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...

Recap: 2019 Annual Meeting Run - Monterey / Carmel / 17 Mile Drive / Point Lobos

Hosted by Vickie Casacca and Mick Brown

On Sunday, September 8th, 30 cars and almost 50 members and guests met at the Starbucks parking lot in Salinas. Everyone was on time which made the whole day run smooth. Simon passed out wristbands for our lunch and Vickie made the announcements regarding the run. Originally, we were going to pay a $10.50 entrance fee into Pebble Beach to take 17 Mile Drive, but because Leanna Sassman Goulart has a friend who lives in Pebble Beach, we were able to have our entrance fee waived. It was Leanna’s suggestion to use the money that would have been paid at the gate as a donation to the SPCA for Monterey County. Thanks to our very generous members, we were able to donate $328.50 to this very worthwhile organization and Milo and Dirk send their thanks as well.

We departed at 10am with Mick and Vickie in the lead car, David and Anne Sitter in the middle and Gordon and Allison Lee keeping everyone in line at the caboose. We made quite the entrance entering the Pebble Beach Gate off Highway 1 to begin our tour of 17 Mile Drive. We marveled at the ocean front properties that we dreamed we could purchase for future club outings. We followed the dotted red line that designates 17 Mile Drive and drove past the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Course.

Our first stop was the Lone Cypress Outlook and we took over the entire parking lot. It turned out to be a beautiful day on the coast and we were able to take several great shots of the ocean and our family of cars. The next stop was Bird Rock where you could see and hear the sea lions sunning on a large rock not far from the beach. A couple of adventurous members even made it out to the rocks and down to the water for more photo ops. We then finished our drive around the storied 17 Mile Drive and headed back to Highway 1 and Highway 68 towards our lunch venue.

We took the Spreckels Boulevard exit and down the tree lined road to the sleepy little town of Spreckels, famed for their once productive sugar beet factory, now closed for many years. We were able to get a few pictures with the Santa Lucia mountains and fields in the background, then it was off to lunch at the T & A Café and the delicious food prepared by Don and Cheryl Ferch.

Simon presided over the Annual Meeting and gave the results of the officers and directors election and the top day and overnight runs for 2020. The officers and directors presented Simon with a gift certificate to his favorite restaurant as a token of our appreciation for his outstanding leadership as President. We had several door prize giveaways, which were won by some very happy recipients. All in all, a great day for NorCal Minis!

Vickie & Mick and of course Dirk 

Check out some of the great pictures from the day at the link below.

Upcoming Club Events

Over the Hills and Far Away Run - October 11/12/13, 2019

British Car Show at Blackhawk with MOASF - October 20, 2019

To show your car at the show, there is a $30 fee. British Car Show at Blackhawk Plaza Danville on Sunday October 20th.

Register your car for the show using this link:

If attending, as spectator or showing your car as part of NorCal MINIs, RSVP for this event:

2019 Annual President's Report

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Well, I can’t believe that it has been 12 months since I was stood here reporting in 2018. And as my first year as President - what a year it has been. The club we see today in 2019 seems stronger than ever. We are seeing a good engagement on all our events as well as through our social media on FB and the web page.

To start the meeting – I have to thank all the Officers and Directors for their support over the last 12 months:

Steve Sandke – our club VP

Anita Weemaes – for membership

Dolores Quintero-Sanchez – the lady with the money

Michael Toibin – who took on Social Media for the first time last year

And the remainder of the directors:

Nikki Tildesley

Tina Sandke

Christoph Fritsch

Rick Sanchez

Christine Toibin

Gordon & Alison Lee

Mick Brown

Vickie Casacca

Anne & David Sitter

Crystal Tucker

Brian Dotterer

Larry Anderson

We are lucky as a club to have such a strong team behind us who are all willing to step up to the mark and take some responsibility for the running of the club. This could be in the form of owning a run to organizing a venue for a club meal such as today to sorting out ordering things for the club. I would like it acknowledged by the club members that all of the Officers (me included) and the Directors do this on a voluntary basis purely based on their passion for the MINI and the club itself. None of us gets paid for our work and I think we should all give them a round of applause as a mark of thanks for their hard work and commitment. And for 2020 – thanks to the en-bloc voting – all the Officers and Directors will remain the same with the addition of Sarah McGlashan who will also become a director.

So what happened since our last annual meeting? The answer is a lot!! The biggest change in the club was the decision we took to drop the Gmail based membership and migrate over towards Motorsportreg.com. This was something that although had a few teething problems – now seems to have settled down and is working well. I thank all of you for supporting the Officers and Directors in the migration. My particular thanks also go to Anita and Christine for getting the whole thing set up and being the gurus for my silly questions with me not being IT savvy. Over the coming year we will continue to iron out issues – refine the use and look at how to expand its usability more.

