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Entries Tagged ‘Edwin Waters’

Gold Rush Alaska Jimmy Dorsey Interview

I, Edwin Waters recently did a interview with Jim Dorsey of Gold Rush Alaska, the television reality show about Gold Mining that airs on the Discovery Channel.

Jimmy Dorsey

Oregon Gold : How has the response been on the street after appearing on the show?

Jimmy Dorsey: I think overwhelmingly positive. A lot of people want to know what I am doing next and want to know what is happening with my family.

Oregon Gold : Do you think you were portrayed poorly or wrong in the edit of the show?

Jimmy Dorsey : I understand the need for creating a character. I think my inexperience in mining and the construction field is not something that they created. You never see me actually turn a wrench. They cut out about ninety percent of the positive things I do.

Oregon Gold : Was the show scripted?

Jimmy Dorsey : Sure. Every formatted documentary is scripted. It is scripted from the beginning. They knew exactly what they wanted to see out of the program. Even me leaving was scripted, but in the way in which it happened was not. The plans were made, but the footsteps were ours. They actually direct you into these situations. It became very real. That is why I actually got my ribs broke. There was a fight…not even a fight…I was assaulted by Greg. He broke my ribs. That was very real, but it was also in the script for episode four which ended up being episode six, that I would end up leaving the show. They kind of push you towards, making these things happen. They would tell me to say ” We’ve got get gold in seventy hours” so I say “We’ve got to get gold in seventy two hours”. Then they would say “What are you going to do if you don’t get gold in seventy two hours?” And I am like “I don’t know you just told me to say seventy hours.” Then they said “What are you going to do if you don’t get gold?” They push you towards saying I was going to leave if we did not find gold. It was never my intention to leave. My plan was staying the entire summer and seeing it out.

Oregon Gold : Was it more about making the show or was it about getting the gold?

Jimmy Dorsey : You cannot really separate the two. I did not think we had a good show unless we got gold and I was not making very much money from the show; nothing substantial, so for me I did not think we would get a second season once we got gold and I did not think I would be able to feed my family once we got gold. It was very real for me. Real Estate has really devastated me in the last year.

Oregon Gold : Do you consider yourself pretty good at gold panning?

Jimmy Dorsey : At this point yeah. When I first started gold panning I did not even classify any of the material. So yes, I have gotten gold and I now have panning down. I did some mining after I left the mine.

Oregon Gold : Are you a better miner now, than what you appeared to be on the show?

Jimmy Dorsey : Yes, now I am taking classes in Nevada at a school of mining. I am learning about gold mining. I am not done with gold mining.

Oregon Gold : A lot of miner friends who are on my Facebook page want to know about the equipment. Was that equipment made to not work for the purpose of the show, or was it just poorly constructed equipment?

Jimmy Dorsey : It was poorly planned. The shaker was bought from a auction for fifteen thousand dollars. There was some incompetence there to modify that shaker. These guys were kind of playing around with it… It was a pretty old machine. I think it was built in 1967.

Oregon Gold : Do you think there would have been a better outcome if the group would have invested in better equipment from the start?

Jimmy Dorsey : Absolutely. I said from the beginning…I was actually at Sandy airport saying “Why are we taking this thing to Alaska?” I did not understand why they would want to go on the Discovery Channel with such poor equipment… We also did not have enough water to be running the equipment properly. The equipment demanded eighty gallons a minute and we had about thirty.

Oregon Gold : On your website you state that you are going mining again. Are you going to Alaska?

Jimmy Dorsey : I don’t know. I am looking at a mine up north. There a couple hard rock mines in Oregon that I am looking at. We are performing assays and I am talking to investors right now.

Oregon Gold : Did you receive any money for appearing on the show?

Jimmy Dorsey : The deal with Todd Hoffman was one thousand dollars per episode. At the time of me leaving he had paid me a total of three thousand dollars.

Oregon Gold : How do you feel about Todd?

Jimmy Dorsey : To be honest, today I feel sorry for him. I feel sorry that he threw away a lot of relationships that he has ruined in his pursuit of fame and gold.

Oregon Gold : Do you think that Todd should have done more research on even the most basic principals of mining?

Jimmy Dorsey : Absolutely. One thing I have learned from my studies in Nevada and working with lots of miners is that representative sampling and assaying is key… Finding out how many ounces per ton, is what you do first. Then you decide…what machine you are going to use for that material… Porcupine has gold that is forty to sixty mesh size and you need to have the right machines to get that size of gold out.

Oregon Gold : There is one episode that sticks out in my mind when the equipment is being loaded onto the flat bed and the chain snaps. You made the comment “that could have killed somebody” and Todd went off on you and told you to keep your mouth shut. Was that scripted or was that Todd?

