Summer BBQ Run - Members Only Event

Gold Country / Columbia Run


Saturday June 9, 2018


7:45am @ Starbucks
1502 N Vasco Rd, Livermore, CA 94551

Drivers meeting: 8:15am
Departing:           8:30am



Come join your NorCal Minis comrades for a nice drive up into the Mother Lode! We’ll pass through farmlands on our way up into the Sierra Foothills, stop at a historic hotel for lunch, then take a short but twisty drive to Columbia, where you can visit a wild west town.

We’ll drive up Vasco Roads to Highway 4, then dash east into Stockton. After making our way through town, we’ll head up Highway 26 through farmlands and rolling hills. This is a road many of us probably haven’t taken before; it’s gorgeous.

Bathroom Stop:
200 CA-12, Valley Springs, CA 95252

Once we hit Highway 49 at Mokelumne Hill, we drive down to Angels Camp, then up Highway 4 to Murphys. Parking in Murphys (http://visitmurphys.com/about-murphys/map-of-murphys/):

* Directly behind the hotel is a dirt lot
* A large parking area at 198-598 S Algiers St, Murphys, CA 95247

We’ve got reservations for lunch at 11:30 at the Murphys Historic Hotel (http://murphyshotel.com/). We have a fixed menu (to be posted soon) at $20/person plus tax and tip. We’ll be taking orders at the drivers meeting to speed things up. If you’d prefer not to eat at the hotel, there are other options in town.

We’ll meet up at 1 PM for a drawing, then depart for a short drive down to Columbia State Historic Park (http://www.visitcolumbiacalifornia.com/). You’re free to explore the gold rush era buildings, enjoy ice cream or drinks, or just soak in the scenery.

The group drive ends in Columbia; you’re free to head home at your leisure, either individually or in groups you set up yourself.

The suggested return route takes you through Jamestown, Oakley, and then on to Manteca. We end the directions once you get to I-5; we assume you can find your way home from there.


For those who are not paid members of NorCal MINIs who wish to join in on this run, a $5 day pass will be charged for participating. 

Hike for Hope Run Recap

The morning of the walk was a cold grey start – but this did not deter our team members from turning up on time. After the usual Starbucks meet in Livermore – the 9 cars which had turned up for the pre-walk drive set off for a drive to get the event.

Our route took us along the old Altamont Pass Road towards Mountain House. Once we reached Mountain House we headed south towards Paterson Pass Road which opened up some really good clear twisties for us to open up our MINI’s. The wind was blowing super strong but this didn’t spoil the fun for us. As we approached into Livermore – we turned off just before hitting the built up areas of the city to take the final part of the drive up to Lake Del Valle where the hike was taking place.
We pulled into the parking lot in convoy and parked up the cars and got ourselves ready for the walk. Our team of walkers was made up of 15 people and 5 dogs.

The hike was split between an easier 2.5 mile walk and a more challenging 4.2 mile walk. Most of the MINI’s for Hope team managed to complete the full walk. The sun came out just as we started to walk and the wind had eased off a little making the perfect hiking conditions. The scenery at Lake Del Valle was stunning. Upon arrival back at the finishing line – we enjoyed a short picnic before splitting and heading home.

The total raised by the MINI’s for Hope team was $1,775 to go to Hope Hospice. My thanks go out to all my fellow team members for signing up and to all the people who couldn’t make the hike but still opted to donate. For the next time, I would like to think we can get even more support and can raise even more money for the wonderful charity.

Simon Tildesley (Vice President)

Paso Robles/Solvang Weekend Run (w/a-MINI-zing Race 2) Run Recap

by Dolores Sanchez - Run Coordinator

We began our journey to Solvang at Mini of Stevens Creek with Danish and coffee, very apropos.  A contingent of our drivers took a tour of the service area/bays, other talked with our Host Gary Wilson.  The drivers meeting was held since it was a long drive several stops were planned, maps were handed out and the 2 groups lined up (20 lovely Minis).  We headed out to 280 and went slow so all Minis could be grouped together, we regrouped in Morgan Hill.  Our lunch stop in San Luis Obispo had us all going in different directions, but no complaints about the food, it was all good.  This is where we went off 101 and on to the back roads, through Pismo Beach, historic Gonzales and farm lands to Lompoc.  We round the drive with a pass by Buellton into Solvang.   Solvang welcomed us with some other beautiful unique cars “Datsun” from the 60s.  The town square was packed and we mingled with the other car enthusiasts at the Solvang park and we admired their cars.  Everyone had the afternoon to wander and do as they please.  Some ventured to the casino, other wine and beer tasting, or a tour of Old Mission Santa Ines.  All in all a wonderful day was had by all. With good friends and company!  After an amazing day, we had an A-Mini-Zing Race.  We all met at Kronburg Inn on Sunday morning, the rules and envelopes were handed out, as well as a surprise, think “Hagar the Horrible”, that’s right a Viking hat.   The teams were set off on their journey to find Phil!  Imagination and adventure was evident with each group that participated and the winner was crowned, team Stitch&Co, with plenty of honorable mentions, like first to find Phil (team LrgeMini),  and best teamwork shot (team LuxAway).  Rick and I were so happy you all enjoyed your weekend run with NorCal Minis and hope to see you all on many more runs.  Thank you all for joining us! I borrowed some of the clubs amazing photos.

