The Spirit swings into the Midwest before heading south

November 9, 2018

Chuck Robinson


On Nov. 10-11, Jon Osburn plans to have OOIDA’s touring tractor-trailer at the TA Travel Center in Mount Vernon, Ill.

The Mount Vernon TA is at the intersection of I-57/I-64 and MM 95.

The exit is just south of the junction of the two interstates, and all of the big three truck stop chains are represented there. There also is a Walmart Supercenter handy there.

The Mount Vernon TA has 162 truck parking spots.

Mount Vernon is named for George Washington’s plantation, Mount Vernon in Virginia.

The top employers there are Continental Tires the Americas, with more than 3,000 employees, and Walgreens Distribution Center with 1,500 employees.

The stop before Mount Vernon for the Spirit of the American Trucker was at the Candy Bass TA Travel Center in downtown Nashville, Tenn. Traffic was hectic there, as usual, Jon said. Being downtown means there is limited room for building larger interstates to handle all the traffic, so Nashville sometimes is referred to as “Crashville,” he said.

However, this trip The Spirit was unscathed.

When he leaves Mount Vernon, Jon will be headed to OOIDA headquarters in Grain Valley, Mo., for the annual fall Board of Directors meeting. When that is done, he is headed to Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.

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.


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.