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...

June 2020 Calaveras Road Run Recap

Your Hosts For The Event - Nikki and Simon Tildesley

It has been some time since we were last able to do a blog post for the club due to the Shelter in Place requirements from the Coronavirus. However, with the slow a gradual opening up of the State – the club was finally in a position to hold an event after 14 weeks absence of MINI driving.

It was a beautiful sunny Saturday morning for the run and the meeting point had been arranged to enable those attending to observe social distancing. Our meet point was the parking lot opposite the old train station in Sunol. Shortly after arriving and setting up the club flag – the first of the MINI’s started to appear. Everyone turning up was super excited to be back on the road again and out with his or her MINI friends. My thanks go to all of those who attended and observed the club requirement to use face masks.

During the drivers meeting – I introduced a few new members to the club – one who had signed up specifically for this event. After the drivers meeting – with social distancing – we jumped in our cars and headed out. Some of the locals from Pleasanton seeing us off and sharing their own excitement at seeing 28 MINI’s all together for a drive. Thanks to Brian Pastor for videoing the cars leaving and for him and Melissa offering to do the job of caboose.

Our route took us out of Sunol, taking Foothill Rd north towards Castlewood Country Club. We stopped just south of the country club to allow the back end of the caravan to catch us up. From here we made a right turn on Castlewood Drive past the golf course and onto Pleasanton Sunol Road. This gave a chance for people to open up their cars a little more as the road is very straight and wide. After making a left onto Paloma Way – we made another quick regroup. The gravel on the side of the road though giving a challenge to a couple of people as it was much looser than anticipated. However, no harm done and we headed out as a group again.

From here – we went under Highway 680 and picked up Calaveras Road. Some 15 mins later we made a short detour into Little Yosemite. Luckily, due to the pandemic – entrance was free and there was enough free parking for the entire group. This was only going to be a short stop for a quick bathroom break and people to grab a drink & snack and socialize a little more. Many of the group commented on how beautiful the park is and that they had never been here before. I think many people would definitely return to spend longer.

After our short break at Little Yosemite we headed back out towards Calaveras Road. This is quite a challenging road to drive, many twists & tight turns and not very wide. The pace was set sensibly and many got to appreciate that great handling on their cars. The scenery was amazing and we were not held up too much by bikes either. After about 15 miles – we made a left turn on Felter Road, which would subsequently lead us to Sierra Rd and take us into the Upper Sierra area of San Jose. I was hoping to be able to get the group into the view point which looks down over San Jose – but sadly the parking lot couldn’t handle the number of cars. It did turn out though that one of our group had got separated from us and had waited at the view point to rejoin us.

Our final stretch of the drive took us down from hills into the Upper Sierra district. The group finished at the Olivera Egg Ranch to have some final socializing and a few of us bought eggs (which were so cheap compared to supermarkets). Shortly after, people started to disperse to make their own arrangements for some lunch.

Even though this was not the longest drive due to lack of bathroom breaks and lunch locations – those who attended and drove the route had fun. People had definitely missed attending club events. We hope to be able to continue to have a monthly drive for the remainder of the year – but drives have to be adjusted and tailored to the requirements given to use from the State.

As President of the club – I am super happy that we are back motoring again and looking forward to our next drive on July 11th. Hope to see some of you there


Simon and Nikki Tildesley