Dolores & Rick Sanchez

Mt. Hamilton Run for Absent Friends Recap

The Sun finally came through for us! Thank you all for your understanding and patience
as this run was postponed last month due to weather conditions. The weather today
was ideal so it was worth the wait!

We had a good turn out for the run. 20 cars joined in starting in San Jose. The cars were
divided into 2 groups of 10 cars each with Simon leading the way. We made or way to 
the top of Mount Hamilton through the twists and turns of the narrow switchback road.
Everyone did well navigating this challenging route. I had a couple of the new members
comment how much they enjoyed driving this route. The run was certainly a great 
introduction to the club for them. We stopped at the top of Mt. Hamilton at the Lick
Observatory for a break before the descent. Simon found a spot for a photo op along
Mines Road before we made it into Livermore gathering at The First Street Ale House
for some post-run socializing. A fine way to end the run enjoying the company of our
club members.

This year’s Mt. Hamilton Run for Absent Friends is dedicated to Tom Geiger a long
time member of the club who passed away last year. He will be missed.

Thank you again for joining in on this annual NorCal MINIs run.


Mt. Hamilton Run for Absent Friends

Sunday April 15, 2018
9:30am / 10:00am

2707 McKee Rd, San Jose, CA 95127


Hello NorCal Friends!
Join us for the NorCal MINIs annual Mt. Hamilton Run for Absent Friends to remember loved ones who have passed. This charity run benefits the American Cancer Society and the Valley Humane Society. 

We are dedicating this year’s run to long time NorCal MINIs member Tom Geiger who passed away last June. He was a member since July 2007. Many of you will remember Tom and his wife Didi from the runs over the years.

Of all the routes driven on the NorCal runs, this annual run is one of the most challenging to drive. Be cautious on Mt. Hamilton Road. The drive is scenic, but the road is narrow in some areas and has many sharp curves. Fill up BEFORE meeting in the morning. There are no gasoline or automotive services at Mt. Hamilton or anywhere along the road outside of San Jose until we arrive in Livermore. Caution is also advised on Mines Road leading to Livermore. Mines Road is less than a 2 lane road in some places, and there can be standing water covering parts of the road.

This year's run will start in San Jose. Meeting at 9:30am at:  2707 McKee Rd, San Jose, CA 95127 . Drivers meeting at 9:45am. Departing at 10:00am. From there, we will drive up to Mt. Hamilton with the run ending in Livermore. For those interested, we will meet for lunch after the run at:

First Street Alehouse
2106 First St, Livermore, CA 94550


We don't have a reservation for the group. For groups, they expect a prepayment for a buffet. There are other places in the area for those wanting a different option for lunch.

As always for this run, the charities for this run are the American Cancer Society, and the Valley Humane Society. Please donate directly to both at these web sites:

American Cancer Society -


Valley Humane Society -


The County Road Department claims Highway 130 is open only on Sundays during construction. Passable through 2 one lane road sections about 7 miles East of Mt. Hamilton. If the road is open, we'll proceed to Livermore as planned. However, in case it is not open, we will have to double back over Mt. Hamilton. We have worked out a double back route back toward San Jose to end the run at The Great Mall in Milpitas instead. We can gather at Dave and Buster's at the mall afterward.

This is the Alternate Route for the run if we have to double back from Mt. Hamilton. SAME new Starting Place and Meeting Time as above:


Hopefully, we can run the intended route, but be prepared for this alternate route in case the road is closed.

Apologies, but the roads in the mountains are still recovering from last Winter's rains, and road construction is hard to anticipate.

