Last week, Gold Rush fans were treated to a little bit of show history, as they chronicled the four seasons of the show that included Dakota Fred Hurt. This week in the first Gold Rush: White Water episode, “Between Craziness And Insanity,” we get an introduction to some wild and dangerous gold mining, Dakota Boys style!
The Dakota boys, Fred and Dustin Hurt, have returned back to McKinley Creek, Alaska, ready to mine gold again. Father and son are at the falls where Gold Rush fans last saw them back in Season 4, but this is a total disaster! Everything has washed away and all of their work is gone. The unanticipated high water came in and swept off their equipment and nothing is left.
There is no season without equipment, and the Dakota boys need an investor. Fred is so desperate that he is reduced to asking fellow Gold Rush star, and his former arch-nemesis, Todd Hoffman to invest $100,000 in their gold mining venture.
This is 2016, before the Hoffman crew’s Oregon mining disaster, so Todd appears to have a bit of money, but not the six figures that Fred needs to get their operation running.
Instead, Todd offers Fred $50,000 and wants 20 percent of the gold the Dakota boys find. Fred asks for 10 percent, and the two finally agree on 15 percent.
At the camp/claim, the members of the Dakota boys crew are introduced: Wes is the fabricator, Paul is a diving partner, Jen is Fred’s then-girlfriend and now wife, and Zach is her son.
Now the fun begins! They go across the zipline, and Dustin shows his agility as he rappels down to the waterhole in search of a perfect site for their gold mining venture.
Now that the site is found, they need to build a walkway in order to get to the gold mining site. Using wood, Dustin builds a platform that is just above the current waterline, drilling steel anchors into the rocks and making everything secure.
Now, a helicopter has to bring in the heavy machinery so they can move forward. In a relatively short period of time, they are ready to dive and see if they can find some gold — that is, once Fred and Dustin quit arguing over how the air hose and hot water hose are put together.
As Dakota Fred recently explained to Monsters and Critics, this is not your typical “industrial mining” show, like Gold Rush. The risk and adventure here is in the remoteness of the claim and the need to go diving for the gold.
Fred further explains that he was a commercial diver 40 to 50 years ago. He hung up his hat nearly 20 years ago, but now, he is diving again for gold!
In this particular episode, it is Dustin in his diving suit. He gets into the water to get a sample of the gold, but he has to make adjustments because the water is too fast.
He winds up going downstream and then up to the plunge pool and returns with a sample. He finds “fool’s gold” which is a good sign that there is real gold in this watery claim. This is a promising start for the first week!