The Spirit starts next week off in Salina, Kan.

September 11, 2020

Chuck Robinson


Salina, Kan., is the next stop for OOIDA’s tour trailer.

The Spirit of the American Trucker and its skipper, Jon Osburn, will be at the Salina Petro on Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 14-16. That is Exit 252 from I-70.

The Salina Petro is one of the smallest Petros that Osburn has ever visited, he says. There are 75 parking spots for trucks. Though small, it seems to have everything he needs, including an Iron Skillet that’s open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Salina is in the middle of wheat country. The city, and the county that encompasses it, is named for the Saline River, which has a high salt content. There are salt marshes in the area and there are salt mines south of Salina near Hutchinson.

Salina has produced two Kansas governors:

  • John Carlin, a Democrat and a dairy farmer, was governor from 1979 to 1990.
  • Bill Graves, a Republican whose parents owned a trucking firm, was governor from 1994 to 2003. He became president of the American Trucking Associations in 2003 and retained that office until 2016.

After Salina, OOIDA’s tour trailer is scheduled to stop in Sioux Falls, S.D., where Osburn will be part of the Sioux Falls Truck Convoy for Special Olympics. All of the proceeds will go directly to support and benefit the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the largest grassroots fundraising campaign for Special Olympics South Dakota.

Possible day trip

When the coronavirus shutdowns are all lifted, Osburn has a suggestion.

“If you are here doing a reset, you might consider a day trip to Abilene to the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum,” he said. “It is well worth the time spent.”

Abilene, Kan., is about 30 miles east of the Salina Petro. The museum was refurbished in 2019. The problem now is that the Eisenhower Library is closed because of COVID-19 concern, according to its website, but make a note for another time.

Here is a video tour of the library.

“It’s absolutely neat. I delivered there a couple of times,” Osburn said.

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 there.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit.

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.