Sonora Run - Sunday June 9, 2024

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MINI Takes The States 2018 Recap

MINI Takes the States 2018

Well it is now just about one month since MTTS 2018 ended and all of the NorCal MINI members headed back towards home. It was another amazing journey across county like in years past. This year there we TWO starting points, one in Portland Oregon and the other in Orlando Florida. And NorCal was well represented on both sides of the country.

We started on Saturday July 14th and all met in Keystone Colorado on Friday July 20th. The western route headed from Portland down to Ashland Oregon and then into California to Sacramento. From there the group drove down to Los Angeles to Flagstaff Arizona and then onto Santa Fe New Mexico to Durango Colorado and then into Keystone. The eastern group started in Orlando Florida then to Tallahassee and then to New Orleans Louisiana to Little Rock Arkansas to Dallas Texas to Oklahoma City to Dodge City Kansas and then met everyone in Keystone.

The event in Keystone was a two-day adventure centered around the SKI Lodge area.

As in years past MINI Takes the States always has a charity that we raise money to support. This year the benefactor was FEEDING AMERICA which as you know raises money to distribute to local food banks across the country. This year. MTTS raised enough money to provide well over 1.2 Million meals and our group raised enough money to provide 27,000 meals. And donations are still being taken at:

This year the event had more participants than ever. MINI reported more than 3000 MINI owners attended the event in Keystone with well over 1000 cars on the road each day. AMAZING!

NorCal was well represented with cars coming from both ends. About 20 cars represented our club. And most of us went ALL THE WAY .. start to finish.

Each day started with a morning gathering where MINI provided breakfast and assorted snacks and drinks. The meet up also had booths set up each day, folks from Shell, Pirelli, Mapquest, MINI, MINI Financial, local MINI dealers and others selling the usual schwag!

MINI Corporate kicked off each day with information and results from the day before and other pertinent info.

MINI provided a route sheet from the kick off location to the end of day location and the start of the next day. Each day there was a stopover event that most attended. In addition, everyone could deviate and see the sights along the way as they pleased. Which as many of you know .. we are a VERY ADVENTUROUS GROUP. Sights along the way included:

Cape Canaveral Cocoa Beach Florida
The Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock
The Oklahoma City Bombing Site and Museum
Vicksburg Mississippi – Site of a famous Civil War battle
Hot Springs National Park – Hot Springs Arkansas
Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge Southwest Oklahoma
Oklahoma City Dodgers Baseball Game
Texas Stadium – Dallas
Dalton Gang Hideout – Neade Kansas
Boot Hill Museum – Dodge City Kansas
Bents Old Fort National Historical Site – LaJunta, Colorado

In addition to all the great sights ..  most important is FOOD and DRINK. Just so many wonderful places we all found along the way to eat and drink with the locals. Great barbeque, great beer, great cocktails, great seafood and more.

The greatest part of the journey of which there are many.. our friends we traveled with along the way as well as all the wonderful people we met along the way that quickly became friends.

Check out all the pictures attached in no particular order.

And here are just a few to tease you into checking out the album link.

Till MTTS2020

NorCal Annual BBQ and Drive – July 1st 2018

It was gorgeous sunny Sunday morning for the run. Our start and finish for the run was East Bay MINI in Pleasanton. People started to arrive at the dealership from 8.30am lining up their cars in two rows in the area between MINI and BMW. Whilst we waited for others to arrive – coffee and doughnuts were served courtesy of East Bay MINI and draw tickets were handed out. 
A total of 26 cars and 40+ people had arrived in time for the 9.30am start. Most of the people attending were experienced and used to the NorCal MINI’s format – but we also had some new people on the run. In fact one of the people attending had only signed up 2 days prior. Now that’s commitment!!

After the drivers meeting we set off on the drive traveling together which I believe was quite a sight to see on the streets of Pleasanton on a sunny Sunday morning. My wife even received a text from a friend saying she had just seen all the cars together.

Our route took us out towards Foothill Road and then down the back way towards Castro Valley avoiding the 580 freeway. Once in Castro Valley – we headed out on Redwood Road for some good twisties – stopping only a couple of times to regroup back together. After several miles we took a turn onto Pinehurst Road to head towards Moraga – again with some nice twisting roads for the cars. The group arrived into south Walnut Creek before turning south to come back towards Danville – again avoiding the 690 freeway. The final stage of the journey was to head out towards Tassajara before heading back into Pleasanton and returning to East Bay MINI for our BBQ.

For the majority of the drive – we managed to keep all the cars together which was an amazing feat. My thanks to all the drivers for sticking together and particularly to Steve & Tina Sandke for being mid car and Dolores & Rick Quintero-Sanchez for taking the caboose – a job which is always difficult!!

Once back at East Bay MINI – we all parked out cars up and headed to the showroom for the remainder of the event. The dealership had set up tables for us, provided us with drinks and was in the process of cooking a great BBQ. Whist the food was being prepared we held our draw. All the prizes were gifted to us from East Bay MINI. We had quite a few to give out – so many people were happy.

Once the draw was over – our MINIacs tucked into their food and many opted to take pictures with my new little classic – Bobby whom I had taken along for his first club meeting!

Overall – it was a great turn out, a good drive (which for many was the first time driving those roads) and a great party after.

The club would particularly like to send sincere thanks to the East Bay MINI team that supported this event and particularly to Bekka Murray for her fabulous co-ordination. We are so happy that after some time that NorCal MINI’s and East Bay MINI are collaborating again.


P.S. Check out the details for the upcoming August Run to Lake Tahoe!!!