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Decker driver puts cooking skills to the test

Remington prepared meals for stranded drivers

Thomas Remington, left, poses at a truck stop in Wamsutter, Wyoming, with some drivers that he cooked meals for while they waited for Interstate 80 to reopen last weekend.

Thomas Remington likes to cook, even when he’s on the road.

The Gilmore City man, who is a driver for Decker Truck Line Inc. in Fort Dodge., has a small kitchen’s worth of cooking gear in the cab of his truck.

“It’s what I do,”‘ he said of cooking. “I like to cook.”

He put his skills and cooking equipment to good use last weekend while marooned by bad weather at a truck stop in western Wyoming.

Over two days he made homestyle meals for up to 12 people. The meals included what he called “Mexican truckers stew,” a breakfast hash and Jamiacan jerked chicken and rice soup.

The meals were cooked and served outdoors in the parking lot of the truck stop while temperatures ranged from 18 to 35 degrees.

Remington said the drivers who joined together for the meals were all strangers to each other who linked up via CB radio.

Last Friday, Remington was driving from Oregon to Denver, Colorado, to pick up a load. That load was canceled, so he stopped at a Love’s Truck Stop along Interstate 80 in Wamsutter, Wyoming. Soon after he arrived, Interstate 80 was closed because of winter storms. He and all the other truckers there were faced with the prospect of being there longer than planned.

Remington had food and his cooking gear. He got on his CB radio, and reached out to other truckers in the lot, asking if they were interested in sharing a homestyle meal.

“I ended up calling everybody up to my truck,”‘ he said.

As other drivers came to his yellow Volvo truck with the distinctive Decker Truck Line Inc. markings, he gave each one a task to complete to help with the meal.

The first meal was the Mexican truckers stew which included beef, tri-tips, sausage, onions, peppers and rice.

The next morning’s breakfast hash consisted of three kinds of sausage, bacon, eggs, onions, chilis and cheese.

The Jamaican jerked chicken and rice soup was for supper later that day.

Remington said the meals were prepared using an Instapot, an electric skillet and a gas grill commonly used for camping.

Remington has been driving for Decker Truck Line Inc. since January 2019. He earned Driver of the Month honors last year.

“He’s just a really great guy,” said Tammy O’Tool, the trucking company’s vice president of administration. “He likes to cook and to share.”

She said Fleet Manager Anthony Pieczko has described Remington as “a really good planner and a very, very good communicator.”

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