When a guy purchases his first truck, or if he gets the bug early, one brand can work its way into his heart, often for the remainder of his life. Plenty of hard-core Ford fans swear their favorite is the best. And yes, on the other side, there are equally as many Chevy/GMC fans who will argue their brand is best until they are Bow-Tie-blue in the face.

In order to assemble these hard-core Bow-Tie fans for some fun, an annual event was started in 1990, located in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. These Chevy and GMC truck owners would meet and share tricks and ideas on how to make their machines better than stock, or how to make them as factory original as possible.

This gathering, in the middle of Pigeon Forge, became known as the All Chevy/ GMC Truck Nationals. Now 15 years later, the event is growing both in trucks registered and attendance of local fans. The area has many attractions for the rest of the family as well. And there's plenty of shopping, go-cart rides, and many popular restaurants to enjoy.

Held at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center parking lot in Pigeon Forge, the venue had plenty of parking for show participants and offered them a Ramada Inn within a few feet of their pride and joy. There was easy access to the KFC and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts shop right next door. We ate more doughnuts in one weekend than we have in the past year. But, few could resist the smell of freshly baked doughnuts in the air all weekend.

This is a full weekend event, and trucks were arriving early Thursday afternoon to make sure they wouldn't miss a minute of the family event. The weather forecast called for partly cloudy skies, but the weather guys couldn't have been more wrong-Friday afternoon the dark storm clouds began to dump, and I thought we should start building a boat. Soon enough, the rain moved across the mountains. Truck owners got a chance to wipe their trucks dry and enjoy the evening's activities. Saturday morning, we again felt the urge to take up rafting in the parking lot, but again, like the night before, the bad weather moved beyond the mountain. Once more we changed into dry clothes to enjoy the show.

There were numerous vendors offering project owners the chance to pick up a last-minute part or to search for a hard-to-find item for the custom trucks they were working on. Of course, there were some beautiful trucks strutting their stuff hoping to take home a trophy, and a strong magnet for local truck lovers. A ton of spectators checked out the truck entries; the on-and-off rain never had a big impact on the show's attendance.