Just for fun drive to the pub!!! (Non-official NorCal event)

DATE/TIME: Sunday March 25th @ 9:30 AM

MEET UP: Pleasant Hill City Hall, 100 Gregory Ln, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

As the club made a decision to postpone the Mt Hamilton run due to road safety - one of our new members, Michel Charest, has offered to host a drive from Pleasant Hill to Cameron's Pub on Hwy1 in Half Moon Bay.
This is a non-official club event but is intended as an alternative drive for those who had made plans to support the original dive this weekend.

The route will take us across the Bay Bridge, through the city and down Hwy 1 past Pacifica. On arrival at Cameron's we can grab a bite to eat before heading off home

Thank you Michel for stepping up and proposing this drive.

Please along your charged radios on the day

Paso Robles/Solvang Weekend Run (w/a-MINI-zing Race 2) Run


Saturday April 28, 2018 - Sunday April 29, 2018

Mini of Stevens Creek

Meet up at 7:45 am leave dealership at 8:30 am

Park at the dealership (they are clearing out the front for NorCal).

Gas up before arriving. There is a 76 gas station across from the dealership (corner of Stevens Creek and Kiely).
Dealership to provide coffee and Danish.


FIRST LEG - Mini of Stevens Creek to San Luis Obispo:

Since this will be a long day we will take 101 for a good portion. 3 hrs approx. @ 190 miles traveled.

Gas stop and lunch 1 hour in San Luis Obispo.
2 Gas Stations and food and the four corners of intersection.

296 Santa Rosa St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

SECOND LEG- San Luis Obispo to Buellton:


Join us on a fun run south to Solvang. This overnight trip will have lots of sights along the way and at our final destination. Solvang has a rich Danish heritage. Founded by Danish immigrants in 1911, Solvang boasts authentic architecture, thatched roofs, old-world craftsmanship and traditional windmills.Named by Sunset magazine as one of the "10 Most Beautiful Small Towns in the Western United States," Solvang's rich heritage dates back to 1911 when adventurous Danish-Americans traversed the plains from Iowa to establish a settlement in the golden state of California. Over 1 million visitors come each year to experience the northern European culture, cuisine and unique boutique shopping. The pedestrian-friendly village hosts three museums, 15 inns and hotels, a full-service guest ranch, meeting facilities, 30+ restaurants and bakeries, 150 retail shops and the Solvang Theaterfest, an alfresco 700-seat theater. The feature film "Sideways" was filmed in Solvang and highlighted the regions' celebrated world-class wines.

The Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau staffs a Visitors Center in Downtown Solvang. Visitor Center, open 7 days a week, 9 AM - 5 PM, is located at:

1639 Copenhagen Drive
Solvang, California 93463 
Phone - 805-688-6144

Where to stay:



Hotels in area that will do one night reservation:

Holiday Inn Solvang 805.688.2018
Solvang Garden Boutique 805.688.4404
Quality Inn Buellton 805.688.0022
Anderson Pea Soup Inn Buellton 508.688.3216
Santa Ynez Marriott Buellton 805.688.100

Rates range from $125 to $225 depending on room type.  I would call and make reservation if you are considering the run.  All other hotel require 2 night stay for weekends.

Hike for Hope (with SVM)

Saturday May 19, 2018


Del Valle Regional Park
7000 Del Valle Rd, Livermore, California 94550


Hope Hospice is a non-profit organization based in in Dublin who provide respite care for terminally ill people. This organization relies on events such as the Hike for Hope to acquire funds to provide the much needed care to the patients.. Details about Hope Hospice can be found at:


NorCal Mini's and Silicon Valley Mini's have joined forces to support this event and as a result will be entering a team aptly named "MINI's 4 Hope". Please can I urge as many of you as possible to sign up to the team at:

Last time we did this in 2016 - we managed to win the trophy for the most money collected by a community organization. It would be great if we could do this again.

The walk itself - will be proceeded by a short drive. If you cannot make the walk itself - then you can still donate to the team funds.

Any questions - please PM me on Facebook. Thanks Simon.

Wine Country/Napa - Fire Benefit Run Recap

It was a beautiful day for a drive. We had a good turnout last Sunday for tour of the wine country. We had a total of 21 car and we were happy to see a ton of new faces. There was a number of new members and even and old member that had finally made it to their first event which only took a year and a half.
Are first stop was V. Sattui where we grabbed a bite to eat and did a little wine tasting. Before we left the winery we a few give a ways that Dolores was able to score from MINI of Stevens Creek (thank you Dolores Quintero Sanchez). We also help Alison celebrate her Birthday with a quick song and a dessert treat thanks to Michael and Christine Miner Toibin.

Thanks to Brian Dotterer for organizing and leading the run.

From there we headed out for a quick photo stop at the welcome to Napa sign before heading to the Coffey Park neighborhood to see first hand a neighborhood devastated by fire recently. We were able to raise $452 to donate to North Bay Fire Relief Fund.
Thank you everyone for donating! Donations can still be made at:


Thanks to Brian Dotterer and Crystal Tucker for organizing and leading the run.

California Automobile Museum Run Recap

Saturday 13th January 2018
It was a cold foggy January morning but this did not deter a great turnout for the first run of the year. NorCal Mini’s joined forces with Silicon Valley Mini’s and MOASF to take a drive up to the California Automobile museum in Sacramento. A wide variety of cars were at the meet point in Livermore ranging from a Mark 1 classic dating from the early 1960’s to the latest ‘F’ generation cars. In total 35 cars left from the parking lot to make the way up to Sacramento
Our route would take the more scenic route over Vasco Road towards Brentwood but unfortunately due to thick fog the views were not so good. The only good view was seeing a steady stream of Mini headlights in my rear view mirror. Once in Brentwood we took a short drive on Hwy 4 before turning off on Hwy 160 N towards Sacramento. This would the road we would remain on for the most of the journey following the delta all the way up from Antioch to Sacramento.

Our group, even though large and having cars from all ages and power ranges managed to stick together. A couple of re-grouping places were used but generally the long caravan of Mini’s remained intact. Sadly the weather never really lifted and the drive along the delta remained similar to Vasco Road and shrouded in fog!!! On the way – one of the classics sadly had a minor electrical issue – but with a true classic owner it wasn’t long before the fault was fixed and we were on the road a big group again.
On arrival at the museum we were greeted by another 25 Mini’s bringing the total to 60 cars. These were people from various other clubs including Shasta Mini’s, Mini’s & MINI’s Intl and Mini Collective. It was a beautiful sight to see so many Mini’s of such diversity all in one location.

After a short briefing about the steps for the day, people set off to view the exhibits inside the museum using the docents for tour guide information. After about 1.5hrs – the big challenge began to undertake a ‘Mini generations’ picture. This was an opportunity that couldn’t be missed to get a photo with as many of the generations of Mini as possible. Well, it was a success. We had classics in the form of a Mark 1, 2, 3, Clubman, Pick-up and Rover Mini. For the Gen 1 MINI, we had the full complement R50, 52 & 53. For the Gen 2 again a full complement R55, 56 (non-S, S & JCW), 57, 58, 59, 60 & 61. When it came to the Gen 3 ‘F’ cars though – there was an issue – we were missing one car. We had the following F54, 55, 56 & 57 but was missing the F60. Luckily though Neillo Mini came to the rescue and provided a car at the last minute to give us the full range of new Mini’s!!!

After the photo shoot was complete, a smaller group headed to the Sacramento Café and Bar for some lunch where many stories were exchanged and fun had by all.
Thanks need to be passed to all those who supported the Generations picture, Michael Laccabue whose idea it was for the run in the first place and did the route planning, James Schenck and Andy Biddle for their support planning the event with their own respective clubs, the museum for agreeing to host the event for us, Neillo Mini for bringing the last car, Norm Nelson for his support at the museum.
This was an amazing first event in 2018 for NorCal Mini’s – I hope we can continue the enthusiasm and support for the remaining events this year. If you want to be part of the fun the next event is on Sunday February 11th and will involve a run to Wine country/Napa. Please check out the following link for details:

Wine Country/Napa - Fire Benefit Run



Sunday February 11, 2018


966 Admiral Callaghan Ln, Vallejo, CA 94591



Hello NorCal friends!

Join us for our Wine Country/Napa Run benefiting the victims of the tragic fire in that area.
We will meet at Starbucks located at 966 Admiral Callaghan Ln, Vallejo, CA 94591.  Drivers meeting at 8:30AM and we depart at 9:00AM.
  We will drive to our first stop at the V. Sattui Winery where we can do some wine tasting ($20 a person) and grab a bite to eat at their deli.  They have a nice picnic area but no outside food is allowed.  From there we will head north for a quick photo stop before driving some fun scenic back roads to our final destination of the Coffey neighborhood to see first hand some of the aftermath of the recent fires. * Please remember to be respectful when in Coffey Neighborhood. Do not go onto properties, stay on the sidewalk.

The charity we will be collecting for is the North Bay Fire Relief Fund:



For those who are not paid members of NorCal MINIS who wish to join in on this run, a $5 day pass will be charged for participating.