Skip to comments.GOLD RUSH: ALASKA [episodes 1-3]
Posted on 12/18/2010 6:43:50 AM PST by matt1234
GOLD RUSH: ALASKA, follows six men who risk everything in the face of an economic meltdown their families, their dignity, and in some cases, their lives to strike it rich mining for gold in the wilds of Alaska. Inspired by his father Jack Hoffman, Todd Hoffman of Sandy, Oregon, leads a group of greenhorn miners to forge a new frontier and save their families from dire straits. While leasing a gold claim in Alaska, Todd and his company of mining rookies face the grandeur of Alaska as well as its hardships, including an impending winter that will halt operations and the opportunity to strike gold. In an effort to keep the operation running, the team takes fate into their own hands with a make or break venture that will change their lives forever.
After watching the steady decline of his aviation business in Oregon due to the stalled economy, Todd searched for new opportunities. With the price of gold on the rise, he came up with a plan to mine for the mineral in southeast Alaska, where there's an estimated $250 billion worth of gold. The mystique of Alaska draws Todd to the Porcupine Creek claim in southeastern Alaska where his father Jack mined for three seasons in the 1980s before he nearly went bankrupt. But the rate of gold discoveries in Alaska over the past two decades has increased exponentially and almost 200 million ounces of gold have been identified for potential recovery.
Todd and Jack look to their community in Oregon for a team of men to work the mines alongside them, knowing dire economic straits have hit those around them hardest. They have no financial means to pay them until or unless they find gold. It's a risk, but with high unemployment in Oregon, there's no shortage of interest. The assembled team includes: rookie Jimmy Dorsey, mechanical genius James Harness, foreman Greg Remsburg, and safety officer Jim Thurber. All four men have fallen hard. Sheet-metal worker Thurber is about to lose his house. Realtor Jimmy Dorsey is so broke he lives with his mother-in-law. Mechanic James Harness has destroyed his back in a car wreck and needs money for surgery. Greg Remsburg's last construction job was a year ago.
The mine at Porcupine Creek is located in the heart of one of the last great wildernesses, where weather conditions can change in an instant. The claim is surrounded by the largest bald eagle population on earth, and a nearby river is the site of a year-round salmon run. Grizzly bears and moose sightings happen daily, and the team must be prepared for some seriously close encounters. Armed with the hope and ferocity to rekindle the original American Dream, GOLD RUSH: ALASKA shines a spotlight on this group of enthusiasts. In essence, these are the new "'49ers," going back to the roots this country was founded on: hard labor, blood, sweat and tears. The men put it all on the line in the biggest gamble of their lives, and the hunt is on to strike it rich or go bust.
Here are my observations:
My opinion of the show.....it sucks! Just like ‘Ax-Men’.
Having done both these jobs in the past, I can tell you that this is all phoney boloney scripted for TV tripe.
Just my opinion.
I have not done either of these jobs, but I agree. OH! The bridge is creaking when we drive over it! OH! When they tried to cross the river with ATV’s I changed channels and never went back. Drama Queens.
I have not seen Ax-Men. I'm sure some of Gold Rush: Alaska is scripted...how much I do not know. Nevertheless, I find it entertaining. I takes me back to reading Jack London and stories about the Klondike Gold Rush. I always enjoyed those stories.
Sad to say, but in the history of prospecting, very, very few prospectors have ever made big bucks. The people who do so are the mining companies, and the people who sell supplies to miners.
Most prospectors after a hard day’s work end up with just enough gold to scrape by. Typically they earn less than minimum wage.
Plus the whole business is full of scammers, con men, rip offs, thieves, and bureaucrats who want to horn in. Any field or mine that is sold has probably been salted.
And every sucker will swear to their dying breath that the mother lode (increasing concentration at depth) exists. It does not. This is known to every serious geologist.
Hope to see more of the 90yo that lives across the creek. Did I hear correctly that he makes $20k+/day from his contraption?
It was a show that could have been done in 1 episode and probably would have been the most watched. They instead decided to make every scene 20 times longer than needed with the annoying “run the tense strings soundtrack” music making you think someone is about to die. If course, if anyone died, the show would never have happened.
Matt, it looked to be a S&W Model 500. I own one for my visits up to my place in Alaska, for the same reason. Definately a handful of gun.
The show exposed this fact about the Klondike gold rush. The show includes a little bit of history and science, presumably because it's on the Discovery Channel. If my understanding is correct, modern mining techniques allow gold miners to revisit previously mined areas and extract gold that was overlooked/unextractable using the older techniques.
Yeah, he did say something like that. But does that assume he's already found a vein?
I agree that the neighbor prospector is an interesting addition.
Saw several of these back to back last night. I was laughing my ass off the whole time.
The bear episode? What a joke going jihad on a black bear that crossed the perimeter of their camp.
The idiot Realtor doesn’t know his head from the hole he’s digging.
I love that they have only 3 months to dig and they blow the first 1/3 “setting up camp”.
All that said, here’s one for the folks who have actually mined Alaskan gold. Since the gold deposits are from erosion of the surrounding mountains, would it be possible to take a lightweight, small dredge up into the hills and mine out the higher elevation waterfall pools using a wetsuit and snorkeling gear? Seems like those areas might not have been mined in the early years when the technology wasn’t available.
The realtor (Dorsey) reminds me of the type that every kid wants to johnny-pile while playing pick-up football. I wonder if he gets extra pay/perks from Discovery for being the show’s whipping boy.
The Soup made a lot of fun regarding their constant search for the “Glory Hole”.
Yes, but there is a fierce law of diminishing returns.
To put this into perspective, the quality of platinum ore is now so low that greater concentration of platinum molecules is found in roadside dust from automobile catalytic converters.
“Typical gold ore grades in open-pit mines are 15 mg/kg (15 ppm); ore grades in underground or hard rock mines are usually at least 3 mg/kg (3 ppm). Because ore grades of 30 mg/kg (30 ppm) are usually needed before gold is visible to the naked eye, in most gold mines the gold is invisible.”
Do NOT google that.
Check out the chart at the link below for gold value/prices for the past 210 years.
Here's my observation: The cable channels each can find 24 hours worth of programming in Alaska. I will tune in to the Air Alaska show or whatever it's called, as well.
Sounds like you are trying to prevent years of therapy for everyone. :-)
The #1 thing to remember: Reality television isn’t. I know this for a fact, at least for one show, and I suspect it for all of them.
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