Davenport Run - Saturday July 13, 2024

Join the Norcal Minis club for an epic drive from San Jose through the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains! Enjoy stunning vistas and wine tasting a...

Central Valley Backroads Run Recap November 15, 2020

Central Valley Run Recap - November 15, 2020
Your Hosts: Dolores and Rick Sanchez

Manteca was very foggy on this Sunday morning. The Tule fog was in full force. Dolores and I arrived at the Wendy’s Parking Lot around 8:50 am. Lou Smaldino and his daughter, Gina, were the first ones there. They came all the way from Vacaville! We had the members park behind the adjacent Valero Gas Station which was more convenient for when it came time to leave the parking lot. (It also turned out to be convenient for those that needed a bio break prior to our departure.) While we waited for more drivers to arrive, the fog slowly started to burn off.

As Dolores checked in members, I had the opportunity to talk to Yvette Welch. She shared about her bad luck getting her blue Mini dinged by others on various occasions. I also chatted with Khalil Mariani as he worked on getting his GoPro installed on his antenna bracket. Slowly one, by one our members started to trickle into the parking lot. Larry Anderson, Gary Chin, Ed Gauci and Randy Sanchez (no relation) arrived around 9 am. Mary Wolgamot, Sondra Westphal and Greg Seeno rounded out the members that joined us for this event.

We had our drivers meeting at 9:45 am as planned. By this time the fog was completely gone and we had a nice clear sunny day to start our run.

We left the parking lot around 10 am. Because we were a small group of 11 cars, we were able to pretty much stay together. Larry was kind enough to volunteer to be the caboose for this run. As we headed north on Jack Tone Road for 14 miles, there were about 5 stop signs along the way, which kept our speeds at the speed limit. We did regroup before we made our right turn onto Highway 26 to Linden. Once we arrived at Clements Road, which was a 10-mile stretch going northbound, we informed the group that we would pick up the pace as there were NO STOP SIGNS on this road (weee!)

We regrouped again at the end of Clements Road to allow the rest of the group to catch up. We eventually made our way into a T-intersection in downtown Ione. After a quick drive through town, we were back on the Highway 124N. Again, we had an 8 mile stretch of no stop signs and we picked up the pace until we arrived at the Highway 16E/Highway 49N intersection.

This 14 mile stretch of Highway 49 took us into the town of Plymouth. After we reached a roundabout in town, we eventually hit a stretch of road with some twisties. We did see a CHP on the side of the road, but he did not follow us.

From Highway 49 we made a right turn onto Pleasant Valley Road (Highway 49). We drove through the historic town of Diamond Springs which was rich with gold back in the day. A 25 lb. gold nugget was found in this area back during the gold rush years.

Upon making a left turn to continue onto Highway 49 N, we drove for another 3 miles before reaching Main Street in downtown Placerville. The run took us around 2 hours with our multiple regroups, but it was a nice scenic run. The weather couldn’t have been better.

We hope that everyone had a nice time and were able to enjoy visiting Placerville or the apple farms in Apple Hill.

Rick and Dolores Sanchez

Pumpkin Farm Halloween Run Recap October 25, 2020


Pumpkin Farm Halloween Run Oct 25th

Sunday morning turned out to be a cooler morning than what we had been having of late – but it did not put anyone off supporting this run. Due to the sheer number of cars and people attending, we had to not only split into two driving groups, but also had to change the meeting point. The original meet of McDonalds in Dublin was not going to accommodate such a large group.

Our new meet point, the parking lot of Buffalo Wild Wings in Dublin proved to be the perfect spot. Plenty of room for social distancing and ease of parking our beloved Mini’s. I got to there nice and early to set up the club flag so that people could easily see where were located. Shortly afterwards the club members started to roll in – all watched by a friendly cop who was taking his break in the same parking lot.

This run was the biggest we have had in a long long time – 37 MINI’s of all shapes and generations. We had everything from a Gen 1 R53’s all the way through to the latest Gen 3’s. We even had our first club member to bring along a new Electric MINI. This is the first time a non-gas MINI has supported a NorCal event. It did create quite a lot of interest at the start with the owner being kind to open the hood and lift the cover to show the electric powertrain.

After about 30 mins of checking everyone in and viewing some of the newer members cars, we were ready to set off. I lead the first group of 19 cars and then about 3 minutes later – Larry kindly lead the second group of cars. All the drivers were warned to leave the parking lot in a respectful manner so that our friendly cop was not going to react and pull people over.

Once onto Tassajara Rd – the two groups of MINI’s managed to regroup as one to form a MEGA MINI caravan for a period. I am sure the locals of Dublin wondered what was going on. Once out of Dublin and into the country – the pace was kept quite steady and the two groups managed to stay pretty much together for much of the first part of the run. As we approached Vasco Road in Livermore – we did get a little split up.

We made a left turn on the Old Altamont Pass Road where the groups managed to get themselves together again. We continued a very pleasant drive through the country ending up a Patterson Pass Road. This is where those who wanted a little more fun could have it. The road is perfect for opening up the MINI’s engine (or electric motor) and has some great twisting turns – a little like being on a bobsled run. After a short stop to regroup we continued at a more leisurely place again taking in some of the back roads of the Livermore wine valley before making it to our final destination of Joan’s Pumpkin Patch.

Not all of the group decided to visit the patch – but those who did enjoyed it and some took home some nice pumpkins with them.

May thanks go to Anita and Christoph for helping control such a large group – but especially Larry for taking on the second group.

Simon & Nikki Tildesley