Jimmy Dorsey : That was Todd. That was him… A lot of it was about camera time. When you put a camera in front of people, they get jealous.

Oregon Gold : A majority of the public think that the family members should have stayed at home. What do you think of that?

Jimmy Dorsey : We were going to church across the river and there were a lot of kids that grew up in that valley, so I will agree that we should not have had the kids that close to the operation…that we built our house in the wrong spot…the day I decided where to actually the build the house, I went for a walk…and there was a really big black bear grazing right where I wanted to put my house. So that was too far way. We were in a pretty remote area…this was an area where people have not lived in many years. Plus there is safety in numbers. We packed everybody in real tightly. As far as my family. I plan on bringing my family next year. I don’t leave my family. There is no reason to.

Oregon Gold : Is there anything else you would like to share with the public?

Jimmy Dorsey : …The platform this has afforded me is huge. My family is going to show the face of the mining industry. We can change things by opening natural resources here in Oregon and Alaska. I want to show how mining can be good for people…that is my plan…We need to show that mining can be safe and it can help our economic problems here in Oregon. I am getting pretty involved in the mining community.

Special thanks to Jimmy who took the time to do this interview.

Coyote Creek, Golden Oregon

Near the town of Wolf Creek (a town so-named for the creek that runs through it, also known for gold) is a small ghost town known as Golden, Oregon. It is easy to find and not far from I-5 in northern Josephine County. I recently took a trip to see for myself  this historical mining site on December 20, 2010.

Coyote Creek

Coyote Creek

Coyote Creek was first settled and mined around the 1840’s by white prospectors. The gold was very fine and made it hard for the men who worked the area to make a decent salary. When news of other strikes reached those working the  diggings, the area was abandoned for other areas including new strikes in Idaho. When white men left there were around thirty primitive cabins perched on upper Coyote Creek. Most miners did not stay long because it was a hard living.

Golden Oregon

Edwin Waters at Golden, Oregon

For ten years, from 1862-1872, Chinese worked the area.  Five Hundred Chinese men had moved into the area under the supervision of a contractor who had possession of the claims. The Chinese laborers made ten cents per day plus rice. Don’t feel too sad for the Chinese. This was actually a decent living at the time. A lot of gold was reported to be recovered by the Chinese, until they were driven out by white men who returned to the area in 1872.

Golden, Oregon

Golden Oregon

Merchantile at Golden

White men returned to the area and started using hydraulic means to recover the fine gold. William Ruble was struck at how efficient the process was and bought up most of the land around Coyote Creek. In 1879, large parcels of land was sold to William Ruble, both a minister and a miner. His family was struggling, so he decided to build a town. Golden was first called Goldville. The first post office was established in 1896 with Schuyler Ruble as the first postmaster. William Ruble is known to have stated “You know there is gold right under your feet , but without a more powerful way to extract it your dream will die.”

The Ruble’s could not move soil fast enough to make a profit and during the summer when the water levels dropped they could not work at all. Rather than giving up William and Schuyler Ruble invented and patented an invention known as the Ruble Rock Elevator, which increased gold production.

Golden is reported to have been a town with a population of as many as two hundred souls and there was no drinking allowed. It was a close knit and religious community. In 1900 the Bennett store was erected and in 1915 a stamp mill was built. The post office closed in 1920.

The town of Golden is now owned and managed by the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation. The former mining area has been transformed into a natural wetland and is owned by Josephine County. I do not know if you are allowed to mine at Coyote Creek. The town itself is registered as a historic site.

Golden Oregon Church

Kevin Hoagland MineLab Eureka Gold Instructional Video

“I have used this detector and have personally found gold with it. Here is a very good instructional video by MineLab’s Kevin Hoagland. oregongold.net recommends this gold getting machine.” ~ Edwin Waters, webmaster & prospector, oregongold.net

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MineLab’s Kevin Hoagland detects with OregonGold.net’s Edwin Waters

I had the most fortunate encounter with a very knowledgeable man by the name of Kevin Hoagland, who is the Director of Dealer Development for MineLab metal detectors, while I took part of the GPAA’s Alaska Expedition near Nome, Alaska (which is known for it’s very fine beach gold).  After I started to pick his brain, I found out he was a well of information on metal detecting and learned quite a great deal. Kevin was instructing a metal detecting class during the week in which I received a invitation and the promise of a loaned MineLab metal detector to use the next day.

The day started out with some instruction on gold prospecting metal detecting. He explained the differences in what different models were capable or designed to do. He did not knock any of the other machines and simply said “All lot of these machines are really good machines and do what they are designed to do, if you know how to use them.” He gave a great deal of information before we headed out to the field.

