FJ Summit XIII – We Survived! BAD LUCK mixed with GOOD TIMES! You’ll want to read this one…


Beautiful Scenery, Busy Vendor Show Days, Old Mining Town Vibes, Broken Glass, and Bent Metal. One of the most insane FJ Summit trips we have ever had. Let’s get into it.

Day 1 – The 17 hour road trip we did in 1.5 days was exhausting enough, but to make matters worse. We hit an unusual delay. We brought the Land Cruiser 200 Series & the Toyota Tacoma on this trip. After missing one of our exits & re-coursing through some old farm town roads, we hit a fews miles long stretch of NEW Chip-Sealed road. If you’re unfamiliar, think gravel road, but bigger rocks, that will settle into the road itself, but have not yet done so. The rocks were loose enough to kick from the tire, ricocheting off our Free Spirit Recreation Trailer, BACK into the rear glass of the 200 Series.



Carl patched it up so we wouldn’t blow out the glass on the road.

Nitro Gear & Axle window decal & duct tape #ForTheWin


While we were still en route, Carl got busy on trying to track down the replacement rear glass, to NO avail. With only 3 rear glass pieces in the entire U.S.A. – Resources were highly limited. We even stopped at Turner Toyota, a dealer in Montrose, CO. 




Well, regardless of whether we did, or did not have the ability to get a new back glass in… the clock was ticking, and we had to be at the Vendor Show by 4pm – After no luck at the dealer, and a couple new possibilities to look into – We finished the drive to FJ Summit, and made it to the Vendor Show: Day 1, with time to spare!! Setup went swimmingly.

With Day 1 FINISHED – We were glad to call Ouray, CO our home for the next few days.

Our Air BnB was pretty awesome!! (Minus NO A/C)

“The Cottage House” is right on the main drag. It was actually a historical site. This house had been built & used in the late 1800s as the Doran Funeral Home (Yes, For Real!) and the entire house sloped toward the stream of running water on the side of the property.


The Fun Stuff – Wheeling & Wandering!

This was far from Nitro Gear & Axle’s first time, as the company has supported this event for years. However, this was the 1st time they brought media along with them.

I had never been to Colorado, let alone, to see the beautiful towns of Ouray/Silverton. If you have visited before, you already know. It has a certain kind of allure you just don’t find in modern era cities. Yes, it’s modern enough, and all….but what I mean is, Ouray & Silverton kept that 1800s mining town vibe VERY much intact for the future generations to appreciate. It’s pretty unique & something I very much enjoyed.


The Nitro Gear Toyota Tacoma’s 1st Offroad Media Run

Our 2019 Toyota Tacoma had been FRESHLY wrapped by @CWWRAPS just 1 week prior to leaving. Also, just a few months prior to that, we finished upgraded it with all of the offroad mods & accessories of our choosing. So this truck is, basically a brand new company vehicle – that was about to see it’s first real bit of the spotlight.

Things. Did. NOT. Go. As. Planned. 

(Watch In Full 4K HD!)

As you can see by the video above – We didn’t let the wreck with an elk deter us from doing the trails we set out to do, or keep us from having a great time in doing so. While terribly unfortunate, on all accounts – this was an intriguing detail that many people came up to us at the show to speak with us about. It was certainly a conversation starter, and something memorable that is “just one of those things” that’s quite possible on a road-trip!


Before & After – Front Quarter,  Mirror, Head Lamp, Both Driver Side Cab Doors, Rear Driverside Bed Panel, All Damaged & In Need of Replacement! *But We Ended Up Safe!!*

Below: Day 2 – Silverton, Ophir Loop, & Last Dollar Road




Did you see that cool old mine? That mine is STILL IN USE! Pretty cool, I thought… As you can see, we tried to get many good shots on the side that had NOT been pummeled by a hwy crossing Elk. BUT – You can’t hide reality forever, right?

The Official FJ Summit Vendor Group Photo? We decided – Eh! Face it Damaged-Side-Out #JustOwnIt


Below: Day 3 – Yankee Boy/Imogene Pass


Below: Day 4 – FJ Summit Vendor Show


With all considered – The event was really, a success, as it usually is every year for us. However, we DO wish that 2 fresh insurance claims weren’t needed as a result. When it comes to FJ Summit, and wheeling Colorado in general. All risks taken, are worth the journey and memories made. Unforgettable experience, especially for me as a 1st timer.

Speaking from the Supporting Vendor standpoint – We were able to meet & talk with 100’s of Toyota FJ, GX, 4Runner, Cruiser, and Tacoma people that needed to learn/speak with us. The benefits of regearing your 4wd, adding the appropriate traction devices, all big topics of discussion at the booth!! BUT – 

The NEW Extended Travel Upper Control Arm’s we JUST released, were the real MVP Super Star of our Booth @ the Vendor Show. We brought the 100 Series Land Cruiser UCA’s – but we are producing these for ALL Late Model Toyota’s – So, it was a pretty big deal, to a lot of people!! Photos & Link To Product Below:



Thanks for reading the blog & checking out the video!

Make sure you’re following #NitroGear on Social Media:

-Nitro Gear & Axle // #NitroOrNothing

#FJSummit #FJSummitXIII #Colorado #4wd #ToyotaUSA

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