OOIDA tour trailer returns to Clearwater, Minn.

August 25, 2021

Chuck Robinson


For a driver with a sweet tooth, the next stop for the OOIDA tour trailer might be a great one. Also, it might be a bad one if the driver is trying to keep an eye on carbohydrate intake.

Marty Ellis and the Spirit of the American Trucker are scheduled Aug. 26-29 to be at the Clearwater Petro Stopping Center. It is at the junction of I-94 and Highway 24 at Exit 178.

The Clearwater Petro has parking for 150 tractor-trailers.

Clearwater is on the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River where a tributary, the Clearwater River, joins it. Clearwater is 10 miles outside of St. Cloud, Minn., and 60 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

The Nelson Bros. Restaurant and Bakery is a big draw for people stopping at the Clearwater Travel Plaza. The bakery offers pies, doughnuts and fritter breads. Fritter breads have fruit, swirls of cinnamon, and glazed icing drizzle.” The restaurant has a full menu. They also serve French toast made from their fritter bread.

It has been a while since he was last at the Nelson Bros. Restaurant and Bakery, Ellis said, but he hopes it is a good as he remembers.

Carbohydrates are a challenge for Ellis, who has participated in the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund’s Driven To Be Healthy Challenge, and lost more than 150 pounds before being named a Citizen Driver.

The Clearwater Travel Plaza has been in operation since 1976. The Nelson family sold the travel plaza in 2019 to Dave Olson and his family.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

If you see OOIDA’s tour trailer, stop by and say hello. Ellis is looking forward to visiting about the Association’s activities and current issues. There are copies of Land Line Magazine to pick up there. You can join or renew your membership for $10 off the regular price there. Face masks are available at The Spirit for anyone with a commercial driver’s license.

After the stop in Clearwater, The Spirit is scheduled to stop Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in Albert Lea, Minn., before heading to the Over the Top Diesel Showdown in Onaway, Mich., on Sept. 3-5.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL