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How Freddy Dodge And Juan Ibarra Ended Up On Gold Rush

Gold mining isn't just a profession. For the people who have stayed on Discovery's "Gold Rush" for the better part of a decade, it's a way of life.

As the likes of Parker Schnabel and Tony Beets will tell you, there's just something so invigorating about getting out on a site with heavy machinery to see what you can pick up. It's a lot like playing the lottery. You might come up empty-handed, or you could retrieve enough money to have you and your family set for life. It may be an unconventional way of making a living, but there's truly nothing like it. 

It's always interesting to hear how the cast of "Gold Rush" got their start in this line of work. For Schnabel, he followed in his family's footsteps, ultimately spending his college fund to support his own mining operation. Of course, not everyone can be so fortunate to come from a mining dynasty, as "Gold Rush" mainstays Freddy Dodge and Juan Ibarra both have intriguing ways of breaking into the industry.

Freddy Dodge and Juan Ibarra have been in this business for a while

To promote "Freddy Dodge's Mine Rescue," the duo sat down for an interview to discuss all things related to gold. At one point, the interviewer brings up the fact that Dodge has really been part of the "Gold Rush" family since the very beginning, and Dodge clarifies that it goes even further than that. He explains, "Well, I came to be in the 'Gold Rush' family before it was a show. The originator of the show got a hold of me, said he was going to go mining in Alaska, and asked for my help. And I said I'd be up there next summer, if I had a chance I'd swing by and look at it. And that's how it all began."

But even that's not the whole story. Dodge has been obsessed with gold mining ever since he was a little boy; as he elaborates, "I started as a hobby when I was just a kid, nine years old probably. Started with a gold pan. I was lucky enough to turn a hobby into a career." For Juan Ibarra, he didn't get started on his mining prowess until a little later in life: "I was in my late 20s before I really got involved with gold mining. I was more on the repair end of things. Instead of being out on the front lines actually mining, I was repairing the equipment."

The two certainly know their way around the machinery, which is why they continue to come back to the series one season after the next.