The Spirit heads to Fargo, N.D.

August 21, 2020

Chuck Robinson


For the weekend, OOIDA’s tour trailer sets up in Fargo, N.D.

The Spirit of the American Trucker is scheduled to be at the Fargo Petro on Aug. 22-25. The Fargo Petro is at Exit 348 from I-94.

Fargo is where I-94 connects to I-29. The junction is just east of the Petro Stopping Center. Fargo is on the eastern border of North Dakota, next to Minnesota.

The Fargo Petro has 195 truck parking spots.

Busy in Clearwater

The previous stop for The Spirit in Clearwater, Minn., was one of the busiest of the year, reports skipper Jon Osburn.

There was some positive feedback from drivers on OOIDA’s petition to fix a legal loophole and ensure brokers abide by the law, Osburn said.

OOIDA says brokers skirt regulations that require them to let drivers review transaction records to make sure they are being paid fairly. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking comments on the petition.

“OOIDA believes the problem is that the regulations designed to provide transparency are routinely evaded by brokers or simply not enforced by FMCSA,” the agency wrote in its published request for comments.

What comes to mind at the mention of Fargo?

Fargo was founded in 1871 on the floodplain of the Red River. It was named in honor of William Fargo, founder of the Wells Fargo Express Co. and a director for the Northern Pacific Railway. The Northern Pacific Railroad reached Fargo in 1872. Fargo was incorporated in 1875.

Since the black comedy Coen brothers movie “Fargo” came out in 1996, the city has become known for an innovatively used wood chipper. The wood chipper used in the movie is now on display at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center.

Now the FX TV series of the same name builds on the reputation, though over three years it has geographically wandered. The next season is set in Kansas City, Mo.

The Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center has further embraced the eccentricities of the movie and series by adopting the slogan “north of normal.” In reality, however, Fargo is south and east of Normal, N.D.

Before the movie, the folk song “Red River Valley” might have been Fargo’s calling card, though there are Red Rivers in other parts of the country, too. The Fargo metropolitan area spreads on either side of the Red River. The song is a Western classic that has been recorded by Gene Autry, Woody Guthrie, the Andrews sisters, Marty Robbins, Slim Whitman and many others.

Since we’ve mentioned music, the city may have gotten some notoriety when a singer from Mount Airy, N.C., named Yvonne Vaughn adopted the name Donna Fargo. She then wrote and recorded the 1972 song “The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA,” which made No. 1 on the country charts and was a crossover hit. She followed that with “Funny Face,” which also was a country chart-topper and crossover hit.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

If you see OOIDA’s tour trailer, stop by and say hello to Jon Osburn, its skipper. 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 at The Spirit. You also can get vouchers for flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines from Jon.

After Fargo, OOIDA’s tour trailer is scheduled to stop in Steele, N.D. Here is the schedule for The Spirit.