This years GATS has been a huge learning experience for me. Mostly, I learned never to drink numerous margaritas and hang out with your bosses. Also, curbs in downtown Dallas are higher than normal curbs, and tripping over them is painful, especially when aforementioned margaritas relieve you of the ability to do anything other than a spread-eagle face plant on the pavement. That’s two things for the ol’ mental Rolodex.

George and I had the opportunity to participate as judges on the panel for the Most Beautiful Women of Trucking this year. I would like for each of the contestants we met to know what incredible women they are, and how honored I was to be able to speak with them. I learned more in the hour and a half we spent with these ladies than I have in a very long time. These women know their business, and they all know their way around a truck. Choosing just one of them for a winner was incredibly difficult. As a matter f fact, we (the judges) asked The Ever Elusive and Sometimes Famous Max Heine if we could just call it a three way tie, but he wasn’t having it, so we finally decided on an overall winner. Miss Maggie was our choice, and congratulations to her, but Tina and Libby sure didn’t make it easy on us.

I heard a few little grumbles here and there about this contest being degrading to women. There was also a comment made that it was rigged. Let me state unequivocally that both of these things are untrue. There’s nothing in the world wrong with being recognized for being outstanding. If it’s degrading to represent the women in the industry in an exemplary manner, then so be it. But it’s not. These ladies are confident and accomplished, and there’s nothing degrading about that at all. As far as the contest being rigged, that’s utter nonsense. I almost wish it had been rigged, it would have been a helluva lot easier for the judges. We seriously had a hard time with the decision.

We’re heading home now, with a ton of stuff for Hunter and big plans for the next show that absolutely do not involve margaritas. Or curb face plants. Lesson learned.