The Spirit's Northeast tour takes it to New York and then Connecticut

By Chuck Robinson, Land Line staff editor | 10/18/2018


The Spirit continues its tour of the Northeast U.S. as it heads into New York State on its way to Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia.

OOIDA’s touring tractor-trailer, The Spirit of the American Trucker, is scheduled to be at the Maybrook, N.Y., TA Travel Center through Oct. 19. It is at Exit 5 from Interstate 84.

After that, The Spirit is scheduled to stop at the Robert Fernald TA in Willington, Conn. It is at the Route 320/Ruby Road exit from I-84, Exit 71. The Spirit will be there Oct. 20-23.

The Maybrook TA has 160 parking spots.

The Maybrook TA truck stop neighbors FedEx Freight on Neelytown Road and is across the street from XPO Logistics Freight. To the east on Neelytown Road are distribution centers for The Home Depot, United Natural Foods and the Do It Best Corp. On the other side of I-84 is a Staples Distribution Center.

Neeleytown Road is named for a family community settled in the early 1700s by Irish immigrants. All that is left of Neelytown is the name of the road and a cemetery.

Railroads and crossing the Hudson River made Maybook a going concern for many decades. Maybrook Yard was an important railroad switching terminal, where eastbound traffic from several railroads was funneled across the Poughkeepsie Bridge, which is northeast of Maybrook. It was a double track railroad bridge completed in 1889. It was taken out of service in 1974 after being damaged by fire. It is now a pedestrian walkway as part of the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park.

To the east of Maybrook is Steward State Forest and New York Steward International Airport. Both are named for a dairy farming family that donated land for the airport in 1930. Interstates 84 and 87 intersect northeast of the airport, 8 miles east of the Maybrook TA.

Parking is a major concern for truckers in around the Maybrook TA, says Jon Osburn, skipper of OOIDA’s touring tractor-trailer. The Newburgh, N.Y. Pilot Flying J has another 110 parking spots, according to its website, but it is still not enough, Jon said.

For its Oct. 20-23 scheduled stop, The Spirit heads about 140 miles northeast on I-84, passing through Hartford, Conn.

The Robert Fernald TA shares Exit 71 off I-84 with a FedEx Ground facility.

The namesake of this TA is Robert Fernald of Maine, who was a 2015 Citizen Driver honoree.

There are 240 parking spaces there. This is a Preferred Parking TA. If you buy 60 gallons of diesel, you can park your rig there for up to 72 hours. Without a minimum purchase, you get two hours of free parking, according to the AT & Petro website. Receipts for diesel purchases of 60 gallons or more made at other TA and Petro locations earn the driver 24 hours of parking at a Preferred Parking location.

Fortunately for Jon and his canine co-pilot, Sassi, the Willington TA Travel Center has a designated pet area.

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. Also, you can get vouchers for flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines from Jon at The Spirit.



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