As 2020 continues to unfold in extraordinary and historic ways, BaT staffers have become used to missing out on the automotive events we typically look forward to in spring and summer. As we work together to get through these trying times, beacons of hope can be found. Just a few weeks ago, we participated in the first annual Father’s Day Cruise & Trail Run, a one-day event held this year in the mountains north of Los Angeles at Hungry Valley SVRA. All 4×4 vehicles were welcomed, but the emphasis was on vintage Toyota Land Cruisers and Toyota trucks. The passion of fellow enthusiasts brought us (safely) together, and reminded us how important communities are in this hobby, either on BaT or out and about in trucks.
Our foggy, early morning meetup was at Palm Park in Santa Barbara, and we were eager to join our trail-mates. We would be hitting the dirt in a 1997 FZJ80 Collector’s Edition, finished in Dark Emerald Pearl. After a few introductions and catchups with old friends, we made our way toward Hungry Valley on Highway 101. Fuel tanks were full, and we were excited to see who and what would join up at the second meeting point in Burbank later that morning.
Minutes after our group arrived, an impressive ensemble of more than 100 trucks descended upon us, stretching beyond the I-5 exit ramp. We spotted FJ60s and 62s, 80 and 100-Series trucks, first-gen 4Runners, 22R Toyotas, and even some rad Scouts. We were blown away by the number of amazing vehicles that showed up.
All of the trucks would have been right at home on BaT, and we jumped at the chance to do a quick photoshoot with drivers and their families. The only mandatory things that each participant needed to bring were a mask, water, lunch, and a willingness to get dusty.
The group’s anticipation to exercise their trucks was cemented while waiting in line to enter Hungry Valley. And good news – no overheating issues while everyone was idling!
The trails proved to be varied and entertaining, but not overly difficult. A great combination.
And when things got hairy, friends equipped with tow straps and smiles were readily available.
Throughout the day, we were impressed again and again by the generous support and camaraderie of our fellow participants. It was a simple reminder that we can still find ways to safely indulge in our passion for cars and trucks, along with the communities that love them.
Overheard at the first annual Father’s Day Cruise & Trail Run:
“Oh wow, your tires are at 70 psi. You’re going to want to air down a lot. I’ve got a tool for you!”
“Do you see that? The line stretches all the way back to the highway up there!”
“I think he’s going to try to do that hill again. How does he make it look so easy?”
“Maybe I’ll buy an FJ55 Iron Pig for the next one. We need one of those here.”
At the end of the train run, we said goodbye to new friends and old. With tow straps and traction mats packed and secured, we watched trucks pull onto I-5 for their journeys home. We set our maps-navigation for BaT HQ in San Francisco, already thinking about the next opportunity to do this again, hopefully with a few friends along for the journey.
See you out on the trails, and make sure to check out the full gallery below!