HOMETOWN: Portland, OR
Jim Thurber is a hard-working and dependable guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. He's known Todd 15 years, and has been through thick and thin with him. Five years ago Thurber left a steady job as a sheet metal worker and was the first to join the Hoffman crew mining for gold in Alaska.
As the camp safety officer, Thurber is responsible for making sure that no one gets hurt working in one of the most dangerous workplaces imaginable -- an active mine site, patrolled by grizzly bears. Thurber didn't know a thing about gold at the start, but over five seasons he has become an essential part of a successful mining team.
Jim Thurber was a successful motocross racer in the 70s and early 80s, racing 125 and 250 class and gaining local sponsorship. He doesn't compete these days but is teaching his daughter how to ride.