Last month I had the opportunity to bring my wife and my old project Freightliner cabover to the American Truck Historical Society’s National Convention and Truck Show in Yakima, WA. What an unbelievable experience that was – hundreds and hundreds of antique and working show trucks were crammed into every square inch of the Yakima Sun Dome Fairgrounds. I worked for several weeks to prepare my truck, which had been put on the back burner, to get it roadworthy to make the 200 mile trip to the show. I was nervous about the relatively short trip, because I didn’t want to have a major breakdown that would bring the weekend to a grinding halt. I took my truck to Van Dam Repair in Arlington, WA prior to the show. After I had done all I could do to it, I wanted Henry, my regular mechanic, to give it a look and a clean bill of health before I hit the open road in it, and that is where I met a new friend, Steve Hintz, who also had an old cabover project that he was having work done to. His truck is a 1972 Kenworth K-123 day cab, twin screw, cabover with a 290 Cummins. Riding on hard rubber blocks and springs, I have a ton of respect for Steve, who drove that old dinosaur all the way to Yakima and back – bobtail! I would like to thank of all the dedicated drivers/owners that brought their old rigs out, from all over the country, to share them with the rest of us, and all the men and women who made their living driving these kinds of trucks. I had such a blast my three days at the show, and met many wonderful people. One in particular is a sweet little lady named Gigi from Rochester, New York, who was so excited to meet me in person – she was an absolute delight! I had the time of my life enjoying the people, the trucks, the weather, and the time with my wife. I also felt like my dad was there – I saw so many guys who resembled him, and I could hear his voice in the stories they told. I even melted down a few times and let the tears fall as I longed for him to experience such an event with me. This poem is a journey through the day, in our own experience, as we drove to the show. I want to give sincere thanks to ATHS for hosting these shows, to 10-4 Magazine for making us feel like family at such events, and to Carl of Rockwood Products for hosting a dinner that my wife and I were invited to at a beautiful winery in Zillah, Washington. Wow – what an awesome weekend! Oh, and Gigi, thanks for making my day… my week… my month!
RUN TO THE SHOW
By Trevor Hardwick
Wednesday night I closed the curtains, I’d done all that I can do,
Worked all week on that ol’ Shaker, months of weekends workin’ too.
Thursday morning was the truck show, start the day without a flaw,
So I hosed her down, one more time, and headed out to Yakima.
There were three of us together, my friend Steve, my wife and me,
She and I in my old Shaker, Steve in his K-One Twenty Three.
We rolled out, north of Seattle, a mix of traffic, sun and rain,
I was nervous but excited, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
We hit Snoqualmie with a purpose, pulled the hill, ‘bout 45,
The pyro leaning on 900, and water temps 185.
The sun came out, east of the hill, the road was rough, I must admit,
Dog-gone concrete streets are awful, we felt each and every hit.
We stopped at the rest stop, to check the rigs and shine the tires,
‘fore too long we were back in gear, chasin’ highline power wires.
Ellensburg was uneventful, some comments on the ol’ CB,
We were having such a darn good time, two old trucks, and us three.
It was about the time we hit Manastash, at the viewpoint up on 82,
When a rented, silver SUV, caught my eye – and I theirs, too.
It was 10-4’s Dan Linss at the wheel, and Erik Sieben on the right,
They were merging on beside us, and had our cabovers in sight.
I throttled down, rolled some smoke, hit the jakes to their delight,
They took position in the Monfort lane, as I held steady on the right.
Erik’s head was out the window, our canvas was Manastash Ridge,
He was risking his own life, and limb, just to photograph our rigs!
I have rolled these hills so often, but never with so much a smile,
The Sun Dome was our destination, in Yakima, a few more miles.
I felt like a kid on Christmas, to keep composure was so hard,
I could see the rigs were lined up, as I took Nob Hill Boulevard.
It was Thursday afternoon, now, the sun was hot the rain was gone,
I took my place and parked my Shaker, under the cloud 9, I was on.
I’d like to take a couple seconds, to thank the ATHS crew,
It was such an awesome show, and I found, the boy that I once knew.