The Spirit sets up in Brooklyn, Iowa, and then Albert Lea, Minn.

By Chuck Robinson, Land Line staff editor | 8/30/2018

As it happens, OOIDA’s touring trailer rolls into the TA Travel Center in Brooklyn, Iowa, during a sad time for the community just north of the truck stop.

Brooklyn, Iowa, is the hometown of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbets, who was found dead Aug. 21 in a cornfield outside Brooklyn, where she had been staying during her summer break from the University of Iowa. A Mexican farmworker has been charged for the murder.

A funeral for the young woman was held Aug. 26 in the gymnasium of Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom High School in Brooklyn, from where she graduated in 2017.

The Spirit of the American Trucker is scheduled to be at the Brooklyn TA on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Brooklyn is at Exit 197 on Interstate 80.

After his stop in Iowa, Jon Osburn, skipper of the Spirit of the American Trucker, plans to head up to the Petro/Trail’s Travel Center in Albert Lea, Minn. That is at Exit 11 from I-35, just south of the junction of I-35 and I-90 and I-35.

The Spirit will be at the Albert Lea Petro/ Trails Travel Center on Sept. 3-5.

Despite that sadness of the woman’s death, Brooklyn is a friendly community. It calls itself “City of Flags” for a city park displaying the U.S. flag and the flags of the nation’s states and armed forces. 

In 1991 Brooklyn put up an avenue of flags to welcome RAGBRAI riders into Brooklyn, according to community lore recorded on the city website. RAGBRAI is the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa bike ride organized starting in 1973 by the Des Moines Register.

The flag display is 2 miles north of the TA truck stop on county road V18.

On Monday, Labor Day, The Spirit will be living large in Albert Lea at Trail’s Travel Center.

The Travel Channel named Trail’s Travel Center one of the coolest rest stops in the world in 2017.

According to the Albert Lea Tribune, the Trail family have owned and operated a truck stop in the area since the early 1980s and built the present facility in 1998.

Trail’s father, Rocky Trail, and his grandfather, Bernard Trail, bought East Side Truck Stop in the early 1980s. The facility at 820 Happy Trails Lane was built in 1998.

An area TV station reports that The Travel Channel praised the Scandinavian flair of the place, a small movie theater for truckers, homemade fudge, excellent bacon and the whisky selection at the Skol Tavern.

The Spirit arrives in Brooklyn, Iowa, having left York, Neb. There, Jon set up a couple of laptop computers to help truckers who feel inclined to add their comments on the advance notice of public rulemaking regarding changes to the hours of service.

Comments will be accepted on the advance notice of proposed rulemaking until Sept. 24.

“I’ve got it set up so they can click and comment,” Jon said, and they can do it without him or anyone else peering over their shoulder. “We’ve got some members who really care but appreciate a little help making contact.”

Land Line’s Wendy Parker recently attended a listening session at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, where she listened to Ray Martinez, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, encourage truckers to weigh in.

“The response we’re hoping to get is to inform the FMCSA of what you like about the four different areas – you don’t have to like them all, but we want to hear what you like, and how it can be implemented in your business without affecting safety,” he said. “I can’t comment on whether, if or what will be included in the final rule, but can tell you that it happens with participation and good information.”

For more comments and help walking you through the commenting process, please go check out this article.

Whenever you see The Spirit tour truck, go say hello to Jon. 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.




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