The Spirit sets up in Troutdale, Ore., on the outskirts of Portland

June 21, 2019

Chuck Robinson


Jon Osburn, skipper of OOIDA’s touring tractor-trailer, doesn’t have a long haul planned from Jubitz Travel Center and Truck Stop near downtown Portland, Ore., to his next stop. It’s in Troutdale, Ore., in the eastern outskirts of the Portland area.

Osburn and the Spirit of the American Trucker are scheduled to be at the Troutdale TA Travel Center on June 22-25. It is at Exit 17 from I-84. It is only 15-20 miles from the last stop.

The Troutdale TA has 240 truck parking spots.

Besides the Country Pride, Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen and Subway at the Troutdale TA, there is a Shari’s Cafe and Pies within walking distance.

The Columbia Gorge Outlets shopping center is east, just on the other side of the Love’s Travel Stop next to the Troutdale TA. If you need shoes, jeans, underwear or gifts to take home, hopping over there might do the trick.

The stop before, at Jubitz Truck Stop, is next to downtown Portland, where there was a lot of traffic and interesting people.

Drivers at Jubitz told him that freight rates were soft right now, Jon said, but of course last year was a great year for rates.

One route from Jublitz to the Troutdale TA is to take NE Marine Drive. It runs beside the Columbia River. That affords you a view of the water and Government Island. It runs beside Portland International Airport too, and connects to I-84.

Troutdale touts itself as being the “Gateway to the Gorge.”

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area was created by Congress in 1986. The legislation provided protection for the scenic and natural resources of the Columbia River Gorge. It includes areas in Oregon and Washington and several cities. It lies along I-84 for 85 miles from Troutdale and the Sandy River to the Deschutes River, which is nearly to Biggs Junction, Ore.

The Columbia River Tourism Alliance provides a map of the area and some touristy suggestions.

Going east on I-84 from Troutdale is a scenic drive.

The route after spending the weekend in Troutdale might be even prettier for Jon and his canine co-pilot, Sassi, because the next stop is home base, Boise, Idaho. Jon will check in at the TA dedicated to him when he was named a Citizen Driver in 2016. After that, he heads home, where there is a honey-do list waiting for him.

Whenever you see The Spirit tour truck, go 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, you can get vouchers for flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines from Jon at The Spirit.


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.