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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Discount Tire Goes to Ouray - FJ Summit 2011

PART 1

What an unbelievable event this year turned out to be. There were over 250 FJ Cruisers that filled the little town of Ouray also known as
the Switzerland of the United States. Everywhere you looked there were decked out FJ’s with every imaginable gadget available and
then some. I was absolutely amazed at the wide array of parts on all the vehicles. Everyone was excited and willing to share their
knowledge on how their rigs worked and what they did to make them even better.

I was lucky enough to be invited as one of the participants for Discount Tire and we brought two personal FJ Cruisers. I was riding with
Cary who is one of the managers at Discount Tire Direct along with Eddie who is a manager at our Phoenix AZ Distribution Center. The
second vehicle is owned by Rob and his passenger was Lee. They are both store managers from Denver Colorado.

Along the way in Arizona.



We brought extra goodies for our 10 plus hour drive from Phoenix so we trailered Cary’s FJ along with all our boxes of food and
give away items.



It was a long and somewhat boring drive on Tues the 19th until we hit Cortez Colorado. The mountains grew to giants before our eyes.
We have big mountains in Arizona (10,000 feet) but nothing that compares to the majestic beauty of the mountains from Silverton to Ouray.

Simply Stunning…..



There was a tee shirt in Ouray that said it all about the road between the two towns. It said “ I survived 155 turns at an 8 % grade”.
They didn’t mention that many parts of the road have straight drop offs on a very narrow twisty two lane road with no guard rails. It will
keep your attention for sure.



What a neat old town as we enter Main Street.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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We came in early so we could get registered first thing Wednesday and get the two FJ’s stickered up for the event. Fortunately we all
pitched in and got our work done early so we could go and check out some of the trails.



We decided to take the trail named Ophir that goes over the pass to Telluride. What gorgeous scenery as we climb to the top
of the pass where the snow is about 15 feet high.





As we go through the pass the trail becomes one narrow switch back shelf road. The sides fall almost straight down several hundred feet.
It would ruin your day if you went over the edge.



Here's the FJ I rode in with the new Level 8 Guardian Wheels installed. They remind me of the FJ TRD Wheel.



We even saw a few Rock Chuck’s above the tree line.



It is amazing how there are waterfalls all over these majestic mountains.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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With just the two of us we were able to run the trail into Telluride in about an hour without any trouble. What a great waterfall view as
we pull into town.





After stopping for lunch we decided to take another trail back to Ouray called Last Dollar Highway. After passing the airport the road climbs
quickly to a beautiful Aspen forest. There must have been rain the last couple of days because the trails had some large puddles.





The FJ Summit crew had a dinner lined up that night along with plenty of vender booths set up. Plus there were FJ’s everywhere all
decked out to look at.


I even caught the Discount Tire gang talking with Seth the promoter for the FJ Cruiser event.



It looks like Brad from Ricochet was out playing today as well.



After mingling with the crowd for a couple of hours we were all beat from our long drive with limited sleep so it was time for us to turn in
so we could get up early for the next day’s run.

Here is the link with additional photos and our GPS tracks from the trails we ran today.
Ouray 2 - FJ Cruiser Trail ride trip | EveryTrail

Subscribe to this thread! Part 2 of 4 coming SOON!!!
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 07:44 PM
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Great pics ! Looks like a lot of fun. Only thing that could have been better would be if you were driving Commanders.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 08:03 PM
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I became somewhat disinterested when i saw the " trailer queen " pic. Seriously, it looks as though you guys enjoyed yourselves. Thanks for the pics.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 09:37 PM
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That is such a great area to wheel in, I look forward to our next event in that area.





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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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We saw quite a few Jeeps there. I understand there was a Jeep rally the next week after we left.

The FJ's don't have enough room to haul all the gear er had. We had the back of my long bed full plus boxes and ice chests on the trailer.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-13-2011, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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PART 2

Today is the first official day of the FJ Summit Event so we needed to be up early and get to the staging area over by the Natural Spring
swimming pool. We are sponsoring a trail ride each day and today’s trail is Black Bear. Unfortunately the trail is still snowed in at the summit.