Financially the club is fine. If you want more information on finance please contact Dolores Quintero Sanchez at info@norcalminis.com  The club donated $500 towards the Mini’s for a Cause charity supporting the victims of the Butte County fires as well as the $328.50 raised from today's annual meeting given to the SPCA animal rescue in honor of all the fur babies that NorCal members have taken on as rescues. This raise our charitable donations this year to over $2000 between the club and the members.

Membership has also done well this year. We streamlined the process by handing out credit card type memberships cards. This required the club to invest in the machine and has made things much more efficient for the future. Whilst the membership number is down slightly from 2018 – we have still continued to see new memberships sign up. For those who didn’t renew – I personally followed up on some to find out why. There was nothing towards the club and how its run – main reasons were: my lease ended / no longer owns a MINI, moved away or don’t have time to come on the club events

Runs and events this last year have been plentiful and very well supported.

Oct 2018 – we drove to Coalinga along Hwy 198 to Harris Ranch. This saw a group of the members deciding to stay overnight at the ranch and have some good fun around the pool and enjoy dinner together in the evening. Also, in October a few of the members supported the All British Car Show hosted by our friends at MOASF at Blackhawk museum in Danville. This is a fun event and gives you the chance to show and shine our cherished cars. One of NorCal, Alex Tildesley, actually won the best in class for his 2004 Gen1 MC40.

November took in a fun drive up Hwy 1 to Bodega Bay. Due to the fires burning in Butte Country though much of the run was shrouded in smoke preventing us from having clear view towards the ocean. It didn’t spoil the fun though for the group though. Our lunch was followed by a drive out to the Peninsula and we even had a “Welcome NorCal MINI’s” sign hanging outside the visitor center in Bodega Bay.

December was our annual holiday run. This started in San Jose and then drove up the peninsula to San Francisco. A drive by of Mini of San Francisco had been arranged but sadly, due to the traffic situation in the city – the group did get split up. We managed to get together again on the Marin headland national park before heading to Tiburon for a yummy lunch.

And so onto 2019

January gave a great run up to Jack London state park. The weather was kind to us – with quite a warm day. Many of the members had not visited the park before and seen the ruins of the house that Jack London never actually lived in. After the park – the group headed to Napa for a meal at the famous Gotts restaurant.

February was an experiment run – which we tried and succeeded!!! This was our first overnight trip of 2019 and involved NorCal meeting up with SoCal in Morro Bay before the wider group all driving to Pismo Beach. This was attended very well by both groups with the number of MINI’s reaching 39 cars. The drive on the beach was fun followed by a group dinner and some drinks at the bar in the town.

March saw two runs in the month. The first was a charity event which was organized by Lew Allison from Capital City Mini’s. NorCal supported this event with 13 cars each contributing towards the fundraiser. The club supported by adding $500 towards the $1,240 raised by the membership. The second was also a new experiment for the club – a mystery run. Our group met later in the than we would normally in Livermore at which point nobody had a clue where we were going. We drove north up Hwy 116 following the levy. Our final destination was a super cool farm called West 12 Ranch where a photo shoot for each car and owner had been arranged.

April was our second overnight run driving down the Sequoia National park. This was a bizarre drive with temps in the 80’s on the valley dropping to below freezing in the mountains with several feet of snow still lying around.

Our annual Absent friends run to Mount Hamilton moved from March to May owing to the previous year’s suffering from cancellations and postponements due to inclement weather. This was well supported as always due to fun roads on offer. This run will be in May again for 2020.

June gave us Hwy 1 drive south to Big Sur. Lunch was enjoyed by all in the warm sunshine in Carmel Valley before the group drove down to Bixby bridge stopping for an Oceanside photo shoot on the way.

For July – we had another two events. Our first was supporting the July 4th parade in Speckles. Whilst only 8 cars attended – it still gave a good show of MINI’s amongst all the other cars being driven through the town. The second – an overnight drive – was heading north on Hwy 1 to Fort Bragg and the Avenue of the Giants. This has been a run done on several occasions but never fails to appeal to those who go.

Our final run before today’s annual meeting was the club’s annual BBQ picnic. A rather large group of 35 cars met in Woodside before taking in many of the more familiar back roads that many us of us are fond of around the peninsula and Half Moon Bay before heading back to Anita and Christoph’s Cabana club for an amazing picnic. Thanks to all of those who contributed towards the food pool and a great time. A special NorCal MINIS thanks to Christoph for doing the cooking.