We trekked seven and a half miles on four wheelers to get to our destination. “Slow Down” seemed to be the slogan all that day, after several others and myself were told by Kevin that we were swinging our coils too fast. Several targets were dug, but only iron was being found. I dug up a spent shotgun shell, with the MineLab Eureka Gold. Meanwhile, Kevin took time to teach others how to work the detector’s they brought with them on the trip. He knows how to run them all, no matter what brand.! I was impressed with his attentiveness and patience to make sure he got around to help each and every person who needed help or a lesson. We then moved on to another area. We were standing in the middle of the Cripple River, where I dug up several targets and found iron objects.  After a while people were ready to leave, not finding that great golden treasure they had hoped for.

Kevin Hoagland leads our small expedition on our first day of metal detecting

Kevin Hoagland stops to check out some geographic formations on our first day of metal detecting, as we travel to our first destination.

I wanted to know more. That evening, I picked Kevin’s brain with some one on one discussion during dinner. I learned about automatic ground balance, multiple frequency technology, a little about the pulse technology, but the most important thing he said to me was “…a small nugget can produce a very light change in sound and you really have to pay attention and take your time, as you do your detecting. Once you hear it, and find a small nugget you will never forget that sound.”

The next several days were stormy. A new area was picked to hunt. An area with many tailing piles were to be knocked down by the baco. With the storm, the river rose and we were unable to cross for several days. Finally the baco crossed the river at low tide several evenings later and we were scheduled to hunt the next day. To make a long story shorter…we eventually made it over there with the help of the big monster trucks. By that time our hunting group had grown from seven or eight to around twenty.

Me and a buddy of mine partnered up with the Eureka Gold again and took turns detecting and digging. Our first target was part of a classifier screen, and followed by the many other small pieces that had broken off in even smaller pieces. After an hour or so of nugget hunting, I was thinking…”Great another…bust!” . However, I kept taking my time, listening for the smallest of change in the rhythm of the detector’s faint hum. I started up one of the tailing piles that was not pushed down and started to work the low lying areas that laid off to one side of the pile. Then I heard it! It was a very faint sound, a very slight change in the rhythm. I looked up at Kevin who was about twenty five feet away and asked him to listen to the faint sound the detector was barely making. He immediately said “Dig it”.

I started digging as if I were at a archaeological site, taking the area apart a plastic scoop at a time. A few minutes later Kevin returned and told me to dig my hole more elongated, to cater to the size of the coil. In the process, my archaeological dig got a bit carried away as I lost the target. I relocated the sound in my own tailings around the hole. As my target drew nearer for recovery, more and more of the other people who were tired of digging up iron targets started to linger around. The camera crew for the Outdoor Channel took note and moved in to film. Somehow, I ended up with three or four helpers including Kevin, trying to help me narrow down the fists of dirt the target was in, removing the dirt without the target, making the pile smaller and smaller, until eventually a small gold nugget was found.

The Outdoor Channel camera crew were filming for a new series called "Alaskan"

The Outdoor Channel camera crew were filming for a new series called "Alaskan"

Alaskan Sample Video

The excitement caused a small celebration and a minor gold rush in the immediate area. In a short time, there must have been six detectors over-charging the ground and cancelling each other out. There was a buzz around the camp about a nugget being found later that evening. People were talking and wanting to see it. It’s really funny to think that such a small nugget (1/10th of a pennyweight) would cause such a commotion. My hooch residents insisted to call me nugget man when ever they got the chance. After all it was the only nugget reported as being found in the two weeks I was there, besides the trommel and eight inch dredge, and certainly the only one found metal detecting.

This was a first…I actually paid attention in class, and it had paid off with my first Alaska gold nugget. Special thanks of coarse to Kevin Hoagland for his instruction and wisdom.

One last note…I was really impressed with the MineLab Eureka Gold. The automatic ground balance has got be one of the better options I have ever seen on a metal detector. It has the ability to hunt in three different frequencies, so you can research an area to find targets that were not found the first time around. As Kevin says…”Metal detectors are no great mystery. Higher frequencies will pick up smaller targets near the surface and lower frequencies pick up bigger targets deeper from the surface. It’s that simple.” Most of the time hot rocks are no problem for this machine. The Eureka Gold is a prospecting machine and a good one at that. The only thing, in my opinion, that could make the Eureka Gold better would be a water-proof coil. It’s a great piece of equipment. It’s on top of my Christmas list, after all it’s easy enough for me to use.

Kevin was right when he said “Once you hear that sound, you will never forget it.” I don’t think I ever will forget it, that’s for sure!

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