Gold Rush young gun Parker Schnabel recently did a Facebook Live Q&A with fans in which he answered a wide range of questions including: Does he plan to propose to girlfriend Ashley any time soon? Does he feel bad for Todd Hoffman’s less-than-triumphant return to the US to mine this season? And what’s the story on his infamous “Ugly Kid” sweatshirt? In addition, Parker reveals the bombshell news that we might be seeing a baby Schnabel soon! Actually lots of baby Schnabels — all with four paws.
Here is a transcript of the highlights, which is pretty much 90% of the interview! To watch the entire clip, just head on over to the Gold Rush Facebook page.
Early in the Q&A, which featured Parker in a hotel room in Los Angeles, he is asked repeatedly about job opportunities. “We’re all crewed up,” Parker reveals. He then mentions that a lot of people are recommending he get a haircut — which is a motif repeated throughout the interview. (We’re actually fans of Parker’s longer hair, and have been since its debut.)
Who is your favorite band?
“Probably singer/songwriter Johnny Cash,” Parker says before also mentioning Johnny’s fellow Highwayman Willie Nelson. “I’ve been getting into rap,” Parker adds,” so D.R.A.M.”
When are you getting married?
“I’m not getting married anytime soon. I did just spend Christmas and New Years with Ashley over in Australia though. So that was a lot of fun.” [Later, Parker is asked again and laughs when he says “never.”]
A voice is heard off camera, apparently reminding Parker of some pretty major news. “There’s a rumor right now,” Parker begins before reminding everyone “I’m not in Haines, and I haven’t been in Haines for a couple weeks, but I do have a big announcement to make! Possibly, I’m not sure, but Dozer’s been running the streets of Haines, and it looks like we’re going to have some new Schnabel babies coming up. So I think I’m going to be a grandfather, which I’m stoked about.”
Parker seems genuinely thrilled about the Dozerlings and jokes, “Maybe we’ll have to auction them off. Make some money off of Dozer’s babies.” But don’t get your hopes up, them celebripups are pretty much already spoken for. “Nah, my mom wants one, and I want one, and a bunch of people at my dad’s office there in Haines want some,” Parker says.
When does Parker’s crew work?
“We usually work 7-7, but late in the year it’s way too dark at 7 in the morning to start working, so we change it to, like, 8 to 7.”
What’s the biggest nugget you’ve ever found?
“Maybe a quarter ounce? $400-$500,” Parker says, adding that they don’t really find a lot of nuggets where they are mining in Dawson. He estimates that for every 1,000 ounces they might find one or two nuggets in the quarter ounce range. “My grandpa would find 3-4 ounce nuggets back in the day in Haines.”
How did Tony Beets get all his land?
“I don’t know a lot about Tony’s history, but he’s been involved in that kind of ground stuff for probably 30 years. So, like most people up in Dawson that have a lot of ground, they spent a lot of time doing it back in the day when gold prices were $100, $200, $300 an ounce, and there was lots of ground, and none of that ground that we’re on would you make any money at $100 an ounce. So, it was open for the taking back then.”
Do you feel for Todd?
“Not really. You know, he left a very successful season in the Yukon. There’s a reason that we all come up here to mine. There’s a lot of gold up here. You know, you can’t always get what you want as far as being close to home and finding all the gold. If it were as simple as that, everybody would be millionaires from gold mining, right? You gotta go where the gold is.”
Best highlight of your career so far?
Parker says it is learning from his Grandpa John Schnabel.
How come we don’t see any test holes being drilled?
“We still do that. We still do a lot of drilling. It’s a key part of mining. If you watch Todd Hoffman gold mine, you’ll see why that you should probably do a lot of test drilling before you go mining. The reason that it doesn’t make it on the show is because usually it’s happening a lot of times when we’re not around. Early spring is the best time to drill — March and April. And we’re not always filming then, or we’re just starting up filming.”
Where’s the Ugly Kid shirt?
“That’s been a lot of years back! I haven’t worn an Ugly Kid sweatshirt in about three years I don’t think. The guys that started Ugly Kid Clothing are still my buddies, but I haven’t gotten a sweatshirt from them in a while. ”
Will we be seeing you proposing this season or next year?
“That’s unlikely, to be honest.”
Does Rick ever get in trouble for wearing cut off shirts?
“Who would he get in trouble from? I don’t know what that means. I don’t have a dress code at the mine site. [jokingly] Maybe I should. Maybe we should all wear ties at the mine site.”
Do you ever speak with Gene Cheeseman?
“I see Gene a couple times a year normally. He doesn’t get out to our neck of the woods too often. But, when he does, he stops by now and then. When I go to see Tony, I stop in and talk to Gene usually. Gene and I are fine, I think. From my point of view we are — you’d have to ask him on that. We get along fine. We talk. You know, I think we’ve both moved on and we’re both doing fine from it. I learned a hell of a lot from Gene, and I’ll always owe him for that. Gene was a very good guy and a very good teacher. My grandpa taught me lots, but Gene taught me how to really move dirt, and since he left, we’ve been expanding on that. But, he definitely planted the seed there.”
What do you do for work in the off season?
“I don’t really work too much in the off season. Sometimes I help m dad out here and there, but I like to travel and get a good break. I just got back from Australia. I spent a month over there — just about a month over there — with Ashley, and Christmas with her family. Went on a road trip, chilled out, drank Coronas on the beach. I’m a pretty whote boy, so I tried to get a tan, which didn’t really work to well. But I tried.”
Do you not have a ton of friends because you are working so much?
“I would say that is definitely one of the downsides. All the guys and girls that I graduated high school with, I don’t really get to see them any more. I don’t make the time to keep in touch with them, it’s just a hell of a busy summer. So that’s definitely a downside: all the guys I used to hang out with, they’ve moved on, and I’ve moved on and don’t really have time to keep up. That’s a bummer, but I’m ding what I love so that’s what you give up I guess.”
Any chance for Gold Rush in Australia next season?
“You know, I wanted to get out to the gold fields in Australia. I didn’t know anybody over there, so I didn’t end up going out and looking at any ground. But, I definitely would have liked to have gone to look at some operations and stuff. I’m always interested to see what people do in other countries. Last winter I spent in New Zealand and went to a bunch of gold mines there, and that was a ton of fun — a really good experience.”
What’s your favorite kind of pizza?
“Normally, if I order pizza, it’s a little weird — I get jalapeños, chicken, and pineapple. A bit strange, but it’s a good combo.”
When will you get away from Tony Beets?
“You’ll just have to keep watching. It’ll happen. We’re working on it. I can’t give away too much, but you can’t get stuck in one place forever.”
To find out if Parker Schnabel does manage to get away from Tony Beets this season, be sure to tune in to new episodes of Gold Rush airing Friday nights at 9/8c on Discovery!
* That amazing Parker Schnabel and Todd Hoffman hair swap photo is from a previous post. You can also click here to see what a young Grandpa John Schnabel looks like with Parker’s infamous mussy mane — and the similarities are striking! Still not enough Gold Rush hairplay for you? Well, how about what Todd Hoffman looks like without a beard?