There were Tacomas, 4Runners, a Tundra, and several FJ-40s in addition to the hundreds of FJ Cruisers circling the Best Western, which once again served as the center of the FJ Universe. The event was the largest ever in nearly every way: More trucks; More sponsors; More classes; More giveaways; and More trails! Big hitters such as TRD Parts 4U (the title sponsor), Falken Tire, Discount Tire, and the big boys from Toyota & TRD made the trek this year, along with long time supporters such as Metal Tech, Toytec, Camel 4x4, and others. Warrior Products came to the event for the first time and provided a great demo on installing their tube doors.We were lucky enough to be joined by both Jim Akers (Managing editor over at Tacoma Magazine) and Kimberly Proffitt (our Associate Creative Director) and her family for the Summit this year. It was a real treat having ‘the fam’ at the event with us, and everyone had an amazing time on the trail. Kimberly drove her first 4x4 trail ever (Ophir Pass) and despite Jim’s small issue with heights, he rocked his new-to-him Tacoma down Black Bear Pass without a problem.
Once again we were fortunate enough to run a trail with Joe Bacal. If you’re not familiar with his work, see our October 2010 issue for a full interview. Joe made the trek this year with Mike Fort, owner of Fort’s Toyota in Pekin Illinois, in a sweet 2012 TTSE FJ. Joe led the group up & down Black Bear pass, and made everything look easy with his experience. We had a few very new drivers in the group and while they held their breath down ‘the steps’, everyone had a safe happy trip and it was an amazing day in Ouray!
Every year the summit organizers ‘twist’ our arm to lead a trail, and this year was no different. I was asked to lead a ‘photo’ run Friday morning. Photo runs are setup to leave a little later in the day so groups can take their time on the trip. With an energetic 2 year old in the back of our FJ, that’s a good thing. Brenden did great on Black Bear, and hanging out with his friends (Kimberly & Tim have a 4 & 6 year old), and frequent stops worked out great.
That run was the first time I’ve ever wheeled with more non-FJs than FJs at the Summit, and really shows that this event really is the Toyota Summit. I counted just two FJs in our group, one T-100, one Tacoma, and one 5th generation 4 Runner. It was a small group so even though we were on a ‘photo’ run, we made the trip up Mineral Creek to California & Corkscrew gulch in pretty good time.On Saturday we once again tackled Imogene Pass (that seems to be our tradition now) with the T-100 since they’ve never done that trail. We intentionally didn’t run with a group in the hopes that we’d meet up with one or two for some great shots. Our plan worked out pretty well as it turned out, we shot over 300 photos on Saturday alone. After arriving back in Ouray (via Ophir pass), we got settled for the raffle. Unfortunately rain showed up and with small children in tow we decided to head for the hotel early, so we missed the big supercharger giveaway at the end.Sunday morning is always early for many Summiteers, although we never seem to see more than a small portion of the trucks on Main St at 6am. For the first time ever, I arrived before the rest of the crew hoping for the front row, so I was fortunate enough to have our TRD in plain view for all the pics. Once again Mouses opened early just for us, serving the best coffee, cocoa, and treats in town. All together we counted approximately 52 FJ’s and other Toyota trucks (it’s hard to tell how many are in the back), which is not bad for an early morning photo shoot.By 10am we were on the road back to Colorado Springs, another amazing trip to Ouray all wrapped up. We didn’t shoot much video this year, but did manage to snap over 1,300 photos in all. Hopefully you enjoy the selection we’ve included, but for more visit our Flickr and Facebook pages.
We look forward to seeing everyone in Ouray next July!
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