Sonora Run - Sunday June 9, 2024

Your Host(s) for the Event: Paige Lane Route: https://maps.app.goo.gl/tGNYaz7VcvVDeXPLA Download the map for off-line use  - in case we lose...

Gualala - Ft Bragg - Glass Beach Run Details

August's run is a joint run with our friends in Silicon Valley Club, co-hosted by James Schenck (SVM) & Simon Tidesley (NorCal MINIs). This run has been expanded to an overnight trip too.

Here’s your chance to go through Chandelier Drive thru tree. Due to HWY 101 closure at the time of our Avenue of the Giants run in April we were not able to reach Leggett.

SATURDAY - August 19, 2017


132 Vintage Way
Novato, CA 94945


Upper Crust Pizzeria
39331 CA-1
Gualala, CA 95445

Best Western Vista Manor Lodge
1100 N Main St
Fort Bragg, CA
Book at bestwestern.com

The Atrium Bed & Breakfast
700 N Main St
Fort Bragg, CA
Book at booking.com

Both hotels range at about $160 per night


SUNDAY - AUGUST 20, 2017

Meet at Best Western Hotel

BREAKFAST: Please have your breakfast before 10am departure time.

We will go to the Glass Beach before leaving Ft. Bragg.

Then we will head north on 1 to Leggett to visit the Chandelier Drive thru tree. Then head home Sunday afternoon.


Have a great time.  Michael and I won't be joining this run as we're going to MINIs in the Mountains in August.

Christine Toibin, 

Madonna Inn - San Luis Obispo Run Recap

Let's just say we had an 'a-MINI-zing' time in San Luis Obispo.  By the numbers, we had 11 cars and 22 people who join in on the fun.  It was nice to meet new members: Jessica & Josh Larson and Dave & Anne Sitter.  We also had a couple guest who aren't MINI owners yet, but I think we might have convinced them it's time to get one.

Firestone Walker Brewing

We had a hard deadline to hit for lunch at the Firestone Walker Brewing Taproom Restaurant, so we just blew down US 101 to Paso Robles.  We arrived around 11:30 am. Lucky for us, we arrived before the heavy lunch crowd.  Firestone Walker Brewing did a good job of accommodating our large group.  After lunch, we headed to the James Dean Memorial.

James Dean Memorial

Visiting the James Dean Memorial has been on one of my bucket lists for awhile since moving to California.  Making the pilgrimage to Dean's Memorial with a few MINIs just made it more special for me.

The location of the actual crash site, the intersection of Highways 41 and 46 was dedicated the James Dean Memorial Highway in September 2005, with the memorial  located @ Jack Ranch Cafe, 19215 California 46, Cholame, California.  

B&E Vineyard

From the James Dean Memorial we headed on some back roads to B&E Vineyards located at 10000 Creston Road in Creston, CA.  It's a favorite of mine and when I'm in the area I have to stop in to replenish my stock of "Red Rhythm". I thought the group might enjoy a little wine tasting and the view from their tasting room.  The vineyard is family-owned and operated and they live on the property just a short distance from their tasting room.

Madonna Inn

Since we used more time at lunch than I anticipated, we all headed to the Madonna Inn to check into our rooms.  A few of us took the opportunity to relax at the pool before meeting for the 'room tour' we had before everyone went off for dinner.  The Madonna Inn really is a treat to experience at least once.  As I write this recap, I realized I didn't take that many photos of the rooms as I was too busy checking them out.  A few had little balconies with great views.  More photos of the rooms can be found in the shared album listed below.

Everyone was on their own for dinner. Our plan for Sunday was to meet at 10am for The a-MINI-zing RACE. I just hoped everyone found it as fun as I thought it would be when I was planning it.  :-)

The a-MINI-zing RACE 

Rules of the race:
1) No actual racing -  we have to responsible motorists don't you know
2) Do not get the clues out of order - they were numbered

3) You must text, email or use the GroupMe app to send your photo before going on to the next clue
4) Drawing prizes will be awarded, but the winner would be selected by Michael (PHIL) & Christine based on:
a) creativity
b) how well teams captured the essence of the clue

With clues in hand, off they went! 

As soon as the photos started coming into us we knew this was a hit and my fear of everyone wanting to kill me subsided. Whew!

Clue #1

Congratulations, you have spent the night at the historic Madonna Inn.   This landmark resort hotel, opened as a motel inn on December 24, 1958 starting with 12 rooms.

In 1966, the Inn’s original units were burned to the ground in a dramatic fire. It reopened a year later, and by the end of the decade, all of the rooms had been rebuilt in the unique & ornate style they are known for today.

Before leaving, take your ‘postcard’ perfect photo of your team & MINI at the Madonna Inn.

Your team will then be given all of the clues for the rest of the a-MINI-zing RACE.

Clue #2

Like an Egyptian

Proceed by MINI to: 2890 S. Higuera St.

Standing for more than 100 years, find the 25 foot structure sheltering the mortal remains of a mother and child in San Luis Cemetery. It is estimated, at the time of its construction, to have cost between $75,000 and $100,000.

Work as a team to complete the following task. ONE team member must be in the photo.

Capture your best “Walk like an Egyptian” with this structure.

Clue #3


Travel by MINI to:
700 block of Higuera Street, between Broad & Garden Streets.

Did it start after WWII as a San Luis Obispo High School graduating class event? Or was it in the late 1950’s as a rivalry between San Luis Obispo High School and Cal Poly students? Who knows, but this landmark became well established by the early 1970s and the tradition continues today.

Work as a team to complete the following task. Both team member must be in the photo.

Stick it to San Luis Obispo

Clue #4

3 Ring-a-Dings

Leave the MINI parked & travel by foot to the next location.

Named after Saint Louis, Bishop of Toulouse, founded in September 1st, 1772 by Father Junipero . It’s walls are 50-60 feet high according to Vatican law that states they must be as tall as the local tree – in this case, the pine.

Work as a team to complete the following task. Capture ONE team member & the

3 Ring-a-Dings. marks the spot.

Clue #5


Travel by MINI to: 793F Foothill Blvd

Open 24-hours a day, this SLO DO CO place is a coffee-study-music mecca with the busiest time of the day between 8pm to 12am.

Each team member must ask for their “MINI” treat. Be sure to capture SLO DO CO, your treats and both team members in photo.

Clue #6


Find Phil (Christine & Michael) waiting for you at the first of its kind in the world.

Located near the Apple Farm, this historic landmark was once a destination for movie stars on their way from LA to San Francisco by car.

Featured as a hoteldom in bungalows with free garages, this location is only a shell of itself from its glory days and closed down in 1991.

However, there are plans to return it to life in the form of a modern 55-room inn sometime later this year.

Capture your team, MINI & the only sign left of this landmark.

After a few minutes of deliberation, PHIL (Michael) and I decided Brian Dotterer & Crystal Tucker were the WINNER! of The a-MINI-zing RACE - San Luis Obispo.

For more photos from our weekend, including rooms at Madonna Inn and all of the teams 'checking in at the mat' just go to this album - https://photos.app.goo.gl/gqlNDuFPXKDZ6qCG2

Upcoming Club Officer Nominations

Hi Members!

In less than one month I will be sending an email out to all of the PAID members requesting your nominations for club officer positions or your volunteering & willingness to hold one of the club's officer positions.

In case you're not aware, NorCal MINIs is a 501c not for profit corporation. As a 'not for profit', we have a full board with officers & directors who carry-out various duties in support of everyone that is a paid member. NorCal MINIs also has a complete Constitution and Bylaws with full details on how we govern the club.  

NorCal MINIs, started back in 2003, has been a great, welcoming club for all MINI enthusiasts. Strong bonds and friendships have developed among our members and we've traveled many, many miles together leaving us with countless stories from the road.

It is imperative to have a full functioning board of officers to maintain our 501c status.

From our Constitution & Bylaws:

a. The President will notify the membership, through the Club website or email, of the time and place of the regular meeting at which nominations may be submitted.
b. Members may nominate anyone, but any nominee may elect to opt out of running for office.


a. A list of candidates will be entertained under the title of each office established in Article V, Sections B and C of the Constitutions.

b. Officers who express a desire to run for re-election will be listed
c. Nominations from the floor will be listed.


a. Nominees are required to make themselves aware of the obligations of the office as listed in article of the Constitution and Addendum thereof.


The President may elect to have the list of nominees published on the Club website along with their submitted summaries and qualifications prior to the date and time set for elections along with the time, date, and location of the meeting at which the election of Officers will take place. 


i. Preside at all general membership and Leadership Board
meetings as defined in the Constitution and Bylaws of the Club.
ii. Enforce these bylaws.
iii. Formulate meeting themes and set agendas.
iv. Maintain a file of monthly financial reports (folder in Club’s
Google Account) as received from the Financial Officer.
v. Appoint individuals to complete the unexpired term of an officer
or director when vacancies occur.
vi. Appoint a person to oversee the maintenance, preparation and
operation of the Club Web Site. May also be done by the
President if she/he is so qualified to do so.
vii. Have the authority to sign, along with the Financial/Treasurer
Officer, all checks and contracts in the Club’s name
viii. Be responsible for carrying out the decisions of the membership.

Vice President
i. Preside over Club meetings as defined in the Bylaws of the
Constitution when the President is not available.
ii. Assist the President in formulating the needs of the Club,
including arranging meetings.
iii. Assist the President in event organization and any other duties.

Financial/Treasurer Officer
i. Maintain the Clubs financial records and account.
ii. Implement financial policy as prescribed in the bylaws of the
iii. Keep books of accounts in accordance with generally accepted
accounting practices and provide a financial report at each Club
meeting for review and approval of the Officers.
iv. Provide the Club President and Vice President with a monthly
financial report on both the bank & PayPal accounts.
v. Along with the Leader, have the authority to sign checks and
contracts; collect all dues, moneys and other remuneration from
all sources, especially from other officers
vi. Make an annual financial report showing income statement and
balance sheet at the last meeting of his or her term.

Membership/Secretary Officer
i. Prepare minutes for the club officers.
ii. Accept new membership application and annual dues payments.
iii. Maintain a file of original applications and maintain all
membership database records.
iv. Activate and deactivate online members as needed.
v. Welcome all new members with a welcome packet, and advise
all fellow officers of new members
vi. Suggest and guide new members to website and/or Facebook
group in order to register and sign up for events
vii. Keep all membership related forms on website current
viii. At the last meeting of his or her term, shall relinquish the
membership records and associated membership forms to their

Social Media/Communication Officer
i. Inform the Club on the appropriate use of social media tools to
promote and manage social media activities for the club.
ii. Promote effective and productive community engagement
through all social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter &
Instagram, etc.
iii. Educate Facebook Admins on their duties in our effort attract
new members and keep current ones informed of Club and other
MINI related event.
iv. Maintain official NCM events on the FB page and Gmail calendar,
but with little detail followed by informing paid members the full
details via email.
v. Minimize miscommunication or mischievous communications,
including the monitoring of inappropriate content.
Over the next month, please think about how you can help your club.

Christine Toibin, 
President, NorCal MINIs