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Gold Rush

I am not the biggest couch potato in the world I suppose, but I will generally spend two or three hours per night watching TV. Maybe that makes me an “average” TV viewer, but I don’t know for sure. At the moment I’m too lazy to look it up but I’m sure the statistics are out on the internet somewhere.

I do have some favorite television programs that are definitely “must see” for me, however. One of them is called Gold Rush. Chances are that if you are looking at this page, you are a fan of the program also. I believe it is one of Discovery Channel’s most popular programs.

Gold Rush is one of those reality programs that I find more “real” than a lot of other programs that are classified as reality programs. Do I believe the show is 100 percent real? Not really. I believe there is some embellishment by the TV people to inject more drama into the show than there would be if the cameras were not present.

The show has evolved during its three-season run and is now following the gold mining efforts of three separate crews mining for gold in the wilds of Alaska. The “Hoffman Crew” is the original crew that was featured during the first season and since then crews working at “Big Nugget Mine” and “Porcupine Creek” have been added to the show as well.

I didn’t know diddly-squat about mining for gold until I started watching this program and I found it fascinating. I’ve been watching ever since and I suppose part of the lure of the show is the gold itself. There’s just something about seeing that stuff come out of the ground that makes me want to keep watching.

Like I said, I know very little about gold mining but if the crews featured on this program are any indication, it’s not an easy thing to do. It seems that all three mining crews are constantly plagued by equipment malfunctions and just plain bad luck. It’s easy to see that it takes a whole lot of determination, patience and persistence to mine for gold.

Perhaps that is why there is so much drama on the show and perhaps some of it is “manufactured” or exaggerated a bit as well. If gold mining is indeed as frustrating as it appears to be on the show, I can understand why tempers can flare and feuds can erupt. How much is real only the insiders know.

I suspect every fan of the show has their own favorite characters as well as some that they may not be all that fond of. For myself, I find Dave Turin and Chris Doumit to be the most likable characters on the show. Don’t ask me why, they just seem like good guys.

On the other hand, I’m not terribly fond of “Dakota” Fred Hurt of Porcupine Creek fame. There’s no denying he’s a smart and resourceful guy, but I think he’s somewhat lacking in social skills. He’s certainly had his share of disagreements with other cast members and I don’t wonder why. The guy just seems to have a chip on his shoulder or something. His son Dustin, on the other hand, seems like a pretty decent guy.

Parker Schnabel is a character I don’t have terribly strong feelings about one way or the other, but you can’t help but admire the kid for all he’s got going on. He can act like a bit of a jerk sometimes and at times seems like he’s got a bit of an ego, but with all the responsibility he has and all that he is accomplishing at the “Big Nugget” mine at the age of 18, I think he deserves some slack. Besides, his grandfather seems like one of the nicest guys on the show (it not the nicest), although he does not seem to be a main character. At 92-years-old, or thereabouts, that’s quite understandable.

I suspect a lot of fans of this show feel the same way I do about an opportunity to gold mine. If they offered me a job up there looking for gold, I’d likely jump at the chance! If I had the choice, I’d go with Dave Turin’s crew with the Hoffman Crew as a second choice. Since I don’t know anything about gold mining, don’t know how to operate heavy equipment and don’t know anyone connected with the show in any way, you’re not likely to see me on Gold Rush in the future. Oh well, a guy can dream, right?

Here are some sites that may be of interest to other fans of the show:

Jimmy Dorsey’s Blog

Todd Hoffman’s Facebook Page

Dave Turin on Twitter

Parker Schnabel on Facebook