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This year’s Eastbound and Down marked the fourth year in a row that a group of diehard truck enthusiasts converged on the outskirts of Phoenix for a two-day, 2,500-mile journey. People from Nevada, California, Arizona and New Mexico all headed together to the 9th annual Lone Star Throwdown in Conroe, Texas.

The journey to LST is an old-school road trip that included a few breakdowns, some unpredictable weather, some amazing scenery and plenty of laughs along the way. Little did we know that just a few weeks after this year’s journey, we’d be asked to “socially distance” ourselves!

Eastbound and Down, like LST, is the exact opposite of social distancing. We travel, we gather, we make memories and we socialize! As I type this, as I have in the past, it is and was easy to take the experience for granted. Like life, we might not realize how good we have something until it’s gone.

We started this tradition four years ago to drive some old trucks “all the way to LST,” and each year we’ve added a few more trucks. This year, we had close to 20 that made the voyage, picking up a few here and there as we put in the miles.

The first day, we drove from Phoenix to Fort Stockton, Texas—but first we stopped off at the Rainbow Fountain 2 in El Paso for lunch and the Royal Treatment from the C10 Club El Chuco members and restaurant owner Pablo Mena.

The second day had us cruising through some amazing Texas topography and towns, including Fredericksburg, Johnson City and the outskirts of Austin. It has become tradition to stop at the Deep Eddie tasting room and the legendary Buc-ee’s to fill up and shop for some great treats and souvenirs. At the end of the journey, we reached Conroe, Texas—home of Lone Star Throwdown, the Big Daddy of ‘em all!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were spent visiting with friends, some new and some old. We socialized and did what truck guys do: drink, eat and be merry. Oh yeah, and talked a lot about trucks, radass trucks!

Like most things in life that are rewarding, there are challenges, breakdowns and bumps along the way, but we’ve made it for the last four years and are looking forward to the fifth.

   

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