The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree at Hangar 4 on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) in Alaska. Paul Ryan, the newly-elected Speaker for the House of Representatives, is expected to officially light the tree on Dec. 2 during a ceremony on the Capitol’s West Front beginning. The tree will then be lit from nightfall until 11 p.m. each evening through Jan. 1, 2016. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Airman Valerie Monroy)
Schank stands with his truck after safely bringing the U.S Capitol Christmas Tree to Hangar 4 on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, on Oct. 31, ahead of its sea voyage to Washington state. The tree will continue to make stops on its way to Joint Base Andrews, MD, before arriving in Washington D.C. By the way, Schank has accrued 5 million accident-free miles traversing Alaska’s treacherous Dalton Highway during his 38-year driving career. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Airman Valerie Monroy)
Staff Sgt. Steven Wheeler, 673d Security Forces Squadron, and his partner, military working dog Ajax, search the truck carrying the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree as it arrives through the Post Road gate at JBER. For more than 50 years, a tree has graced the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the holiday season. The Chugach National Forest in partnership with nonprofit Choose Outdoors will bring this gift from Alaska to Washington D.C. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Airman Valerie Monroy)
Lynden Transport’s John Schank – honored by the Alaska Trucking Association as its “Driver of the Year” for 2014 – is doing all the truck-based hauling of the Capitol Christmas Tree, including for the 2,500 plus mile overland journey from Washington state to Washington D.C. The truck is expected to make between 10 and 15 stops along the way before arriving in the nation’s capital on Nov. 22.
Fifth grader Anna DeVolld, the winner of the 2015 Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Essay Contest, will be traveling with an adult family member to Washington D.C. to participate in its Dec. 2 lighting ceremony. Her transportation and lodging will be covered by the non-profit organization Choose Outdoors.
Forest Service employee Dan Osborne cut down the 2015 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree from the Chugach National Forest near Seward, Alaska, on Oct. 27. Trucking firm Lynden Transport then hauled the tree – a 90-year-old 74-ft. Lutz spruce, which is a hybrid between a white spruce and a Sitka spruce – to Totem Ocean Trailer Express, which then transported it via an 839-foot long ship from the Port of Anchorage, Alaska, to the Port of Tacoma in Washington. From there, Lynden Transport again took over for the final overland leg of the tree's journey.
A specially-decaled Kenworth T680 will be hauling the Capitol Christmas Tree. The design features the Chugach Mountains and the U.S. Capitol beneath a northern starry sky with the words “From the Northern Lights to Capitol Lights.” It also includes the 2015 Capitol Christmas Tree official seal, a map of the tour route across the United States, and the Alaska state logo of Lynden Transport; the trucking firm doing the tree hauling. The T680 was made available for the tour by PacLease, which provides customized full-service lease, rental and contract maintenance programs featuring Kenworth trucks, the company said.
Kenworth provided a similarly specialty-decaled T880 tractor last year to haul the 2014 Capitol Christmas Tree,
Follow the tree along its journey here.