The Spirit ends year in Idaho; a trip downtown may be in store

December 6, 2018

Chuck Robinson


Boise, Idaho, where Jon Osburn, skipper of OOIDA’s touring tractor-trailer, calls home, surprises many visitors. There is more going on that they suspect. Even better, a lot of it is in downtown Boise. It is an easy bus ride away for a trucker staying at truck stops just off I-84.

Jon and his canine co-pilot, Sassi, are stationed at the J D “Doc” Osburn TA in Boise on Dec 9-11. It is at Exit 54 off I-84. The truck stop was named for Jon when he was selected as a Citizen Driver in 2016.


The Boise TA has 171 truck parking spots. It is right off Broadway Avenue, also U.S. 20. Broadway is a straight shot from the truck stop to downtown Boise.

Boise is a university town in addition to a state capital. Broadway takes you by Boise State University, which is across the Boise River from downtown.

There is a bus route that takes riders from a bus stop near this exit off I-84. However, it is not the TA on the southside of the interstate. It is the Pilot Flying J on the northside, where a JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts store neighbors it, and so does a Pizza Hut and a Walgreen’s. There are 60 parking truck parking spots at the PFJ, according it the PFJ website.

Downtown Boise is a vibrant and friendly entertainment district where visitors can stroll to more than 100 shops, 80 restaurants and a several microbreweries and lively nightlife venues.

Boise has a lively jazz and live music scene, and it is centered in the downtown district. Pengilly’s Saloon seems like a worthwhile place to have a beverage. It is an authentic old time saloon in a historic building where the drinks are affordable and the music free.

There are dozens of restaurants, covering the gamut of styles and price ranges. On the more affordable end of the spectrum, Tango’s Subs and Empanadas gets hundreds of rave reviews on TripAdvisor. They serve up Argentinian meat, vegetarian or dessert empanadas.

Also intriguing is a downtown Boise restaurant named Waffle Me Up, which serves sweet or savory waffles. Waffles piled with strawberries, bananas or blueberries with shipped cream and other ingredients sounds pretty good, but so does the Bob Deluxe with havarti chees, fried egg,bacon, basil, fresh avocado and syrup. Here is the menu.

Now, saying you aren’t up to going downtown but still want to do something different but closer to the TA, there is the Yanke Motor Museum. It is just a half mile away. You could hoof it, if you had a mind to do that. You can find there vintage automobiles, motorcyles, fire engines, pickups, trucks, a Police Paddy Wagon and old ambulances. Admission is free. They ask you to just donate what you feel is appropriate.

The address is 1090 Boeing St.; Boise, ID 83705.

This is the last stop of the year for Jon and Sassi. It has been a busy year for them. They have been on the road 319 days of the past year. They will have pulled into 82 truck stops and took part in five truck shows.

Whenever you see The Spirit tour truck, say hello to Jon. He enjoys visiting about the Association’s activities and current issues. You also can join or renew your OOIDA membership for $10 off the regular price there. Also, get vouchers for flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines from Jon at The Spirit.

Also, ask Jon for forms for the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Program, which has been assisting the children, grandchildren and legal dependents of OOIDA members in their efforts to gain a higher education since 1998. Applications and all required materials must be postmarked no later than Feb. 1.

You can find an application on the OOIDA website.

Where else has The Spirit been?

The Spirit pulls up next to the Great Salt Lake for its next stop

The Spirit keeps clear of snowdrifts by way of Kingman, Ariz.