Sunday, April 5, 2009

Treasure Hunter: Kirsten Gum, 4 more episodes

Transferred from one of my other blogs:

Originally posted on
Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm beginning to get it. Cash and Treasures, which I adored, is gone. Just like any other series that
I've grown to look forward to it's's gone.

"Treasure Hunter" is a whole different sort of show. At first, I saw it as the same show, different name, and the whole emphasis on Kirsten Gum as the star really bugged me. Her own emphasis on herself bugged me too. However, I'd kill to have her job!

Of course, I'd have to be thirty years younger to pull that off, and that's what the real difference in the two shows is. Cash and Treasures was all about things to do that I could actually do, if I wanted to give it a try. "Treasure Hunter" is a more voyeuristic sort of show. It's all about places that are totally cool, and treasure that is really something...but for the most part, you can't go there. I can appreciate the coolness, though. And like I said, Kirsten has the coolest darn job ever. I notice she is even starting to cover up a bit more, but only a bit. Something tells me that I'm no longer the demographic that they are shooting for...the new demographic is much younger, and it is male. Ok, I can take it...

Four episodes aired today, a couple of which I've seen before:

Treasures of the Wild West: The quest is for smoky quartz and aquamarine, which is located in a private mining claim in the high mountains of Colorado. Translation, we can watch but we can't go there ourselves. 1. It's Privately Held. 2. it's at close to 14,000 feet. I've hiked at 12,000 feet, and know firsthand about oxygen debt. Got altitude sickness too. Ok, I ain't going there, but it was fun to watch the HUGE smoky quartz that was found. I swear I could hear Killashandra singing as she cut crystal (you have to have read the Crystal Singer series by Anne McCaffrey to make any sense of that, but for those who have, this crystal was really something).

Then, it's off to Texas and hunting for red plume agate. It's only found on ONE ranch in west Texas...private land. Translation, Kirsten got to go, but you and I don't have a chance. We could always drive by the gift and lapidary shop and buy some, but it's just not the same. The red plume agate was gorgeous. Kirsten winds up her trip with some line dancin', and beer.

Treasures of the Deep: First up, crabbing in Puget sound. It's clearly summer in western Washington, cause she's broken out the tight t-shirts (steady, men). After getting her limit in Dungeness and rock crab, Kirsten wins the wager for the day, and celebrates with beer. Ok, this is something I could do, and in fact, have done. Except the beer, have never been fond of beer. Next, she's up and 4am and heading out on the ocean with professional crabbers. Outfitted in full rain gear, this job is not for sissies. I reluctantly admit that she acquitted herself admirably. You could not pay me enough to go out on one of these boats! I used to go out deep sea fishing with my dad when I was young, and have spent plenty of time barfing over the side. I love crab, but not that much. The show winds up with a trip to Pike Place market, with much fish throwing...

Second half of the show centers on finding sea glass in the Bay area. The first place they go is clearly on Alkatraz Island, accessible only by kayak. Great finds. Then they rappel down a cliff near Davenport (which is near Santa Cruz), and dare the waves to find beach glass there. I recognized the beach! I used to climb down that cliff, bare handed. And back up again. Ahhh, those were the days. They look for glass the hard way...I love to hunt for beach glass, and have a couple of secret places that I go to get it. I'm not telling where they are, but I can say that I have a piece of orange , lots of red, even more of cobalt blue, and tons of the more common colors. My favorite find: the bottom of a rum bottle from the 1800's. Ain't tellin where I found it, heh. Finally, another something I can do!

Volcanic Treasures: Exploration of ancient lava tubes (under water) in search of rare and pricey Hawaiian shells. Nope...not something I could do. Fun to watch someone else do, though. The big island is on my short list of places to visit, even though I am unlikely to don a wetsuit when I do. Kirsten winds up freediving in order to spear fish. Watching Kirsten go down too quickly and pay the price with ear pain and a bloody nose...sobering. Lots of swimsuit shots for the guys, here, lol.

Next, she heads to the Modoc National Forest on the border of California and Oregon. We are hunting for rainbow obsidian. It looks like there is a LOT of obsidian in the areas in which she hunts (but we don't exactly know where these places are), but very little rainbow. It's beautiful. I want some! One of these days I might have a try, if I'm in the area again. Ok, it's another thing I could do! Next, Kirsten tries her hand at creating an knifeblade out of obsidian, she wanted to make a 'killer' knife. Unfortunate choice of words, inadvertant I'm sure. Last up, fly fishing for breakfast. Yum, trout for breakfast, and we've had a great education in Native American culture, as well.

Last show of the day is a repeat of Golden Treasures. I reported back before on this show, and because of it I have signed up for a treasure hunting trip with Geology Adventures. Not up Spruce Ridge in search of pyrite and crystal...that dream has flown.

Instead, we'll take a two mile round trip on old railroad grade, in search of amber. Cool! This will happen in September, and we'll be sure to report back. In the meantime, I've ordered ten pounds of crystal from the Spruce mine claim. No museum pieces will be in the bag, which comes exactly as collected, dirt and all. But lots and lots of crystal points, which I intend to try my hand at making into jewelry.

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