For the last two months, there has been a flurry of Gold Rush news that has fans of the Discovery show guessing what will happen in Season 9. Parker Schnabel spoke exclusively to Pop Culture to discuss the changes, including the departure of gold mining “legend” Todd Hoffman, as well as the creepy crawly second season of Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail, which takes place in Guyana.
Parker began the interview dishing about Todd’s departure, the “dominating headline.” This is all that people want to talk about. Some people have told him that things on the show will now be “terrible,” while others “say it’s great.” Parker is quite zen about it.
“I think that it is what it is.”
Parker pointed out that Todd leaving didn’t affect him too much, as “he was mining in Colorado,” while Parker pointed out he was mining hundred of miles away in the Yukon. Thus, they never really “dealt” with each other very often.
But from a show perspective, they have been “filming a long, long time.” Parker admits it will be strange for him to not part of Gold Rush with Todd.
He also promise that more changes were to happen on the show from the domino effect of the departure of the popular mining boss.
The interview was before Todd’s replacement was announced. Of course, fans now know that Parker’s foreman, and Parker’s Trail co-star, Rick Ness will now be the new mine boss.
Parker obviously has big shoes to fill, and it is not clear where Ness will mine, and who his crew will be.
Nor does Parker reveal what will happen to the non-Hoffman crew members such as Freddy Dodge and Trey Poulson who no longer have a mine boss, and perhaps a job because of Todd moving on to work on his musical career and Zum Media.
Looking over his amazing gold mining season, Parker claims the reason for their Season 8 success was that they finally got “on a roll this year.” He explained that they have a “good system” with a great team, and mentioned mechanic Mitch, and of course, Rick Ness.
As for “butting heads” with his friend and foreman Rick Ness, Parker explains that “Dealing with someone in the foreman position is pretty tough. You are giving them your power.” He went on to explain that it is tough to trust someone else to make huge decisions that can affect your business.
As for Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail in Guyana, in their quest to find El Dorado, Parker has already admitted that they did not find the “alleged site.” But he did share that that it was “by in far, the most challenging two months of my life.”
Calling the experience “pretty weird,” the Guyana trip took the “Alaskan boy” out of his comfort zone.
Although the “jungle is a cool place,” he explained that there is a vast amount of insects in Guyana. He found that reading about them and meeting people with first-hand experience with him was a totally different experience. They saw “spiders the size of dinner plates,” and heard of other insects that want to “go inside you,” and he also stated that the snakes are everywhere.
He even cited that there was a six-foot snake alongside their boat, “riding the current.”
Add the “jungle illnesses” that hit him in particular, “really hard, Parker admitted he was “miserable.” Schnabel even confessed that he had returned home with salmonella.
When asked about finding gold, Parker explained that the high temps and high humidity made mining absolutely “terrible.”
Would you join Parker's crew for a gold mining adventure in Guyana? pic.twitter.com/bARJHT5hzw— Gold Rush (@Gold_Rush) March 21, 2018
On the plus side, they saw a “huge amount of the country,” and “met a lot of cool people.” Yet, he admits that they got into some “stupid situations” that he admitted were his “fault.”
Parker said what was great about this show is that fans get to see a “different side” of him, and of Rick Ness, who has been shown in the commercials freaking out over the spiders, as he reportedly has arachnophobia.
Besides Rick and Parker, Sam Brown, a longtime Gold Rush cameraman, who happens to be one of Parker’s best friends, is along for the ride, as well as wildlife expert Karla Ann.