Thaw continues to cause problems for ‘Ice Road Truckers’

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Updated Mar 6, 2018
Joey Barnes

Anyone who lives or works in the Great White North looks forward to the spring thaw. Unless, of course, you’re one of the History Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers.”

Warm weather, according to narrator Thom Beers, made these Canadian “roads go from bad to complete mayhem.”

Joey Barnes: The King of Obsolete

Lisa & Darrell Get Unstuck

The last episode ended with both Lisa Kelly and Darrell Ward stuck on the same trail. Lisa was so stuck her drive wheels were off the ground.

The current episode opened with Darrell using a strap and a tree to improvise a winch to free himself. He headed on to rescue Lisa and both bumped their way over rough roads toward home. They managed a three-mile ice crossing of a lake that was covered with standing water, and for some reason Lisa decided to celebrate by shooting off fireworks from the cab of her Kenworth.

The episode seemed to close the loop opened in the final episode of last season when Lisa, still working for Polar Enterprises, followed Darrell and helped him out. That set the stage for the new partnership for the two, which appears to have paid off.

Art’s Riding With The King

Art Burke has two trailers to haul to Brochet over deteriorating roads that would be hard to negotiate with even one trailer.

So, Art calls in reinforcements: Joey Barnes, a.k.a. The King of Obsolete. Barnes, a colorful character who has appeared in previous episodes of IRT, has a yard filled with tired iron, and uses a vintage Ford to take half of Art’s load.

But, few things are easy for Art. He and The King have to barrel up the 12 percent grade of Ricochet Hill, and somehow both make it. After a slight delay when The King slid off the road, the two made it to their destination

Alex Stymied

A 700-mile trek to Big Trout Lake stood between Alex Debogorski and the end of his winter on the ice roads. Like Lisa and Darrell, he managed a soggy lake crossing.

“You just grip the wheel and drive,” he said heading onto the ice.

But, you can’t drive when there’s nowhere to go, no matter how tightly you grip the wheel.

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After the crossing, Alex headed north only to get stopped short of his destination. Snow was piled on the trail. A road grader was parked across it. There was a hand-lettered sign that said, “Closed.”

So close but yet so far, and Alex turned around to head home.

Todd Hitches a Ride

In a scene that seemed almost an afterthought, Sunday night’s episode wound down with Polar’s so called “top dog” Todd Dewey showing what you do when there’s no ice for an ice crossing of a river.

On his way to South Indian Lake, Todd wound up fording a river on a cable ferry — over and back – and spoke of I as if it were the technological marvel of the age.