The Road Best Traveled

by Austin Haskew on April 25, 2012

One Trucker’s Story of His Experiences On the Road

 

Do you feel like being a truck driver prevents you from experiencing some of the “good things in life” like major sporting events or other festivities? Here is one trucker’s perspective into how this is the opposite of the truth.

Take the annual Super Bowl, for example. What do you do when you actually get a load to the city the Bowl is being played in – but you didn’t know about your assignment in time to buy tickets? Or your load has to be delivered before the game’s played?

You could sit in your truck cab and feel sorry for yourself – or do what 22-year veteran trucker Alan McGrath did, having landed in Indianapolis this past Super Bowl weekend.

“Use your head a little bit,” McGrath recommended. “Sixty percent of us truckers out here have a smart phone. Every big event has a planning committee, and they put a website up long before the big day. You can go on the web with your phone and find transportation, places to eat, all the party sites, you name it. It takes only a small amount of planning to really enjoy yourself.” He didn’t even have to find a cab, as the free downtown busses were available until all hours.

“No, I didn’t see the game itself – I was there on Friday – but I had a lot of fun just wandering around and seeing everything. I’ve got memories that’ll last me forever. You’re able to get out there and enjoy the electric atmosphere.”

McGrath bought one-time-only souvenirs and saw some unique sights, like the single-longest Zipline ever built. Launched from a 95-foot tower, ‘zippers’ traveled 800 feet through and above the downtown area. Judging by the lines of people waiting for hours to get into their safety harness for their flights, the event was a blockbuster.

There were free Super Bowl Village live music concerts, running from lunchtime to 11 pm, and you could crowd-watch for some of the celebrities in town for the big game. “It was a great party,” McGrath said. “I’m really glad I went.”

McGrath, who drives for Waletich Transportation out of Kasota, Minnesota, has attended quite a few world-class events during his trucking years. The week-long Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the world’s biggest hot air balloon competition, is a personal favorite of his.

“I’ve been in the chase crews for the balloons,” McGrath said. “If you’re staying at the TA in Albuquerque, you can catch a bus out to the launch field. Simple. I’ve been on the field and they’ll report later there were 300,000 people at an event, but you never realize it. It’s just a great time.”

“Next year’s Super Bowl? New Orleans. Just go to Super Bowl dot com and start planning by finding public transportation,” McGrath advised.

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