There’s No Place Like Nome (Ep. 289)

Shawn Pomrenke is a miner who sent me a vial of gold from the bottom of the Bering Sea several years ago, which I auctioned off to raise money for mikeroweWORKS. I’ve wanted to thank him ever since, and today on the podcast, I get a chance to do so.

For the uninitiated, Shawn is a character, in every sense of the word. He is a literal character on a TV show called Bering Sea Gold, which I’ve had the pleasure to narrate for the last ten years. But he’s also one of the most successful gold miners in the world, the sort of “character” that can really spruce up a place like Nome. The bar fights and various misadventures are legendary, but so too is his generosity, his determination, and his work ethic. As he told me several years ago, “I built my empire off hard work and a wrench.” And to that I might add, “a conspicuous lack of fear.”

Regardless of whether you watch the show, (new season premieres tonight on Discovery, and it’s awesome), you’re going to enjoy meeting a guy who makes his living sucking large amounts of gold off the bottom of the Bering Sea with a giant hose, beneath several feet of ice. A guy who simply couldn’t care less about being on camera, or about the opinions of anyone but those he considers friends. This is what authenticity looks (and sounds) like.