PART 4 – Imogene Pass
Darn, today is the last day for trail riding at this year’s FJ Cruiser Summit. We’ve had a great time meeting such nice people and seeing some of the most outstanding scenery in the world. Thank goodness the cameras are now digital because It would have cost me a ton in processing.
We started our day as usual at daybreak. When we arrived at the Best Western the sun was just breaking over the mountains. It was going to be another gorgeous day. We’ve been very fortunate to have such great weather throughout the week.
I happened to see this FJ camped over by our staging area.
People were gathering at their designated check in points and were eager to get on with the days ride. Today we are sponsoring Imogene Pass which is known as one of the most scenic runs. The summit elevation is 13,114 feet. It is the second highest pass in Colorado that is passable by vehicles.
As we were handing out our goodie bags I noticed a couple of kids getting ready for their ride. We had some Brad Keslowoski model race cars so I grabbed a couple and with mom’s permission handed them to the kids. They really enjoyed them.
When the last group of the day was leaving we joined up with them. This trail starts just south of town. The immense mountains engulf you almost immediately. Right after the sign for Imogene Pass there is a fun little (optional) water crossing. If you prefer, there is a bridge that goes across the water but what fun is that.
Shortly after going through a beautiful woods section there is a boulder we had to crawl up. I believe Imogene Falls was to the left of this area. We had a large group so we motored through this section.
There was a ton of water coming down the mountain and some of the people said it was the most water they had seen in years.
There were a couple of other small water crossings. The water looks so refreshing.
As we come out of the woods there is a beautiful snow laced mountain with an old miner’s house just begging us to come take a look.
Getting into the Imogene mine was a bit of a challenge. The road was made up of old mine tailings with water on both sides and about a 30 foot straight drop. The road was plenty wide but as a passenger it seemed very narrow.
This is from the passenger side window as we drove across the dam.
It was stunning watching the majestic FJ Cruisers in line coming across the dam.
There was a tricky part as we neared the other side. The road dipped putting you in an off camber position. As a driver, you climb up the other side of the narrow path which made it seem like you should turn to the left, but you actually needed to turn right. I was spotting at this point and every driver wanted to go left. There were only a few inches for error at this point. This was
one place where I was happy to be out taking photos.
We took a short break so everyone could look around the old mining area. The background was beautiful.
Here is a cool photo I “chopped” to mostly black and white.
From here we drove back over the narrow dam and headed towards the summit.
There was still quite a bit of snow beside the trail as we were climbing above the tree line.
Our Trail Guide had us stop by a rock that hangs over the side of the mountain. You know the classic shot of the vehicle parked on the overhang with a several hundred foot straight drop off. There were quite a few takers in our group.
In this photo you can see the dam we came across at the mine below.
This lady came up to me as I was standing next to the edge and told me she was so nervous that her hands were sweating. I touched them and they were wringing wet. The next thing I know she is standing next to the edge, yelling with joy. She said this was her way of overcoming her fear. I even saw her sitting on another ledge dangling her feet over. GREAT JOB!!!!!
On to the summit which is 13,114 feet high.
Here is a photo from the top looking into Telluride. You can see the airport off in the distance. There was even a glider plan soaring above us.
It was so clear you could see for what seemed like hundreds of miles in all directions.
As we were coming down into Telluride we took one more short break and I could not resist taking a photo of this little guy. He was so happy to be along for the ride.
As we came into Telluride the group was going to stop in town and have a late lunch. We needed to get back soon for the big dinner and raffle so we radioed the Trail Guide and let him know we would be leaving. There were a couple of other vehicles that went with us as well.
We decided the fastest wat to get back would be through Ophir Pass. This is the 4th time this week we have gone over the pass and I’ve been truly amazed each time. The view is just absolutely incredible!
We made it back in time to get cleaned up for dinner but we missed out on the car wash. The Fire department brought one of their fire trucks down to the event and had a free car wash with a fire hose. We got there just as they were shutting down. It looked like the kids had a blast.
Seth was kind enough to have us park Robs vehicle over by the Raffle.
Dinner was a big hit. The Best Western did an awesome job preparing BBQ chicken and all the fixings for such a large group. It was almost more than one person could eat.
Everyone was very excited for the big raffle. There were a lot of excellent prizes to be given away by all the vendors. Discount Tire had two fabulous prizes. One of the prizes we gaveaway was five Level 8 Off-Road Wheels. The second giveaway was for five Falken Wild Peaks A/T tires. The winners we very appreciative of all the prizes.
The last drawing of the night was done by Joe Bacal. Joe is a BaJa 1,000 race winner who drives for team Lexus. He also owns a couple FJ Cruiser’s and enjoys going out in them.
They had a band playing for entertainment after the festivities. We turned in early as we were getting up early for a group photo and then had a 10 hour drive home.
The town’s Police Office closed down Main Street so that the FJ Summit crew could wedge all the vehicles six deep in a V shape for a group photo. They even had a high lift pick the photographers up to get the best shot.
I have to thank all the staff and trail guides that put in the time and effort to make this such an enjoyable event. I did not hear one person complain.
All of us here at Discount tire would like to thank the participants for the great stories you shared with us about your past experiences with Discount Tire. We actually work as hard as we play to make sure you’re treated the way we want to be treated. We really appreciate your business
Please be safe and enjoy our Beautiful outdoors. We can’t wait for next year’s bigger and better event.
Discount Tire Co.