The FJ’s started rolling in early to see which trail we were going to run because of the closure. Our group of five was having a great
time handing out swag bags and talking to all the nice people as they arrived. It was fun looking at all the different accessories that
everyone put on their FJ’s.



At each of the four take off times arrived the trail guide who would give a brief talk about what was expected of the drivers to make sure
everyone would be safe. They also went over some rules and asked if anyone had any medical issues since we would be at about 12,000
feet in elevation.

There was also a group of volunteers that were going out with a Forest Service Ranger to do trail maintenance that staged near us.
They had a good size group heading out. It's always good to see 4 wheelers helping maintain the trails that we all have the privilege
of using. Good job by those that helped.



Our group was the last of the day to take off. The plan was to take the highway over to Telluride and catch the back side of Black Bear.
We were going to go up the trail as far as we could and turn back. Then we would take Ophir, stop for lunch on the trail, and head back to
the highway. From there we will go over to the start of Black Bear and run it up to the summit where it is closed and back to town.

The plan sounded good when we were all together but plans have a way of changing sometimes. We made it to Telluride but missed the
trailhead to Black Bear. We ended up going up a trail called Imogene Pass. We were only on it for a couple of miles when Robert our trail
guide realized we were going the wrong way after passing another group of FJ’s. So now for the tricky part. Turning around a group of
vehicles on a very narrow trail.





On the positive side we did get an awesome view of the waterfalls towards the end of town along with a great view of the ski lift.

In the photo below you can see the 3-point turn switchbacks off in the distance if you look close between the two waterfalls. That
is Black Bear.



We headed over to the trail head but road closed signs were posted. At least we got a bit closer to the falls. How awesome would
it be to stay in this house for a while? I would imagine the sound of the water is deafening. Also notice the swinging bridge across
the canyon (to the left) that you have to walk over to get to the house.



We take off to Ophir Pass which was originally established in the late 1800’s as a wagon road for the mines in the area. You can see the
trail off in the distance.



We stopped for lunch just before heading up the famous shelf road which is cut into the side of the mountain.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-13-2011, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Our Trail guide for the Day Robert with his wife and daughter.


As we head up the shelf road we notice a vehicle that was coming down the trail. He had failed to stop at the turn out at the switchback
whichh made for an interesting pass in the middle of the shelf road where there was not much room. I was in the passenger seat and was
telling Cary “you are very close to the edge on this side”. It was not a good feeling at all as it's several hundred feet down on an almost
straight drop off.

Trail etiquette dictates that the vehicle going uphill has the right away although that is not always possible.
What stunning views!
.




Well we all made it through the pass to the start of Black Bear. As we go toward the pass we run into another group of FJ’s coming
down the trail. This part of the trail is covered with beautiful greenery. It's a stark contrast with patches of snow and waterfalls
flowing in several spots.



One of the overlooks has an outstanding view of the red mountain tops that are next to the US~550 that goes into Ouray.





As we approach the closed summit there is a side trail where we can see someone tried going up through the snow. Rob wanted to give
it a go in his FJ. He made a couple of valiant efforts but the snow was just too deep.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-13-2011, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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There was another driver that tired to go up through the snow but was also stopped in his tracks. He even tried a very big running start
before hitting the trail. He hit so hard that it threw him against his steering wheel and he honked his horn. He then went to the top and
remarkably was able to make it all the way down the hill. I believe his full skid plate helped him make it as he slid most of the way down
on his belly.



What awesome views from the top of Black Bear. Unfortunately this is where we have to turn around as the trail is closed. You can see it
going off in the distance in the first photo.





Time to get back to town and get ready for dinner. What a blast walking around talking with everyone about how their trail run went
today. Telling the stories and hanging out is part of the fun at events like this. This is where you get to meet some very special people.
An added bonus is you get to look at all the great products available for your vehicle.





Remember to appreciate the beauty that we are so lucky to have in our great Country.

Here is the link with additional photos and our GPS tracks from the trails we ran today.
Black Bear - Ophir-Blackbear 11-21 - trip | EveryTrail

Part 3 of 4 in post #16

Last edited by Discount Tire; 08-18-2011 at 07:10 PM.
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