The Spirit’s skipper is ready for meal at Tonopah, Ariz.

January 28, 2021

Chuck Robinson

|

After a five stop tour of California, Jon Osburn, skipper of OOIDA’s tour trailer is looking forward to a sit-down meal inside a restaurant in Tonopah, Ariz.

The Spirit of the American Trucker is scheduled to be at the Tonopah TA Travel Center for the weekend on Jan. 29-31.

The Tonopah TA is at the 339th Avenue exit from 1-10, Exit 103. There are 407 parking spaces for tractor-trailers and a Country Pride restaurant that is open. Hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Coronavirus restrictions in California have closed restaurants in that state, but Arizona doesn’t have that restriction.

“It’s a good reason to visit the state of Arizona,” Osburn said. “Yes, I am going to enjoy a few sit-down, inside meals.”

Check out mask orders and restaurant closings state by state here.

Tonopah is an unincorporated community that is just over 50 miles west of Phoenix. The community is on the Tonopah Desert. To the south of I-10 in the Tonopah area, drivers can spot Saddle Mountain.

If you’d like to see an interesting 16-minute YouTube video of Arizona’s geography, check out this one by and guy named Kyle who calls himself “Geography King.”

Geography Kings says in Arizona take advantage of any opportunity to sample cheese crisps, which are open-faced quesadillas. Also, he reports, piki bread, a Hopi specialty, is a delicacy not to miss.

Word from the road

The stop in Ontario, Calif., was busy with a lot of truck drivers milling about. Between the TA where The Spirit was parked and the nearby Petro, there were more than 1,100 parking spaces for tractor-trailers.

Drivers expressed a lot of interest in OOIDA’s push to reverse the per diem changes to the tax code. Bills have been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to do just that. Many company drivers were stuck with higher tax bills thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which robbed them of being able to deduct 80% (up to $63) in daily expenses for meals on the road.

OOIDA asked leaders in Congress to rectify the situation for truck drivers this month. Osburn said every OOIDA member and every company driver should be contacting their Congress people about the bills.

OOIDA also has pushed Congress to suspend the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax for a year as a way to bring relief to truck drivers who have been called heroes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Of course, the other thing everyone was talking about was the weather. Snow in California is always noteworthy – palm trees, silk shorts, tank tops and snow. Of course, snow has been a serious enough of a problem to require the I-5 to be closed in the Grapevine area.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

If you see OOIDA’s tour trailer, stop by and say hello to Osburn. 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 for anyone with a commercial driver’s license at The Spirit. You also can get forms for uninsured drivers to get flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccine vouchers at The Spirit.

After Tonopah, The Spirit is scheduled to be at the TA Travel Center in Eloy, Ariz., on Feb. 1-4.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL

 

PrePass
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.