"Gold Rush Alaska" celebrated a day of triumph Friday night as the Hoffmans unearth a hole the size of a football field and lo and behold shimmering in the sun is more gold than they've seen in both seasons combined. The first two men to spot this gold get excited to show Todd Hoffman, the head of the crew, who is now in high gear to tackle the gold mining 24 hours a day.
"We struck gold" is the first message that comes over the radio to Todd. "Everything is just glistening in the sun" is the second sentence Todd hears. The two men who spot the gold first say, "This might just be the pot of gold we've been looking for," and when Todd finally sees it, he knows they're right.
To make sure they're not wrong, the miners take out the bowl and pan for gold the old fashion way, just to see what one pan of gold would yield. They were right, they struck gold big time! Todd gets as animated as ever seen before on this show, which says a lot for the straight-faced guy. He sees the amount of gold in that pan multiplied by huge amounts when the earths feed through the gold wash with his payload bucket.
After almost two seasons of gold mining and only 54 days left to the 2011 season of this modern-day gold rush, it looks like the Hoffman crew will be able to pay their bills with much more left over. While the rejoicing for the Hoffman crew is in full swing, the two other camps that "Gold Rush Alaska" follow get closed down when a federal mining inspector insists that the miners take a safety course.
Both Parker and Dakota Fred get orders to shut down until the men go through this course. The scramble is on to find a certified instructor, which seems an impossible task with such short notice. As usual, it takes more time, which they don't have to spare to get this under control. After much work, Parker's camp gets the training and then the OK to run again. This episode closes with Dakota Fred figuring out a way to get the training.
Meanwhile, the Hoffmans are on a roll as they set out to go around the clock getting very little sleep. This is the first time this season that they're running every aspect of their mining operations simultaneously. These guys are working and their clean-outs are running $10 to $20 a yard of dirt, as it looks like they're making mega headway.
The mining for the Hoffmans didn't go without interruptions, as about eight hours into the non-stop running of the wash plant, the screen gets clogged and the water pressure needed for the wash plant falls to nothing. A quick delay while they clean out the screen gets the water pressure back up and the Hoffmans believe they're raking in the gold again.
Then the wash plant gets clogged with dirt in the ripples, and they need to take another break in the production to fix that and again another fix goes without a hitch. They're back up and running, but then the water pressure goes once again. Now it's 18 hours into their 24-hour run and they have to stop again.
They finally decide to shut down the operation for the day at the 18-hour mark and go to bed. When they get up in the morning and do a clean-out to only find 9 ozs after all that work, disappointment once again sets in. The dirty water clogging up the works really hampered their gold take this episode. The Hoffmans pull about $30,000 so far all season.
The youngest mining boss, 16-year-old Parker has $41,000 worth of gold so far, surprising everyone, especially his grandfather whose mine he's running. Next week hopefully Parker's streak continues and the Hoffmans get the dirty water under control.