Tonight’s episode of “Gold Rush” fans get to see what it takes to be part of the production crew of this series as it takes one crew to “The Ends of the Earth” in search of this elusive element.
So far the staff has chased the Hoffman crew to several parts of South America and the icy parts of Alaska and Canada in the seasons of “Gold Rush,” but how do they feel about dealing with miles of travel, horribly hot and humid weather, freezing cold weather, low resources and a cranky crew?
The journey starts in Peru for a six-week journey. Many of the crew feel that the crew are like part of their family, but every family has a few they can do without. As Todd Hoffman instructed them upon landing in Peru, they plan to go to wherever necessary to find from $30 to $60 a yard for gold and hopes that the production and sound crews can keep up with them. Todd has six-weeks, and the journey here up a mountain makes the trek to Quartz Creek like a walk through the park. Facing high-altitude sickness, the crew needs to keep an eye on each other, and the lack of oxygen is not treating Todd too well either. As a camera crew goes ahead to film Todd’s departure, they wait a long while and lose radio contact. A serious bus crash has occurred between the crew and the Hoffmans on this dangerous mountain road. Todd decided to pull the plug on the expedition due to the danger of the mountain travel.
Back to the airport, they travel to the Peruvian Amazon, going from mountain to jungle. When they arrive, while traveling to a remote destination, a production vehicle crashes and rolls into a river while a sound man is trapped inside the overturned truck. Dave Turin managed to open the door and free him from the wreck. The two passengers escape with just cuts and bruises. At the end of the road lies a river. Now to cross the river, they rig cameras to the truck as Jack Hoffman attempts to maneuver it on the boat via two boards. As Todd and the crew grow impatient, tempers flare as the crews take too long to mount the cameras. Finally, the truck is aboard and another camera crew follows on another boat to film the departure.
Once across, they mine and film all through the night in the dense rainforest. The initial test proved worthwhile as they found the right amount of gold to make the journey worth the effort. The next day, they travel through what seems to be a trap. Gangs of men on motorbikes block the road. By filming the encounter, the lawlessness of the area is something they refuse to deal with. With no protection for crew and miners, they depart for the desert of Chile. With only six days, the production team struggles to cover the ever-changing story. In Chile, they have desert heat in the day, and horrible winds and dust at night that nearly blows their campsite to shreds. One of the production crew, cut off the tip of one finger with a defective saw as they helped to build the set. He is a big-game hunter, and they suspect he will lose at least one finger as they rush him to the nearest hospital.
After striking out finding gold, and the loss of one production crew member, they head to one more location in Chile; this one up another mountain. The medical part of the crew brought along a high-altitude chamber for this part of the journey. Todd got to test it out, just to make sure he would fit inside, which surprisingly, was not a problem. Hopefully, they will not need this piece of equipment. At the end of the trail, the rest of the way is on horseback. Todd is riding a quad, but the noise spooks a crew member’s horse, and it takes off, leaving his rider and camera behind. After three days and a trip leading nowhere; they arrive back for their next stop; Guyana. However, the best news they receive, is that their crew member is back with all fingers intact, just a slight loss of bone, but all ten are there.
In Guyana, they arrive after the rains, and everything is muddy and slippery. Todd finds out that the rainy season has another four months to go as the vehicles slip and slide and bounce on the uneven roads as they continue to throw off cargo that is not secured. A rookie crew member has joined production, but has little experience with the elements. As he was given the instructions for safety, he fell in the infested waters trying to avoid being in a scene. Fortunately, he was retrieved in one piece. After all the traveling they did, they discovered they were beaten to the claim by illegal miners. Todd warned the cameras to stay away as he bargained with the miners. He sat down to talk to them and struck a deal; now he has to patch things up with the crew. He apologized as he told them that this is dangerous territory and he did not want to start a riot.
Now that they finally found where they will be mining for the next six months, both crews are settling in and although tempers flare, they are an awesome pairing, and fans will be waiting for them to start counting the fruits of their labors on two continents on this season of “Gold Rush.”
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