2016 TFIJ Recap by Bryan Welsh

Cruisin’ Old 99

Originally Published in 10-4 Magazine on September 15, 2016

It looks like the small town of Junction City, Oregon did it again! I’ve really got to hand it to the local City Council and the Oregon Department of Transportation for allowing us to completely close off Junction City’s main street (Old US 99) and transform this little town’s main drag into one big truck show and cruise, for the 4th annual Truck Function in Junction, held July 16, 2016.

The show and shine portion of this year’s event kicked off without a hitch at Junction City High School. We got really lucky this year in regards to the weather, with nothing but blue skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. I figured that I would get there bright and early to beat the crowds, around 6:00 AM, but to my surprise, there were already over 40 trucks on the lot – and the trucks just kept coming. With over 95 trucks entered in the show and shine and over 100 trucks in the cruise later that evening, things got very busy, very quickly.

In addition to all of the old favorites and locals that come each year, there were a lot of new faces at the show, too. One of the first people that I met was Scott Sakugawa from Merced, California, who brought out a really beautiful white and blue Peterbilt 379 single axle, complete with a set of decked-up matching doubles, owned by Macedo Hay (featured in the July 2016 edition of 10-4). Good friends Justin and Lyndon Troyer also made an appearance, rolling in with their beautiful head-turning rigs – Justin’s white K100 Kenworth cabover and Lyndon’s classy blue 359 extended hood were pretty hard to beat in the “cool” category.

Not too far from the action was Jim Oldland’s perfect lineup of both new and old turquoise-colored Peterbilts – Jim even brought out his painted-to-match classic Ford pickup. Thank you again to Jim, Randy and the crew for coming up from Medford to be a part of this event. On the other side of the lot sat the bright viper red Peterbilt from Joel Olson Trucking, proudly driven by Gary Ross, who also took the entire weekend to hang out with us (thanks again Joel and Darren). One of the highlights for us was watching Brett Whitaker from Roseburg, Oregon pull into the lot driving his dad’s silver and blue Kenworth W900. Sadly, we lost his dad, Gene Whitaker, earlier this year, so what a sight it was to see his son and other family members arrive at the event, along with a few of Whitaker’s pressed-out blue Kenworth log trucks.

The non-judged show, held at the high school throughout the day, featured lots of great equipment and good people, even though the air was filled with smoke. Junction City is a small community and the entire town was still reeling from a devastating fire that occurred the night before this event. Burning everything except for one building, our past cover trucker Jesse Bounds of Bounds Hay Hauling lost his two huge barns and all of his hay – thankfully, he managed to get all of the equipment and trucks safely away from the devastation. So, needless to say, it was the most inspirational moment of the entire day to see one of Jesse’s beautiful white and orange Peterbilts pull out onto old Highway 99, shined up and ready to go cruising, and receive a rousing round of applause from everyone out on the street.

After about two hours of cruising, this year’s Truck Function in Junction came to an end – and was another great success. Heck, even two of the sponsors, Papé Kenworth and DSU Peterbilt, were seen out on the strip cruising their trucks. What a good time… and it just gets better and better every year, thanks to everyone involved. Huge thanks to Dan Alley and the entire board for putting all of this together and doing the heavy lifting.

We really hope all of you will make the trip to Junction City, Oregon, to be a part of this fun event next year, which allows trucks to take over the town and enjoy a fun cruise down old nostalgic Highway 99 – and it just doesn’t get much better than that.

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