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2009 FJ Summit

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In late July nearly 200 Toyota FJ Cruisers made the trek from across the country to bask in the sunshine and play on the trails surrounding Ouray, CO for the 3rd Annual FJ Summit. Our trip this year  began like the others, with the convoy to from Colorado Springs to Ouray.  We like organizing this meetup and convoy because every year there are people coming from all over, and we want to make sure they see as much of Colorado's great scenery as possible on the way to Ouray.  The views on a clear day from Wilkerson Pass and Trout Creek Pass into Buena Vista are views you don't soon forget.  It never fails, we always have at least one on the CB that says “That's it, we're moving!”  Colorado is such a beautiful state and we like to show new-comers a good time!

 

After arriving in Ouray, the registration for the event went smoothly. The volunteers and organizers did a great job of keeping everything moving. It took less than five minutes to get registered and checked into the room. Again we chose to stay at the Box Canyon Lodge which is  next to the Best Western (FJ Summit headquarters) and a little less crowded. Of course, if we had the deal that Justin from Stay The Trail had, we may have opted for the Best Western (he lucked out and got the ‘suite’ at the Best Western).

Once settled, we had a chance to check out some of the vendor booths. Our favorite newcomer this year was Outrider Suspension Armor. They have some of the toughest under armor available for FJ’s (See New Products, Page 28). Digger is a great guy and his products are literally bombproof! Demello, Icon, Toytec, Metal Tech, OtterBox, All Pro, and several other vendors from last year were well represented once again. TRDParts4U and Frank Bonnet from TRD made the event extra special by unveiling the prototype 2010 Trail Teams edition FJ Cruiser for a private FJ Summit viewing. Overland Training and Bill Burke were also kind enough to give everyone great advice for trail driving then also helped spot every FJ down Black Bear Pass.

Running Black Bear on the first day of the Summit is quickly becoming an FJC Mag tradition. This year Justin from Stay The Trail rode shotgun in the FJC TRD and took some pretty amazing photos. We had a great group of drivers, so it didn’t take long at all to get to the ‘fun’ part of Black Bear; the Drop Off. We decided to hang out with Bill Burke & Graham Jackson to get some pics and video of the FJ’s tackling that section. We then headed down the switchbacks and managed to snap more than a few pics of FJ’s flexing. Between Justin and I, we snapped over 400 pics that day, and still couldn’t begin to capture the amazing views.

Friday night was ‘night on the town’ at this year’s FJ Summit. A change put into place this year,  there was no group meal served on Friday so that Summiteers would have an opportunity to visit some of the local establishments in Ouray. Metal Tech went above and beyond by sponsoring hors d'oeuvres and beer (along with the infamous Metal Tech pint glasses) at the Historic Western Hotel. During that event, Mark from Metal Tech started an impromptu raffle to help raise money for Rescue Tellico. The fund raising continued at the big raffle on Saturday, where Mark pledged to match the amount donated dollar for dollar. This great idea ended in over $1,200 being donated to Rescue Tellico. FJ Cruiser owners really do care!

For the first time at the FJ Summit, we volunteered to lead a group over Imogene Pass on Saturday morning. Angie was nice enough to drive the first part, so I could get some really cool video of the ride up Imogene with our large group (Check out our YouTube channel for the video). There were a couple less experienced drivers in our group, but none of them had any problems at all and before we knew it we were at the midway stop. Some of the more challenging obstacles near the top of Imogene Pass have been cleaned up since last year, so the rest of the way to the summit was pretty uneventful, except for the absolutely amazing views of course! I took over driving on the downhill side of Imogene, once again with no issues. Everyone in our group did a great job of driving the whole day, we're excited to lead more runs next year.  It is a lot of fun and a great way to meet everyone!

The infamous Saturday night raffle definitely did not disappoint this year! There were literally hundreds of great prizes given away, and it proved to be an amazing fundraiser for the event as well as local organizations. Tim, Seth, and the rest of the organizers and volunteers did an outstanding job of keeping things moving and entertaining the crowd. Unfortunately, despite my promises of great articles and coverage, we did not win the supercharger. Maybe next year!

For three great years the FJ Summiteers have headed to Ouray for wheeling, friends, and FUN. We thank the organizers & volunteers once again for their countless hours of hard work & dedication to make this an amazing FJ Cruiser event. We look forward to FJ Summit #4 in 2010 and can’t wait to see everyone in Ouray once again.

Do you have a great story and/or pics from the FJ Summit? E-mail them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. & we’ll add them to the Readers Thoughts section of this article on the website.

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    Read 4949 times Last modified on %PM, %13 %128 %2011 %20:%Apr

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