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Gold Rush exclusive: Parker Schnabel is $3million in the hole and it’s all going up in smoke

Imagine sinking your entire savings and everything you own into buying machinery to mine — but to still have no gold to show for it all.

Parker Schnabel is in exactly that situation as he opens our exclusive clip from this week’s episode of Gold Rush.

Parker, filmed inside the cab of one of his new million-plus dollar dirt movers, says: “Everything I’ve got pretty much for the most part is tied up in these machines and in that ground.”

He reveals how he bought two Caterpillar D10 dozers, which are beasts of machines. The D10 was first introduced in 1977 and was the company’s largest dozer until the introduction of the Caterpillar D11 in 1986.

The new D10 he is driving cost him $1.5million, while the other cost $1million. But Parker looks like the end of the world is here as he glumly explains his situation. As he drives the machine he says: “We still don’t have an ounce of gold to show for any of this. We’re way behind schedule and $3million in the hole.”

You can tell Parker is not happy when he adds: “I am pretty disgusted with the whole situation.”

Parker sees smoke arising from his new D10 that cost over a million bucks. Pic credit: Discovery
Parker sees smoke arising from his new D10 that cost over a million bucks. Pic credit: Discovery

But things are about to go from bad to worse. Suddenly calamity strikes as puffs of smoke start billowing out of the engine. Parker is taken aback, and is initially confused as to whether it’s smoke or steam, but quickly realises it’s smoke.

He radios Mitch for help, telling him: “This thing’s on fire!” He then quickly leaps from the cab as a cloud of black smoke starts to engulf him.

Tonight’s Gold Rush episode is the second of Season 9. But there’s been some major changes this season after Oregon miner Todd Hoffman left the series and former Schnabel protege Rick Ness stepped up to replace the void.

Monsters and Critics spoke exclusively to Parker, Rick Ness, and Tony Beets last week ahead of Season 9, and we asked Parker about the bad blood that existed between him and Hoffman.

He illuminated the sticky situation for us after we questioned him about what caused their relationship to go south. He also told how the latest Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail spin-off will take place in Papua New Guinea.

Meanwhile, Rick Ness opened up about hiring his friends to make up his crew. He said:

Good idea, huh? Nah, it was interesting. I went back and forth about it a lot. At first, I was like, no, this is a terrible idea, I’m going to find a bunch of people with experience and I’m just going to go do this thing. And then I kind of thought about how it’s been for me up there, and the success I have had. And at the end of the day, I didn’t want to share that with a bunch of strangers. I wanted to try and bring a few of my friends into it. And that’s how I made that decision. And yeah, it may or may not have worked out.

Will Parker find some gold to offset the costs of repairing his million dollar D10? Will he ever smile again? Watch tonight and find out!

Gold Rush airs Fridays at 9/8c on Discovery.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
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