What do you do when you’ve explored every FJ Summit trail in the Ouray-Silverton-Telluride area multiple times? Find something new.
The Hema Explorer system helped to scout a high alpine lake that we’ve never explored. With a route planned in the cloud, I synced the tracks to my phone & tablet and downloaded the proper maps. We hit the pavement south of Ridgway, headed for Red Mountain Pass.
After turning off the highway, we found a standard forest road complete with a washboard surface. We aired down to 22psi on the new tires, hit record on the app, and headed for the hills.
Despite the cloudy & rainy day, we were able to find some really great views throughout the ~8 mile journey which included over 3,000ft in elevation gain. We spotted the Golden Horn a few times, along with several lakes, waterfalls, and great potential campsites.
The end of our trip revealed a socked-in yet still beautiful Clear Lake. At an elevation near 12,000ft the lake is actually....quite clear. It’s also cold, and a really great place for lunch. Alas, the rain caught us so we enjoyed our sandwiches in the comfort of the GX.
This trail is suitable for any stock 4x4 or SUV with low-range and you should plan 2-4 hours for a round trip, depending on how often you stop to capture the views. You can see our track on the Hema Explorer Cloud: http://hema.li/clrlkco
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Summer 2017 Issue:
Today we’re very excited to announce Kathy Locke as our new Creative Director.
Kathy’s skill in layout and design and love of Toyota Adventure will help propel Toyota Cruisers & Trucks to a new level of exceptionalism.
After years, why keep coming back? Why come the first time? Will you come again?
Its no secret that the crew at TCT Magazine loves the FJ Summit. We keep coming back. Shane & Angie were at the first FJ Summit in the original Williams FJ and have attended ever since. Director Jonathan Harris also became a TCT editor. Associate Editor Daniel Markofsky leads trails here in his 80 series Land Cruiser.
People, Scenery, Tech, Trails, History, Education, Vacation, Food, Relaxing, Hot Springs, Excitement, Community, Camaraderie, Family.
Prep. I need that lift. Don’t forget armor.
Do I really need sliders, dual batteries and solar? Check.
Axe and shovel. Check.
Gears. Next year, nope, now.
Definitely a roof rack.
CB or HAM?
Every Summiteer goes through this type of list.
Day 1: Breakfast. The steam rises off your fresh local burrito as it peeks out of the foil. Coffee steams in your other hand. You feel the chill, but know the day will warm. You meet the group. You make new friends.
On The Trail.
Its why we are here.
Tire pressure. Check. Debate. Check. Ask. Debate. Add air. Check.
Fuel. Never pass a gas station. Is my tank full. How much is my reserve. How long is the day. How much gas do I need. Do I really need a full tank. I have enough, I think.
How hard is the trail? What is your experience? Let’s check out your rig. What is your tire pressure? Are you scared of heights? Do you have A-Trac? Lockers? Have you ever used them? No, you won’t need them. You will need them.
Having trouble on the trail? Are you in low range? You mean this button? What does that one do? What is it? I don’t know, I just turn them all on. I was told that was what to do. No, I did not air down because I have no way to fill up. To what? 50 PSI like the sidewall says.
ATVs coming up. Side-by-sides coming down. Jeeps ahead. Did you turn? Where is the bathroom? What time do we get back to town. Can I get a spot! How did they get that bulldozer/Subaru/Jeep/Honda up here? Do those people need help? What time is lunch? ATVs coming up. Side-by-sides coming down. Jeeps ahead. Did you turn? Where is the bathroom? What time do we get back to town. Can I get a spot! How did they get that bulldozer/Subaru/Jeep/Honda up here? Do those people need help? What time is lunch?
Lunch. Is it a cold sandwich, handful of chips, grilled chicken, or mac n cheese hot off the manifold.
Did you take in the view? Glad the rain stopped. I don’t need 4-low first gear all the time? Oh, You were on channel 22, that explains it. Car off, hand brake on, manual tranny in gear every time we stop?
Dinner. The food is good and the line is a slow roll down vendor row. Dude! We chatted online, soooo great to meet you! Under the tent you are welcome at any table and anyone is welcome at yours. At the brewery, grill, or grocery you are surrounded by friends. Maybe you pass on that additional margarita as the excitement for the next day appears.
Sleep. Is it a comfortable condo? Hotel room? RTT, camping pad. Maybe stealth on the sleeping platform you built the night before you left. Shhh. 2017 treated Summiteers to a lightning show of biblical proportions, thunderclaps worthy of the Roman Gods, and snorkel eating rain.
Saturday night: Hi remember that trail we ran Thursday? I did all those things my tail leader showed me. It was so much fun! I can’t wait to get home and explore my local trails. Now I finally understand how my FJ/4Runner/Tacoma/Prius works! (ok, not the Prius.)
Sunday: Yep, mine is 6, 8, 9, 16 hours to home.
Oh, me, I’m here another week.
See you in 2018!
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Summer 2017 Issue:
What a great summer!
We've been busy covering amazing Toyota Truck, Cruiser, and SUV adventure...
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Summer 2017 Issue:
Sometimes you're just in the mood for a fun video made by a fun couple, that also includes FJ Summit XI =)
Overland Expo West 2017 set up at a new venue just south of downtownFlagstaff - the Fort Tuthill County Park. We found ourselves balancing nostalgia for the rustic Mormon Lake site against the reality that Overland Expo outgrew its former home. Expo has become so much more than enthusiasts gathering to swap stories, tips, and skills.
The informal Texas Overland Facebook group was launched by several Toyota off-roaders from the Austin, TX area back in 2015. Since then, the group has grown as a rather popular movement with over 2,000 members. The Devereaux brothers, Andrew and Chris, along with friend Laud Maroney, organized the 2nd annual Texas Overland Spring Round Up event, which took place in April 2017. It was held on the scenic Palo Pinto County, Texas ranch owned by Martin Spencer, who also owns CB Adventure Supply. Registrants received an email containing the GPS coordinates to the campsite on the ranch.
When you walk into the machine shop you immediately notice large state-of-the-art CNC milling machines with plexiglass doors and humming away behind them the whirring of cutting bits and splashing lubricant turning someone’s idea into reality. The neat rows of shiny chunks of aluminum parts on rolling carts nearby. The plethora of milling and cutting bits organized on racks throughout the space. That unmistaken smell of amachine shop, the raw metal it transforms and its workers shuffling about from station to station, concept to completion. Even the shop dogs have their place sleeping to the sounds of ideas being born. Here is where Factor55 machines all its parts in Nampa, Idaho.
I wanted to upgrade the electrical on my 2006 4Runner since I was going to be adding some electronic upgrades that I knew would really tax the factory electrical system. I started with the heart of the system: the alternator. I ran some quick calculations to see what kind of power I would need to supply and size my wire accordingly. After doing some research and contacting a few companies, I decided on Mike Singer of Singer Alternators. His website is rather barren and he prefers it that way. He runs a smaller shop and he prefers customers contact him via the form on his website so he can address their individual needs properly.
There’s the age old question of should or shouldn’t I get a snorkel. On a popular FJ Cruiser forum it’s ten pages deep of back and forth banter espousing the pros and cons of having one. There’s everything from power gains, waterproofing to clean air. But in the end, it’s your rig and even if it’s as simple as liking the look, then go for it. The only thing to remember is, it’s permanent. Unless of course you shell out for a new painted fender.