The OOIDA tour trailer stops in Salina, Kan.

September 30, 2021

Chuck Robinson


The next stop is Salina, Kan., for Marty Ellis, who’s behind the wheel of the Western Star pulling the OOIDA tour trailer around the county.

Ellis and the Spirit of the American Trucker are scheduled to be at the Salina Petro on Oct. 1-3. The truck stop is at Exit 252 from I-70. That is the Magnolia Road/U.S. 81 exit. The Iron Skillet restaurant is open there and there is a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen too.

Salina is surrounded by wheat country. The city, and the county that where it is located, is named for the Saline River, which has a high salt content. There are salt marshes in the area, and there are salt mines south of Salina near Hutchinson.

Not many small cities can truthfully boast having two native sons become state governor, but Salina can.

John Carlin, a Democrat and a dairy farmer, was governor from 1979 to 1990.

Bill Graves, a Republican whose parents owned a trucking firm, was governor from 1994 to 2003. He served as president of the American Trucking Associations from 2003 to 2016.

The city’s leading employer is Tony’s Pizza, a frozen pizza producer that is owned by Schwan’s Co. In fact the city’s event center is officially named Tony’s Pizza Events Center. As luck would have it, Ellis will be a week early to check out Salina on Tap there. It’s a craft beer festival.

Fun at GBATS

Last weekend, Ellis and The Spirit were at the Guilty By Association Truck Show.

Ellis said it was quite an event and that he met a lot of OOIDA members in addition to OOIDA staff that made the trip. He said the scale of the event was amazing. There were close to 800 trucks involved, and they were spread out over five different areas. Plus, more than 400 trucks participated in the Truck Convoy for Special Olympics. That event raised $151,600 for Special Olympics of Southwest Missouri a

Here are some images from GBATS.

Photos by Land Line Senior Editor Mark Schremmer, Staff Writer SJ Munoz, Staff Writer Tyson Fisher and Land Line Now Host Mark Reddig.


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 Salina, The Spirit is scheduled to head for Ogallala, Neb., and then Laramie, Wyo.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL