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Showing posts with label Toyota. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toyota. Show all posts

ExtraHyperActive At The Monster Energy AMA Supercross 2014

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The Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, returned to Seattle’s CenturyLink Field last Saturday night.

HyperActiveX had a great pleasure to be invited by Toyota to attend that event, and to meet the team's riders Phillip Nicoletti and Vince Friese at the Pit Party.

Toyota has served as an official partner of Monster Energy Supercross for nine seasons. The platform provided by Monster Energy Supercross with its on-track branding and one-of-a-kind Pit Party provides an ideal avenue for Toyota to reach its consumers and potential buyers. As the Official Vehicle of Monster Energy Supercross, the Tundra has been a focal point for Toyota at the races, providing interactive demos for attendees inside the Pit Party and offering fun, competitive contests on the stadium floor for select lucky fans both in advance and during each race.

I got to talk to Phil and Vince about their hopes and expectations, as well as the distractions and nerves that come with racing in a big stadium. I also learned about how they got started riding, and got a few tips on how to get my son involved in motorcycle racing.

That was first time attending a motocross racing event, and I had no idea how popular MX was in Washington ! It might not be the most popular sport, but it sure is the most exciting !

Big Sur Road Trip : Driving California's Pacific Coast Highway In 2014 Toyota Highlander

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Driving along California's Pacific Coast Highway, and especially its most scenic part - Big Sur, has been on my Bucket List for a couple years !
An exhilarating driving experience, this twisting, cliff-hugging, 123-mile (198-kilometer) route along the central California coast takes about five hours to complete at a leisurely pace. Designated an All-American Road—among the nation's most scenic—the drive encompasses both the Big Sur Coast Highway and the San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway. ( National Geographic ).
Though I used to live in Southern California, have visited San Francisco and Sacramento, camped and hiked at Yosemite, visited Mt Shasta's Caverns, I've never been to Monterey/Carmel area before ( where Big Sur "officially begins" ).

That's why I was especially excited when Toyota invited me to test drive their stylish and luxurious 2014 Toyota Highlander in that area !

Ideally, my road trip along Big Sur would be driving a red convertible Mustang 1966 ( and hitting every major surf break along the way ! ), but cruising in a brand new Toyota Highlander Hybrid and relaxing in upscale Carmel Valley Ranch,  sounded like ( at least half of the ) dream come true.

Following National Geographic's advice, I explored Monterey : visited Royal Presidio Chapel, Monterey State Historic Park, Custom House, Casa Soberanes, took a stroll along beautiful Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row, had gourmet dinner ( in the empty !!! ) Monterey Bay Aquarium surrounded by beautiful fish (!!!), and learned about Monterey Canyon.

Then I took the Highlander for a scenic drive along winding 17 mile drive, and stopped by the famous Mission San Carlos Borroméo del Río Carmelo.

Agri-tourism ( a unique experience that combines traditional agriculture with tourism ) is growing in popularity in states like Washington, Oregon, California, as well as in the Midwest. I got a taste of it touring a couple local farms, learning about produce, and tasting unique treats ( deep fried artichokes  ? with garlic sauce ?  delicious ! ).

Unfortunately with so much time spent in Monterey/Carmel, it didn't leave me enough time to go on a full size road trip along Big Sur. I reached the famous ( and much photographed ) Bixby Bridge, and decide to head back home.

Over the past few years of travel, I've realized that there are places where I want to go back. With so many things not seen/done, I'm sure Big Sur will be one of them.

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More Family Adventures In A More Family-Friendly 2014 Toyota Highlander

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What makes an SUV an ultimate family adventure-mobile ? When it comes to your most precious cargo ( no, not your golf clubs, your kids are :)) the right vehicle is a must-have.

For families on the go, the car has become an extension of the home. Finding a car that's comfortable, safe, reliable and has the features that make life easier can be tough.

Nowadays, more families have shifted from traditional station wagons and minivans to crossover SUVs, and Toyota set out to create a vehicle without compromise for families who are going places and they want to get there in style.

 The all-new 2014 Highlander is a dynamic, stylish SUV that offers form and function that will keep your entire crew protected—no matter what road you’re on.

 2014 new Highlander features

  • All-new exterior with three-row seating for up to eight,
  • Increased cargo capacity,
  • Three power train choices: a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, a powerful V-6 with a new six-speed transmission, and a V-6-powered Hybrid Synergy Drive,
  • Entune Audio with Bluetooth phone and streaming music and touch-screen display,
  • Integrated backup camera,
  • STAR Safety System, includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-Lock Brake System, Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, Brake assist and Smart Stop Technology,
  • Adjustable height power rear liftgate and flip-up rear hatch window, and
  • Eight-way power driver seat.

"For families’ sake" Toyota added a range of safety options, including parking aids, blind-spot detection, a lane departure warning system with automatic high beam headlights, and a radar-based pre-collision detecting system.

Toyota has also made a number of improvements to the Highlander's interior, including increased spaciousness along with a number of comfort and convenience features:

  • Heated and ventilated front seats 
  • Panoramic moonroof 
  • Soft-touch materials throughout the interior  
  • Seating for up to eight  
  • Increased cargo capacity behind the third-row by 34 percent  
  • Smart storage compartments
  • In-dash shelf with easy cable management -  
  • Oversized 24.5L center console

Build on Toyota’s tradition of QDR (Quality, Durability, Reliability) and Safety, you will enjoy everyday adventures or once-in-a-lifetime trips in this  upscale, sophisticated, and luxurious SUV ( that will also get you up to 28 mpg on highways ).

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How Much For The Fun ? Toyota Announced Pricing for 2014 4Runner And Toyota Tacoma

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I'm still searching for my next Adventurmobile, but attending in beautiful Cle Elum last month made me consider Toyota as a possible all-purpose-go-anywhere off-road rig.

As a travel blogger, there is no way I would consider buying a brand new, locked-in-a-5 year-contract vehicle ( I'm scared of commitment :)), but who knows, may its a car for you !

Check out the prices for 2014 4Runner And Toyota Tacoma - link
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Rafting And Fly Fishing On The Cle Elum River, WA

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Last year, while driving  cross country, and passing through Montana, I (unexpectedly ) fell in love with this beautiful state, and one of its most popular outdoor activity - fly fishing !

There is something very special about fly-fishing. The experience is not only about catching fish. Fly fishing offers the opportunity to enjoy and learn about nature, relax, spend time with friends and family and even solve problems.

Fly fishing is a great stress reliever. It's is a great outdoor activity that combines physical and mental therapy. Learning how to tie flies, cast a fly rod and hook a few fish and then going on a fishing outing , introduces people with ADHD, PTSD, and anxiety to the tranquility and fascination that fly fishing offers.

Of course I added fly fishing to my Bucket List :) And it was only the matter of time before I got to try it !

A few weeks ago, while visiting Cle Elum, WA to test drive 2014 Toyota 4Runner and Tundra, I had a great opportunity to go on a nice relaxing rafting float, followed by a brief fly fishing lesson with Troutwater, the local fly fishing guiding outfitter.

While drifting down the scenic Cle Elum River, we learned a lot about the area's geology, river ecology, wildlife, regional history, and of course, the basics of fly fishing.

The fly fishing part of the trip consisted of learning how fly and spin fishing differ, how to make the basic overhead cast and a roll cast, basic knots you will use every time you go fly fishing, how to make your own flies. You'll also learn about the bare essentials you need to get started in this fun and addictive sport.

 But as we know, knowledge without action is futile. That's why, once you've mastered the basics, the next hour or so you spend trying to catch your fish. According to our guide, the Cle Elum River is not the best place for fly fishing.  For more thrill ( and fish ! ) the Yakima River ( which confluence with the Cle Elum River at the dam ) is a batter choice.

Though there wasn't a ton of fish in the river at that time, I  still managed to hook a little one ! For me, it was truly a fun, educational, safe and successful day on the river !

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Would 2014 Toyota 4Runner And Tundra Be Ideal For Active, Upscale, Rustic Lifestyle ?

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A few months ago, I wrote a short post about the role of a vehicle in the life of an adventurer. For many of us, our cars are more than just transportation to get us from home to our favorite trail-head or surf break.

Whether you live in your van while climbing full time in Yosemite ( like Alex Honnold ), travel around US and Canada with your house-trailer in search of fresh powder, or living the good life for two months, cruising the Pacific coast catching waves, making friends, and living in a van ( like Cyrus Sutton ), you are very serious  ( and picky ) about what you drive.

The more rugged and demanding your adventures, the longer your trips, and the more gear you need to haul, the more requirements you have when it comes to choosing your adventure-mobile.

Is is 4WD or AWD ? How does it handle demanding outdoor conditions like snow, dirt, mud, dunes ? Is it specious enough to keep all your gear and live in ( for at least a weekend ) ? Will it tow my additional toys like a dirt-bike/snowmobile/jet ski trailer ?

Most "outdoorsy cars" brag about off-road ability, durability and their towing capacity, but few have the heritage and durability of the new Toyota Tundra and 4Runner.

 If you've been following this blog, you know that I'm not big into off-roading, but when I got a chance to test drive both  Toyota Tundra and 4Runner in beautiful and remote Cle Elum, WA, I was very excited !

Both cars proved to be real adventurous, go-anywhere, hard-core workhorses ! Not to mention their rugged exterior design, and interior refinements that add comfort and convenience without sacrificing their hallmark performance capability and excellent value.

While I enjoyed driving both cars on paved and gravel roads, unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to be behind the wheel to truly experience their off-road capabilities. I left it up to the professionals.

Piloted by off road  racer Joe Bacal ( the winner of 2012 Baja 1000 ), and co-piloted by yours truly, we took Toyota 4Runner on off-road trails in the heart of the Cascade Mountains.

 The 2014 Toyota 4Runner has kept its body-on-frame, pickup truck based characteristics. Meaning, that when you take the new Toyota 4Runner off-road, you will absolutely know it can perform.

What impressed me the most was Toyota’s Crawl Control (CRAWL) feature on its Trail model. The system helps maintain an appropriate speed to keep the vehicle under control and minimizes the load on drivetrain and suspension components. With the transfer case shifted into low range, CRAWL regulates engine speed and output (along with braking force), to propel the vehicle forward or in reverse at one of the five driver-selectable low-speed settings. This allows the driver to maintain focus on steering over rough level ground or steep grades without having to also modulate the throttle or brake pedal.

The Trail grade also features a Multi-Terrain Select system that dials in wheel- slip control to match the terrain. In loose terrain such as mud and sand, more-than- normal wheel slip is permitted, allowing wheel-spin to work in the vehicle’s favor. On bumpy moguls, or solid rock, wheel slip is minimized and the system acts more like a limited slip differential. The Mogul setting is for any extremely uneven terrain, such as V-ditches, slopes, and ridges, uphill or down. All models come standard with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), which provides additional control for off-road driving by helping to hold the vehicle stationary before starting on a steep incline or slippery surface. All 4Runner 4x4 models feature standard Downhill Assist Control (DAC). This feature augments the low-speed ascending ability of low-range by helping to hold the vehicle, allowing time for the driver to a target speed with no driver intervention. 

But the most exciting  part of my trip was taking these cars on a beautiful and relaxing rafting trip with a gourmet dinner and introduction to fly fishing in the end !

To be  continued....

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