The Spirit heads to Florida for two stops, the first in Baldwin

April 24, 2020

Chuck Robinson


Starting Sunday, OOIDA’s tour trailer makes the first of two stops in Florida. The first stop is in Baldwin.

Jon Osburn, skipper of the Spirit of the American Trucker trailer, is scheduled to be at the Baldwin TA Travel Center on April 26-28. It is at Exit 343 from I-10.

The Baldwin TA has 90 truck parking spots. It is next door to a smaller Pilot truck stop.

The full-service Country Pride restaurant at the Baldwin TA is temporarily closed, leaving the food options in the immediate vicinity to an Arby’s there, Burger King and McDonald’s across Highway 301, and a Waffle House nearby that offers carryout.

Baldwin is part of the Jacksonville, Fla., metropolitan area. The Spirit was there about a year ago.

I-10 is the southernmost east-west transcontinental highway in the U.S. Some 2,400 mile west I-10 ends almost at the Pacific Ocean in Los Angeles.

At the last stop for The Spirit, in Cartersville, Ga., in the Atlanta area, Jon said he talked to a manager there about plans to spread out customers if the state allowed the full-service restaurant to reopen. Every other bar stool would be kept open, booth seating would be strictly limited, and tables were going to be set up outside, he said. That was the manager’s hope and plan in Georgia.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

One thing drivers may want to check about are the federal programs available to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Congress recently approved a $484 billion relief package to replenish funding for programs aimed at helping small businesses. OOIDA says it will be good for small trucking businesses. OOIDA can help with applying for relief. The Association has prepared a document with information about the programs, including how to apply. There is a laptop at The Spirit where drivers can look it over.

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

After Baldwin, Jon and The Spirit are scheduled to be in Marianna, Fla. Here is the schedule.

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.