So, what about the rest of the year and looking towards 2020. Well we have 4 more events for the remainder of 2019. The first is the Over the Hills and Far Away drive to the Mammoth Lakes region takes place on 11th thru 13th of October. This is recommended as a two-night trip – but can be done on one night as long as you don’t mind a long drive on the Saturday. The second October event is returning to the All British Car show at the Blackhawk in Danville on October 20th. Please sign up to show your car at this event. Be good to have a great NorCal Mini’s turnout. November will see a run to Point Reyes and Stinson beach via the Golden Gate Bridge. This should avoid the summer fog on the coast. Our final run of 2019 will be the annual holiday season run. Details on this are still being worked on.

Moving on to 2020, it is now time to reveal the results on the online voting. We received 48 individual votes. For the Officers and Directors – there 100% agreement for the en-bloc vote as the current 2019 board with the addition of Sarah McGlashan also now being a director for 2020. As for the run ideas, some of the selection are new and some are ones we have done before. As yet we don’t have set dates– but here are the results. So in order of popularity:

1. Columbia / Jamestown / Sonora / Twain Harte

2. Highway 1 Coastal Run – Big Sur

3. Highway 1 Coastal Run - Mt Tamalpais / Point Reyes.

4. a-MINI-zing Race / Mystery Tour

5. Carmel Valley and River Road Wine Trail

6. Disney Museum (San Francisco)

7. Safari West (Santa Rosa)

8. Ironstone Vineyard Concours d'Elegance (Murphys)

9. Lavender Farm (Napa)

10. SF Peninsula - La Honda / Pescadero / Fish n chips

In addition to the above – we will still hold our annual Absent friends run to Mt Hamilton sometime in May.

And our choice for overnight runs are:

1. Apple Hill / Placerville

2. Dunsmuir Railroad Resort (Mt. Shasta)

3. Solvang - Santa Ines Valley

4. Lake Tahoe

5. Santa Barbara via Foxen Canyon / San Marco Pass

6. Glamping

There are currently more runs than months in the year. The Officers and Board of Directors will meet now and see which best fit and if we can support more than one run per month and if any can be merged. This info will be available around Oct time – but it sure looks like an exciting year ahead for us.

We will also slot in additional runs as the Officers and Directors see suitable.

So as we close another annual meeting – my sincere thanks to all my officers and directors for your ongoing support. 2020 is going to see the club continue to get stronger. And my thanks to all the paid members of the club. Without the membership there would be no NorCal MINI’s. Through your passion and enjoyment of this car – we have made friendships and created an extended family.

Simon Tildesley

President – NorCal MINI’s

Over the Hills and Far Away Run - October 11/12/13, 2019


Your Hosts: Tina and Steve Sandke

Come join us for a weekend crossing the Sierra Nevada and back! The fall colors should be in full swing.

We’ll be doing a very informal run up to Sonora Friday afternoon, for those who can make it. See information below. 

Saturday’s route takes us over Ebbets and Monitor passes and onto the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada. After lunch in the tiny town of Walker, we’ll dash down into Mammoth Lakes, where we’ll spend the night.

Sunday morning we head back north from Mammoth, take a detour around the June Lake Loop, then stop for lunch in Bridgeport. After lunch, we cross Sonora Pass and head back through Sonora and then scatter and return to our lives.

RSVP, if attending via MSR:

What to bring:

  • Your radios. Don’t forget chargers and/or extra batteries; these are long days.
  • Snacks & Drinks. There aren’t any places to stop and grab something on the passes.
  • Toilet Paper (the bathrooms along the way are, shall we say, rustic in places.)
  • Stickers you’d like to place at a vista point
A significant portion of Saturday and Sunday are spent at higher altitudes (9000 ft).
Remember to bring plenty of water and stay hydrated.


Friday (October 11, 2019)

Drive: to Sonora, CA
Given the early start Saturday morning, a number of us will be spending Friday evening in Sonora. We will likely do an optional group run to get up to Sonora, but this is completely optional.

Optional Group Run Meetup Location:

Meeting Location:
223 S Vasco Rd
Livermore, CA 94551

Meeting Time/Departure Time:

We’ll take Patterson Pass Road over into the Central Valley. Once we’re on the other side, we’ll consult Waze and select the fastest route up to Sonora. 


Friday Night Dinner:
We don’t have formal group meals planned for the evenings. Feel free to use the event page on Facebook to coordinate plans or find out where folks are hanging out. 

Lodging Suggestions for Sonora (Friday 10/11/19):


Saturday (October 12, 2019)

Drive: Sonora to Mammoth Lakes via Ebbets and Monitor Pass.


Route Sheet:

This is a pretty long day, even if you’re staying in Sonora the night before. It’s well over 3 hours driving to lunch, likely a bit longer with stops. Post-lunch travel time is likely around two hours including one stop.

We suggest you bring snacks and drinks along for the ride. That said, bathrooms are few and far between on the passes, and the ones we will stop at are generally national park basic bathrooms.

