For Larry Spiekermeier, who has been a truck driver for more than 49 years, being asked to haul the 2017 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree from the Kootenai National Forest in Montana to Washington, D.C., is a lifetime achievement award of sorts.
“I would say it’s a once-in-a-lifetime honor,” Spiekermeier said. “It’s nice when people appreciate what you can do and your skills. I think that if you do your job well, you will be rewarded with things. I’ve done my job as well as I can, and I end up with a reward like this.”
A driver for Whitewood Transport, the 70-year-old Spiekermeier was selected to drive a specially designed Kenworth T680 Advantage with a flatbed trailer to haul a 79-foot tall Engelmann Spruce for a special lighting ceremony in December.
The journey will begin with a tree-cutting ceremony on Nov. 8 in Montana. On the 2,000-plus mile trek, the convoy will make several stops to promote and educate people about the tour.
Among the scheduled stops:
- Monday, Nov. 13: Eureka, Mont.
- Tuesday, Nov. 14: Libby, Mont.; Troy, Mont.; and Trout Creek, Mont.
- Wednesday, Nov. 15: Thompson Falls, Mont.; and Missoula, Mont.
- Thursday, Nov. 16: Helena, Mont.; and Great Falls, Mont.
- Friday, Nov. 17: Harlem, Mont.; and Glasgow, Mont.
- Saturday, Nov. 18: Glendive, Mont.; and Dickinson, N.D.
- Sunday, Nov. 19: Grand Forks, N.D.; and Browns Valley, S.D.
- Monday, Nov. 20: Kansas City, Mo.
- Tuesday, Nov. 21: Springfield, Mo.
- Wednesday, Nov. 22: Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and Paducah, Ky.
- Sunday, Nov. 26: Joint Base Andrews
- Monday, Nov. 27: Deliver to the U.S. Capitol
Spiekermeier said he will be doing all of the driving but that various people will be riding with him along the way.
Among the riders will be his wife, Mary Ann Spiekermeier.
“She gets to ride with me for about 1,100 miles,” he said.
The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tour is in its 53rd year.
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