Wheeler Ridge is the next stop in California for The Spirit

January 16, 2020

Chuck Robinson

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The next stop on a California tour to kick off 2020’s travels of OOIDA’s tour truck is Wheeler Ridge.

Jon Osburn, skipper of the Spirit of the American Trucker tour trailer, plans to roll into the Petro there for a three-day stay on Jan. 17-20.  He started out his tour of California in Santa Nella, a straight shot down I-5 about 200 miles.

Wheeler Ridge, an unincorporated community despite the number of businesses there, is where the San Joaquin Valley abuts the Tehachapi Mountains. The Tehachapis separate the San Joaquin Valley from the Mojave Desert. They also separate the regions known as Northern and Southern California.

The Wheeler Ridge Petro is off Interstate 5 at Exit 219, Laval Road West.
It has 415 truck parking spots. The TA in the area has another 221 truck parking spots.

The Wheeler Ridge Petro exit is just south of the Wheeler Ridge Interchange, the junction of California Route 99 and Interstate 5.

I-5 going south to Los Angeles is known as the Golden State Freeway. Route 99 north headed toward Bakersfield and Fresno also is part of the Golden State Freeway. I-5 going north toward San Francisco is the Westside Freeway.

In a past life, drivers knew California Route 99 as U.S. 99, but it became a state highway in 1964. However, a California DOT master plan for the Route 99 corridor suggests the highway might eventually become I-7 or I-9.

California is ground zero for the worker classification battle centered on Assembly Bill 5. Here is the latest on the issue.

The FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse also has drivers riled up, Jon says. Here is the latest on the Clearinghouse. Here is an OOIDA video with answers about the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

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. Even if you disagree with OOIDA stances.

“It’s kind of fun to talk to people who think, for whatever reason, don’t think (OOIDA) has any reason to exist and before they leave they sign up to become members,” Jon said.

You can join or renew your OOIDA membership for $10 off the regular price at The Spirit. You can get vouchers for flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines, and Jon has copies of the latest Land Line Magazine to pick up.

Also at The Spirit, you can pick up forms for the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Program, which has been assisting the children, grandchildren and legal dependents of OOIDA members in their efforts to gain a higher education since 1998. There is still time to apply. Applications and all required materials must be postmarked no later than Feb. 1.

You can find an application on the OOIDA website.

After Wheeler Ridge, Jon heads to Barstow, Calif, and then Ontario, Calif. Here is the schedule.

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.

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