Nation’s Christmas Tree begins trip to U.S. Capitol by truck

The Christmas tree that will stand in front of the U.S. Capitol this holiday season is on its way to Washington, D.C. from the Chugach National Forest near Seward, Alaska. It was cut and loaded on a special trailer earlier this week.

The 74 foot-tall Lutz spruce is making its 4,000-mile journey to the West Lawn of the Capitol — including an ocean transport from Anchorage to Seattle — with 13 stops in communities along the way. It will be illuminated in early December.

Kenworth T680 that will deliver the National Christmas Tree

This year’s U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is being hauled by Lynden Transport. Lynden’s John Schank, the Alaska Trucking Association’s 2014 Driver of the Year will be at the wheel of the Kenworth T680, which is wrapped to commemorate the trip. Schank has driven 5 million accident-free miles during his 38 years on the road.

The Kenworth, which has a 76-inch mid-roof sleeper, is equipped with a 485-hp PACCAR MX-13 engine with 1,650 lb-ft of torque and Eaton Fuller Advantage 10-speed automated manual transmission and Kenworth TruckTech+.

Delivery is once again being coordinated by the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA). It’s working with trucking companies to help bring the tree to community events along the way.

For the first time, folks will be able to track the tree on its journey. SkyBitz, which offers satellite-based trailer tracking services, will provide real-time tracking of the cross-country trek at

The schedule of stops along the way includes:

  • Seward, AK (October 27 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Alaska SeaLife Center)
  • Moose Pass, AK (October 30 from 10:00 –11:00 a.m. at Trail Lake Lodge)
  • Anchorage, AK (October 30 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Cabela’s)
  • Anchorage, AK (October 31 from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Trick or Treat Street)
  • Seattle, WA (November 7 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Museum of History and Industry)
  • Missoula, MT (November 8 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Cabela’s)
  • Sheridan, WY (November 10 from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. at Holiday Inn Convention Center)
  • Rapid City, SD (November 11 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Main Street Square and Veteran’s Day Parade)
  • La Vista, NE (November 12 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Cabela’s)
  • South Bend, IN (November 15 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Downtown South Bend)
  • Findlay, OH (November 16 from 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. at the Court House/Municipal Building and 9:45-11:00 a.m. at Chamberlin Hill School)
  • Chillicothe, OH — home of Kenworth (November 17 from 9:00 –11:00 a.m. at Mount Logan Elementary School)
  • Andrews Air Force Base, MD (November 18 at 4:00 p.m. on Base)
“The tour of ‘The People’s Tree’ offers millions of Americans an opportunity to see our nation’s symbol of celebration,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “The Kenworth T680 mid-roof 76-inch sleeper offers the perfect spec’d truck to complete this important tour. It provides a comfortable work environment and the truck’s inspiring graphics offer visitors at each stop a nice reminder of the tree’s origin and destination.”