Monday, June 22, 2009

PTR Gets 'Truck' in'

NOTE: PTR is very excited to be adding History Channel's Ice Road Truckers to the line-up!

There is only one word to describe this week's episode of Ice Road Truckers (a.k.a. IRT): INTENSE!! From Jack's white-out trek in the pitch black to Lisa's first oversized haul in daytime white-out conditions and then later in the dark and without a pilot car -- forget the drivers, I was living on the edge! If you've never had the privilege of driving in a white-out (thankfully, I have not), I imagine it would be like driving through an intense, heavy rain like we would get around 4 o'clock every day in the summer when I lived in Atlanta or like the dense fog that keeps your fingers gripped so tightly to the wheel that they actually ache after and your eyes so glued to the road that you actually forget to blink. Now, just add lots of ice and dangerous cliffs on either side of you and you pretty much get the experience on The Dalton this week. Yikes! I'm getting tense just imagining it, and yet these guys and girls live it every day for three months a year when the roads and the Arctic Ocean are frozen over and the temps routinely dip to the minus 20s and 30s. It's all in an effort to keep the folks at the oil derricks in Prudhoe Bay (part of Alaska's famed oil-rich North Slope) well supplied to ensure that the Trans-Alaska Pipeline keeps flowing the liquid gold that fuels our society.

I've watched episodes from previous seasons of IRT, but something about this season has me gripped (as in, season-passed-on-my-DVR- because-I-can't-miss-a-minute invested). Maybe it's the ridiculously dangerous nature of the 414-mile Dalton Highway ("The Rollercoaster???" WTH? That stretch of highway makes my stomach drop just watching it on TV and then there's frickin' Atigun Pass!) and all of the truckers who either wreck their trucks (if they're lucky) or lose their lives along it every season. Or, maybe it's the crazy weather (always a favorite of mine on sister show Deadliest Catch) and how it can come on out of nowhere and make a driver completely blind out there on the edge of mountains (the aforementioned Atigun Pass -- 4800 feet in elevation!). Maybe it's Lisa, the show's first female driver, and her tomboy , go-get 'um attitude. Or maybe, it's a combination of all three that has me hooked. Whatever it is, there's a reason IRT is History Channel's most-watched series. I'm just glad I finally caught on.

Ice Road Truckers airs Sunday nights on History Channel. To catch up on this season, click on over to where you'll also get more information, trucker bios, and an IRT app for your iPhone.

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