Last time on Filthy Riches, “Go Big Or Go Home,” Jim, Andy and Levena each got lost in the wild, Al lost his footing and almost fell from a dangerously tall tree, and Ray lost his eels to a mean predator.
Here are this week’s 5 Filthiest Moments:
1. Battle For The Mudflats
While Maine’s miles of coastal mud aren’t exactly prime real estate for beach-goers, they’re prized property for veteran worm diggers Jim and Andy. During low tide, the two comb through mudflats along the coastline, scooping up worms to sell as fishing bait.
But they’re not the only folks raking money from the mud. Stiff competition on familiar beaches during peak worming season means Jim and Andy return to a spot called West Bath, hoping that the mud is unharvested and teeming with worms. They’re soon confronted by a hostile local clam digger named Jeffrey who wants them off of his turf. Worse yet, the wormers believe that the noise and vibrations from Jeffrey’s airboat will scare the worms deep into the mud, beyond the diggers’ reach. In the wake of Jeffrey’s boat, the duo’s fears are realized: the worms are gone, and the men are out of a solid paycheck.
2. When A Man Falls In A Tree….
Al’s been in the burl business for 20 years, harvesting the beautiful wood for massive profits, tree by mutated tree. But the job requires a lot of strength and energy, and Al’s not getting any younger. After systematically prepping the removal of a $10,000 burl by cutting off the tree’s heavy roots and branches with a chainsaw, Al grows weary. Perched high above the ground in the tree, he loses his balance, whipping across the tree on his safety cord and dangling in the air. Luckily, the cord saves him from serious injury or possibly even death, and Al’s able to finish the job, and bring home the reward.
3. To Catch A Predator
Unlike Jim and Andy, Ray doesn’t have to capture live animals himself: he’s got an eel-trapping weir to do most of the work for him. Every morning, Ray checks his weir to see how many eels he’s caught overnight. But an unmanned weir can easily become a target for thieves or predators looking for a quick buck or a quick meal. When Ray discovers one morning that his weir unusually contains no eels, he suspects foul play. He sets up surveillance equipment to find out who’s stolen his eels, and how he can get them back. The next morning Ray carefully examines the footage, uncovering the culprit: a local bald eagle. To appease the eagle, Ray leaves offerings of dead fish in his weir, hoping that the bird will choose the easy dead fish instead of the slippery live eel.
4. Salamander Slip
As cross-country mushroom hunters, Chris and Levena explore many American habitats, searching for desirable and expensive mushrooms. This means constantly interacting with new environments and unexpected surprises. As she shaves some mushrooms off the side of a fallen tree, Levena accidentally nicks a small salamander. She’s horrified at her mistake—she loves all creatures unconditionally—and is relieved to see the lizard alive and moving easily despite the minor knife wound.
5. Lost In The Wild
One of the dangers of working in the wild is quite literally not knowing where the day will take you. Without GPS or maps, the wormers and the mushroom gatherers find themselves turned around and outright lost in unforgiving locales.
Attempting to uncover the quickest way down to the mudflats from Jim’s truck, the wormers make multiple wrong turns down misleading paths, losing valuable time. While searching for specific mushrooms in the forests of Michigan, Levena and Chris split up to cover more ground, but can’t seem to locate each other as the sun begins to set. Of course, these are pros, and after panic and confusion, training and veteran instinct kick in. Levena retraces her steps back to the road, while Jim and Andy eventually forgo the human-carved paths, and follow the wild game trails down to the water.
Tune in next week at 10p.m. for a brand new episode of Filthy Riches: “Living Off The Land.”