Wilderness roads of northern Canada thawed, lakes melted, and the truckers who crossed them have gone home.
So ends another season of “Ice Road Truckers.”
The History Channel reality show aired its finale Sunday night, brining to a close its ninth season. It ended with more of a contented sigh than with the contentiousness of previous seasons; no score was kept to decide a winner.
Alex Encounters Another Trucker
On most treks up and down the ice roads of Manitoba and Ontario, drivers don’t have to deal with traffic congestion, as there are so few other truckers on these trails.
Alex Debogorski, however, found out the hard way he was not alone on his last trip of the year. On his way to Kingfisher (“I’m racing against the melt.”) Alex’s Mack came nose to nose with a fully loaded tanker on a blind curve.
Neither driver was hurt and damage to the trucks was minimal when the tanker sideswiped Alex, who went out of his way to not place blame, but to make sure the other guy was OK.
He got back on the road and finished the 500-mile trip to Kingfisher, which he was determined to make, melting roads or not: “I don’t care if I have to carry this load on my back, it’s gonna get there.”
Hudson Bay Crossing Successful
Polar’s “top dog” Todd Dewey and rival Lisa Kelly made it across a 35-mile stretch of mostly frozen Hudson Bay with track vehicles instead of trucks. Despite a few harrowing moments, this much-hyped, history-making trek was pretty uneventful.
Oddly, it was the anonymous “emergency driver” in the cab of the excavator Todd was hauling who got them out of what little trouble they encountered. That person deftly used the bucket of the excavator to push them out of some ice that was breaking up.
Still, Todd was wildly enthusiastic about the trek, “I have never been so scared and so excited at the same time.”
Art & Darrell Make their Runs
Art Burke and Darrell Ward had comparatively easy – almost anticlimactic – trips in the finale. The roads were as rough as they had been, but nothing that would rattle these two ice road veterans.
Season Wrapped Up With a Bow On It
Easily the highlight of the episode was the final seven or eight minutes, which included a driver-by-driver recap and some comments by Polar Enterprises owner Mark Kohaykewych, who said it was his company’s most successful season ever.
Todd: “By far my best season. What a phenomenal year.”
Mike “The New Guy” Simmons: “I just want to be a good father, a good family man and a kickass trucker.”
Mark to Art: “Thanks for not wrecking a truck this season.”
Alex: “Thank God for finishing another season in one piece.”
Darrell: “We had to prove ourselves … Our future looks bright.” He presented Lisa with a hoodie printed with “Team Lisa & Darrell.”
Lisa: “I’m just so thankful for trucking. I can’t imagine my life without it.”