For the die-hard fans of Gold Rush, the Discovery Channel’s top-rated show entered its third season Oct. 26, and Mountain resident Dave Turin is once again up to his mining elbows.
In the previous season of the blockbuster reality hit, Turin had been teamed with his buddy Todd Hoffman. Season 3 promises change.
Turin, the promo suggests, is fed up with Hoffman’s tactics and will only return to the Klondike with the Hoffman crew if he is allowed to run a second claim his own way.
Turin, in an interview with The Mountain Times, conceded to the split of the crew, but due to a non-disclosure agreement is limited in his ability to expand on any particulars about the upcoming season.
"I do have a difference of opinion with Todd," Turin said in a tight-lipped manner. "He’s very creative. He’s a dreamer. I’m a doer. He dreams in color. I dream in black and white."
The promo teases viewers, saying that Hoffman’s double down with two claims, two wash plants, and twice the crew and equipment, leads Turin to take over the second mine, forcing the Hoffman crew to take sides. They break all previous gold counts, but the pressure to get to 1,000 ounces drives a wedge between the crews and it’s a battle between Team Todd and Team Turin for who can produce the most gold.
"It’s true, we butt heads," Turin said. "But we’re good friends. We agree to disagree – a lot. Todd calls most of the TV shots, but I call the mining shots. I’ve been a miner my whole life."
Turin backs that claim with a civil engineering degree from Portland State, and an adult life of employment in his father’s rock and quarry business, Jim Turin and Sons in Sandy, with the quarry located in Brightwood.
Gold Rush differs from other reality shows in that there’s no script, although Turin concedes the filmmakers will occasionally attempt to foment differences between the miners.
"We call the shots," Turin said. "That makes this show different. But, the filmmakers are making a show after all, so they will try to mix things up once in a while. They plant little seeds."
Hoffman got the original idea for Gold Rush when his construction company was having problems and he decided to look for claims along the Arctic trails.
This led to the idea that his adventure would make a good TV show. He went online and discovered RAW TV Productions in England was looking for ideas of the same sort. They hooked up, pitched the show to Discovery Channel’s executive producer Christo Doyle, and the show became reality.
"Sam Brown owned RAW, and at the time had four employees," Turin said. "Today, they have 200."
During the first season Hoffman turned to Turin.
"We were friends from the Good Shepherd Church in Boring," Turin said. "He knew I mined and he said he needed some help."
In June, 2009, Turin agreed to a week or 10 days of assistance. He didn’t know what was waiting for him.
"I told him I’d help him get his plant going," Turin said. "That’s all I thought of it, really. But when I got off the plane there were three guys filming me. I thought, ‘He really has a TV show.’"
A couple more short visits in Season 1 led to Turin joining the show for Season 2.
"It was difficult," he said. "Everyone in the show had to give up something. We had to live in trailers. It was a ghetto. We had to dig our own septic system. We were 15 miles from food.
"My brothers (Dan, Dennis and Doug Turin) had to fill in for me back in Sandy and Brightwood."
But the show went on, and the Mountain miner found another outlet to sustain himself in the Yukon wilderness.
"It came to me that the show was a three-legged stool," he said. "There was the gold, the TV show, and a chance to send a message."
He dubbed his crew "316 Mining," from the scripture of John. They insisted the show be suitable for children. The crew met in an abandoned shack for prayer before starting the mining day.
"We’re all Christians, and we read the Bible," he said. "I’m not all that wrapped up in religion, but I have faith."
Season 3 is underway, and Turin provided a careful tease.
"There’s a turn in the middle of the season that changes everything," he said with a sly smile.
There are strange things done in the midnight sun, as Robert Service warned us years ago.
by Larry Berteau/MT