The Spirit heads to Richmond, Va., area and the town of Ashland

October 29, 2018

Chuck Robinson


The Spirit leaves behind the fresh-produce-company neighborhood of Jessup, Md., and heads to the Richmond, Va., area.

OOIDA’s touring tractor-trailer, the Spirit of the American Trucker, is scheduled Oct. 30 through Nov. 1 to be at the Richmond, Va., TA Travel Center. It is north of Richmond at Exit 89 off of I-95.

The TA has 317 parking spots. It has Country Pride, Popeye’s and Pizza Hut Express restaurants.

Though it is in the Richmond area, the truck stop is actually in Ashland, Va. Google Maps tells us if you drive past the TA truck stop, the road T-intersects Ashcake Road.

Despite each having “ash” in the name, the names of the city of Ashland and Ashcake Road are derived from different roots.

Ashland was named for the Kentucky estate of native son Henry Clay (1777-1852), a politician who was speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives longer than anyone else in the 19th century. He was known as the “Great Compromiser” because of three deals he negotiated to delay the Civil War. His estate in Kentucky was in the middle of an ash tree forest.

So Ashland is named for Henry Clay’s estate in Kentucky.

Ashcake, as in Ashcake Road, refers to a cake or bread that contains cornmeal and is cooked in the embers of a fire. Soldiers and frontiers folk in the 1700s mixed flour and water, in essence paper mache paste, and cooked it over a fire. Savoring the Past has a recipe.

That makes no sense for a road name, but Larry Z. Daily, writing historical notes about the Piedmont Subdivision of the Chesapeake & Ohio railroad, which had an Ashcake stop, said the name comes from the area’s tobacco farmers.

The farmers put large hogsheads of tobacco along the road. Gray mud from the road piled up in front of the huge rolls of tobacco until eventually the rolls flopped over. When they did, they resembled ashcakes.

Well, that isn’t all regarding interesting names of area landmarks at this stop of The Spirit.

To the east of the TA Travel Center, past Bojangles Famous Chicken and Biscuit restaurant and just before Fox Cross Road, the street crosses over Lickinghole Creek.

We might pass over the silly name if that is all there was, but there is more. An award-winning craft brewery took the name of Lickinghole Creek for its line of beers.

Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery was founded in 2013.

Some of the ingredients for the beer are grown on the 290-acre Lickinghole Creek Farm, where the beer is brewed. It is near Goodland, Va., 40 miles away from the Richmond TA in Ashland. However, there is a Lickinghole Creek Brew Pub in Richmond, Va., in the Shockoe Bottom historic district. That is 15 miles away.

They have an India pale ale, a Maidens blonde ale. Scarlet Honey red ale, and several stouts: Virginia Black Bear (including chai-, spiced tea-, coconut- and coffee-infused versions), Tremendous Machine, Eternal President and Supreme Leader.

At the last stop in Jessup, Md., Jon said he met with a lot of OOIDA members, and many drivers were looking for information on getting their own authority. That is something OOIDA can help drivers in acquiring. Here is some more info and a number to OOIDA Business Services to call for more help.

Besides that, tolls were riling up truckers, Jon said.

Everbody hates Rhode Island, which has instituted trucks-only tolls, Jon said. Also, tolls are going up on the Pennsylvania Turnpike again. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in July approved a 6 percent toll increase for 2019. This will be the 11th consecutive annual toll increase on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Whenever you see The Spirit tour truck, go say hello to Jon Osburn, skipper of The Spirit. 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, you can get vouchers for flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines from Jon at The Spirit.