The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the finest big rigs in the nation, and this year’s Truck Function in Junction proved it once again! This year’s show and cruise, held on July 19th in Junction City, Oregon, was actually the second annual event, but with the huge rainstorms and windy weather during last year’s event, we could almost consider this year’s show and cruise the “real” first annual Truck Function in Junction! This year, Dan Alley, Randy Chizek, Brian and Teresa Austin and their families really out-did themselves, along with their crew of volunteers, by planning and executing such a great event.
Much to our pleasant surprise, we woke up Saturday morning to clear blue skies and warm temperatures, confirming our hopes that this year’s event would far exceed last year’s – and boy were we right! This year’s “Truck Function” welcomed almost 90 trucks, more than doubling last year’s count, and the size of the crowds almost doubled, as well. Everybody from young to old seemed to stop in to check out all of the fine rides parked in the Junction City High School parking lot for the “show” portion of the event.
A few of the local street rodders pulled up in their roadsters and realized that many of the trucks, like James Davis’ black and orange Pete 379 and Randy Chizek’s gray and black W900L dump truck, highly resembled their roadsters parked outside. As with most truck shows, the most enjoyable spectators to see are the kids and their excitement at seeing all of these giant and beautiful rides. Most of the kids had done laps around each truck several times before they even realized that there was a snow-cone stand!
By 10 a.m. almost the entire west side of the high school parking lot was packed – but the trucks kept pouring in! Before we knew it, trucks were filling the entire east side of the parking lot, as well. Heck, even an ambulance, owned and driven by Arlen Rexius, rolled in, along with a few of Rexius Forest By-Products’ other awesome lime green Kenworths. This year was also a big year for our good friend Ryan Van Dyke (aka “Mr. big 18-year-old CDL guy”). Ryan, along with his dad Brad and grandpa George, all helped to sponsor the event and showed up with a few of their impeccable turquoise-colored Petes, including Ryan making his maiden voyage in his 379 looking a lot like the one his dad Brad used to have.
Bill Latimer and RAM Trucking came down from Brownsville, Oregon to not only help sponsor the event but to cruise in his beautiful black A-Model KW long hood, as well – and it was an awesome sight to see. Again this year, like last, Mike and Susan Brown of Mike Brown Trucking helped sponsor the “Truck Function” and brought out their outstanding light blue long nose baby cab Pete log truck, right alongside the black and silver 2013 Pete 389 log truck driven by Arron Star, along with his little co-pilot, Wyatt Star.
Troy and father Tom Points and the whole Points troop from Salem, Oregon, also made an appearance with their Pete 379s – Troy’s black machine pulling a matching 53-foot 4-axle “live floor” trailer and Tom with his silver and blue stand-up bobtail. Thanks again to Mike McKay of Albany, Oregon for giving us a sneak peek of his amazing baby blue old single axle Kenworth!
Like any truck show, the folks that show up are what makes these get-togethers so much fun. It’s always great to walk around and talk about everything and nothin’ at all. I can speak for quite a few people when I say how priceless it was to watch our old friend Decker Beckam roll in smiling like a kid on Christmas morning, driving a 1980 A-Model. It’s been many years since Decker’s days in that old V12-powered Pepsi truck, but he could have fooled us. In my book, he is still one of the smoothest drivers out there today!
Jeff Patterson and his and wife Debbie not only brought their orange and white Pete 389 this year, but also their all-original white and green A-Model truck and trailer, piloted by its original driver, Ron. And let’s not forget the fine crew from PER Logging out of Veneta, Oregon – their green and black KW L-Model log trucks were lookin’ hot! The Borland family brought out their all-original teal V12 KW, which made the sweet symphonic sound that only a V12 can make as it rolled slowly through the parking lot. We also had a great time seeing our good friends Bob Louvring and Ron Becker and getting to walk the event talking trucks and old times. As the day went on, the conversations went from truck show highlights to talk about the up-and-coming cruise later that evening around Junction City, and before we knew it, it was time to fire up the wagons.
The truck cruise kicked off around 6:30 p.m. without a hitch, boasting over 80 trucks, all fired up and ready to go. Junction City’s local police department, as well as over 50 volunteers, did a great job closing off all of the streets in downtown Junction City to make this event so special. And, before we knew it, our number of rigs began to grow. Several other trucks started showing up just to cruise, including Casey Hull and his wife Lauren, each driving their own trucks, including their bad-to-the-bone Dodge Bighorn. This year’s event drew a lot more people to the streets than last year, as well (every intersection was packed and, let’s just say, the local Dairy Queen was hoppin’ a lot more than usual). Chuck Bracelin from Coos Bay, Oregon, also brought a hand-full of his sharp Peterbilts to cruise up and down the strip, and who could forget Lil Ray and the two rides he brought from California lighting up the streets once the sun started to set. Even Jesse Bounds finished up his hay-hauling in time to show up and cruise a couple of his wagons, including his gorgeous Peterbilt 359 truck and trailer, driven by Darrel Halden.
All-in-all, the whole day flew by very quick and the evening went by even faster. Before we knew it, we were baring down on 9 p.m. and the party was almost over. What a great time it was. Special thanks to 10-4 Magazine, Kenny Keeler, McCoy Freightliner, Dennis Erickson, MTS, Delta Sand & Gravel, Leavitts Trucking, Chris at Pacific Metal Polishing, and good friend Jim Marcy at JNR Repair for all of your energy leading up to this event, making the 2nd annual Truck Function in Junction the place to be. Don’t forget next year folks – it’ll be worth your while, for sure!