OOIDA’s tour trailer begins California tour in Corning

January 11, 2021

Chuck Robinson


The first of five stops in California for OOIDA’s tour trailer will be in Corning.

The Spirit of the American Trucker is scheduled to be at the Corning Petro through Jan. 13. The Corning Petro is at the South Avenue exit from I-5, Exit 630.

The Corning Petro has 120 parking spots for tractor-trailers. There is an Iron Skillet diner there, but it is temporarily closed because of state orders to combat the coronavirus.

The closed restaurant is emblematic of a problem that truck drivers recall from last spring and summer: closed restaurants and limited services.

“I-5 from the Canadian border to Mexico is a food desert,” Osburn said. “It’s a very real and sad thing for truck drivers. I know COVID is serious, but so are the needs of the truck drivers.”

Drivers can check on current state and federal coronavirus orders here.

When drivers find open restaurants, Osburn says to be glad for them and show your appreciation.

“It’s not a God-given right that truck stops have to provide drivers with a sit-down restaurant, so use them or we are going to lose them,” he said.

Olive Capital

If you knew Corning for only one thing other than I-5 going through it, it probably would be olives.

Corning is home to Bell-Carter Foods, the largest table olive producer in the U.S., according to its website. Bell-Carter produces Lindsay Olives.

Corning also is home to The Olive Pit, which specializes in many varieties of table olives with olive tasting, a wine bar, and a cafe.

The Corning Olive Festival, sponsored by the Corning Chamber of Commerce, is presented in October.

Besides olives, the area has a lot of almond production and packing. California ranks No. 1 among the world’s almond producing areas, according to Keep California Farming.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

If you see OOIDA’s tour trailer, stop by and say hello to Osburn. He enjoys visiting about the Association’s activities and current issues. He usually has copies of Land Line Magazine to hand out. You can join or renew your OOIDA membership for $10 off the regular price there. Free face masks are available for anyone with a commercial driver’s license at The Spirit. You also can get forms for uninsured drivers to get flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccine vouchers at The Spirit.

After Corning, OOIDA’s tour trailer is scheduled Jan. 15-17 to be at the Santa Nella, Calif., TA.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL


Chuck Robinson

Chuck Robinson formerly was senior copy editor for a weekly trade publication serving the fresh produce industry. He has served trade publications, horticultural journals and community newspapers for 25 years.