Fortunes have been lost and found in the search for gold and perhaps no one on "Gold Rush" knows this more than Todd Hoffman, who has had a crushingly disappointing season until his recent move to Colorado. The gold miner has set up two working mines and, only in the last moments of the season, is beginning to collect enough gold this season to pay his loyal crew for the work they've done. Meanwhile, Parker Schnabel can almost do no wrong this year and the mine boss has been reaping the benefits of a lean but effective method of gold recovery with two wash plants working on his claim.

Tony Beets, the reckless Viking, has himself seen a hard fought season with breakdowns in equipment but the mine boss has powered through to the best of his ability, determined to see profits at the end of the season.

Todd blasts big boulders with dynamite

Unable to move giant rocks the size of boulders with their heavy equipment, Todd calls in a blasting specialist to remove them the old fashion way, with dynamite, so the crew can collect the gold that is underneath. The plan is effective, and although Todd doesn't say how much the setback costs his crew, it's probably worth whatever they paid the blaster to recover the minerals left behind. Meanwhile, Todd mulls over a third mine for next year despite a hesitant crew that only wants to focus on the two mines they already have going.

Water problems have plagued them, but Freddy Dodge diverts the much needed liquid from a nearby river and keeps them in business for another week as they inch their way to a profit this season. They're just short of their 1,000 ounce goal for the season but the finish line is finally within their reach.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

Parker digs up a record amount of gold

There's been less of a focus on the rivalry with Todd Hoffman this year, which seems like a smart move by the producers of the show. That story line never brought out the best of either miner and it pushed aside the larger narrative of their individual journeys. At the weigh in this week it was revealed that Parker surpassed last years gold total of 3,362 ounces, making a clear path towards their new 4,000 ounce goal a possibility.

Tony braves the frozen Yukon River to retrieve his dredge

Waiting until the last possible moment to safely take his power barge up the Yukon River so he can bring back parts of his ancient gold mining dredge, Tony takes a risky trip with a hired captain who knows the river and all the dangers that lurk ahead in their journey. They make a stop overnight for safety reasons when the pathway becomes too dangerous, but on their second day they make it to their destination. The episode stops short of Tony breaking down the dredge and transporting it back to where it will recover gold, that adventure is left perhaps for next week, but it shows once again just how adventurous, and potentially reckless, the viking gold miner can be when it comes to his business and family. If nothing else, it makes for excellent drama, even if the danger is not what it appears to be on the safe side of the television.