Drink each time:
- The narrator refers to how much money Todd and the crew had spent so far (this week is was up to $275,000.
- Todd is filmed standing around with his hands in his pockets.
- Someone asks, “Where is everybody?”
- Something breaks.
- Productions stops to run into town to pick something up.
- The term “Glory Hole” is used.
- The term “tension” is used.
Needless to say, using these rules, I was just a touch tipsy after watching this episode. Any others that you would add?