Meeting Location:
133 Old Wards Ferry Rd
Sonora, CA 95370

Meeting Time/Departure Time:
8:30am/9am Sharp

Please arrive with a full tank of gas.  Fuel is not readily available past Bear Valley.

Walker, CA
There are at least two options in this small town in the Eastern Sierra:
  • MountainView BBQWe dined here on our dry run in August, and it was great. They don’t take reservations, but we can call and warn them we’re coming that morning.
  • Walker BurgerA cute little roadside walk-up burger joint, with a large shaded patio area.

We’ll spend about an hour here, then regroup and head south to Mammoth Lakes.

After lunch, we’ll dash down US 395 to Mammoth Lakes. There’s one stop on the agenda — an overlook near Mono Lake. The guardrail at the overlook is utterly covered in stickers; feel free to bring a few to add to the collection.

We’ll arrive in Mammoth Lakes later in the afternoon, and folks can scatter to their hotels to check in and freshen up. This is a great time to fill up the cars with gas. Don’t forget to charge your radios.

Lodging Suggestions for Mammoth (Saturday 10/12/19):

There are a number of chains a bit farther out from the above as well. 

Saturday Night Dinner:
We do not have a formal group dinner scheduled. Folks should coordinate amongst themselves. There are a number of options in and around The Village, which is the hub in the center of town. 


Sunday (October 13, 2019)

Drive: Mammoth Lakes to Sonora (and home) via Sonora Pass


Route Sheet:

Meeting Location:
2935 Main St
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Meeting Time/Departure Time:
8:45am/9am Sharp

Please arrive with a full tank of gas. 

Before we leave Mammoth, we’ll stop and visit the local earthquake fault. After that, we’ll head over to the June Lake Loop, stopping in a couple of spots for photos, and then head up to Bridgeport for lunch.

Bridgeport, CA

Bridgeport is larger than Walker (where we had lunch yesterday) but the dining options are quite similar. There are a few spots next to each other; we’ll lead you to the general area, and everyone can pick and choose.

Your leaders will be dining at The Barn, 152 Main St, Bridgeport, CA 93517. 

It’s a walk up burger joint with a broad menu and good food. We’ll take an hour for lunch, then regroup and head on over Sonora Pass.

After crossing the Sierra, we’ll head back through Sonora. At this point, we imagine folks will scatter and head home. The formal run ends here, though folks are welcome to caravan as appropriate past Sonora.

Only if Attending this event, please RSVP via MotorSportReg:


By the way if you are not a fully paid member of NorCal Minis there is a $5.00 fee for the event but can be applied to your membership fee for the year if you join up. Check out the details below: Create your MotorSportReg Account and Join Today! Use the NorCal MINIs Membership link below: 

Instructions for joining MotorSportReg and joining NorCal MINIs can be found in the following document: Instructions

2019 MOASF - Blackhawk All British Motor Show Sunday October 20th

Let's Celebrate MINI's 60th Birthday by having a great turnout for the 29th Annual All British Motor Show presented by: Mini Owners of America San Francisco (MOASF) and Blackhawk Museum.

Event Date: October 20, 2019

This event is free for spectators!

However, if you'd like to enter your car in the show you will need to register & pay fees for the 29th Annual All British Motor Show event. 

Motorcycle Registration is $20. Automobile Registration is $30.00 (includes eventbrite fees). This is NOT paid to NorCal MINIs, this fee is to show your car at the 29th Annual All British Motor Show.

To register your car in the show, click on "Tickets" from MOASF Eventbrite form: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-moasf-blackhawk-all-british-motor-show-tickets-66382211983

EventBrite Pre-registration ends on Friday at 8PM, October 18, 2019. Day of Show Entry is available but fees increase to $25 for motorcycles and $40 for Automobiles.

Your Hosts For The Event: Simon and Nikki Tildesley

Meet Up Location: 
Pleasanton Gateway Shopping Center
6786 Bernal Ave Suite 810, Pleasanton, CA 94566

Meeting Time/Departure Time

The group will meet at the Starbucks location above and motor up together to the event. 

If showing your car, please register early.
Show cars arrive: 8:00 AM
Open for public:  9:00 AM
Raffle Prizes and Awards: 1:00 PM
Show ends: 2:00 PM
Show Location:
Blackhawk Museum
3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle
Danville, CA 94506

If attending, as spectator or showing your car as part of NorCal MINIs, RSVP for this event:

If attending, as spectator or showing your car as part of NorCal MINIs, RSVP for this event:


By the way if you are not a fully paid member of NorCal Minis there is a $5.00 fee for the event but can be applied to your membership fee for the year if you join up. Check out the details below: Create your MotorSportReg Account and Join Today! Use the NorCal MINIs Membership link below:

Instructions for joining MotorSportReg and joining NorCal MINIs can be found in the following document: Instructions