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 - Napa Sonoma Twisty Run June 13, 2021

Your Hosts For The Event: Pat & Michelle Lewis

To our many NorCal MINI’s members who joined us to brave twisty roads in hilly Napa and Sonoma, or for those who wished they may have joined, here’s a recap of our JUNE 13, 2021 run.

By 8 am, our first excited MINI drivers began to arrive at our Start-Point, the Solano Town Center Mall, in Fairfield. Among the earliest was Club President, Simon Tildesley, who hoisted NorCal Mini’s club flag, the focal point MINI’s unite around. Typical of our social group, new and old members began greeting one another discussing adventures of past, new features added to MINI’s, and intrigue of our day ahead. The parking lot was spotted with MINI’s parked in what might be described as a “wishbone” in shape.

9:00am, our drivers meeting was announced, with 36 of the 46 car registered in attendance. Simon greeted all attendees, reminding of the coming July Gold Country run and of the importance of the Charities our club supports. Last, the Dunsmuir run in November and need for booking early, if staying overnight. Pat and Michelle Lewis, host for the June run, shared details of the route ahead and stressed the need for having fun. Michelle ensured every guest had a ticket for the free drawing at the end of the event.


Drivers lined behind one of three lead cars, championed by Michelle (lead of group 1), Simon (group 2) and Anita (group 3). Kudos to our “sweepers” Gordon and Michael who ensured no one was left behind. Keeping the large group together proved challenging as we headed North through a maze of stop-lights and side streets leading us to Highway 121. Once on Highway 121, the group settled to a gentle pace, given plenty of traffic from in front and behind. From 121, the group merged to Highway 128, snaking along the twisty roads leading past Lake Berryessa and toward world famous Napa/Rutherford’s wine region.


Our comfort break at the mid-point on Trancas road, in Napa proved necessary for most. Our second half of the drive was advertised as narrower, super twisty and requiring higher focus than the 1st segment. This important detail, and cautions for the conditions of the road conditions ahead where shared during our second driver’s meeting held in the Lucky’s/Starbucks parking lot. At least one additional car joined our many from Napa.

Once underway, our second, and final half of the drive took us through the Enchanted Hills, which divide Napa, from Sonoma valley. Redwood Road, to Dry Creek Road. Mt Veeder Road, back to Dry Creek, and finally Trinity road, proved to be super twisty, yet also of questionable road quality. Lowered cars with stiff springs felt these county road’s neglect. Alas smooth roads of Sonoma Valley welcomed the team for their final drive to Lagunitas brewery.

Three giveaways where shared with lucky ticket holders to commemorate the day.

As reminder, don't forget to register for July’s run - on July 24th through the Gold Country as this is also our ANNUAL PICNIC (the club provides lunch for all) and is also a VERY IMPORTANT FUNDRAISER FOR HEADING HOME ANIMAL RESCUE that our own Anne Sitter (her and her husband Dave are the event hosts) is very involved with.

Pat & Michelle Lewis


Recap - Lake Tahoe Run May 22, 2021

Your Host For The Event: Larry Anderson

All in all, this run had everything you could possibly ask for; twisty roads, sunshine, snow, beautiful scenery, a police “escort”, and most importantly great friends, both old and new.

Pre-run -
For a smaller group, the day got off to an early start as members from the South Bay and East met up in San Ramon for some much-needed fuel (both coffee and gasoline).  From there, the mini-MINI group headed north towards the run starting point in Fairfield.

We’re off! -
Once everyone assembled at Solano College in Fairfield, we headed off to our first stop in Winters.  A nice leisurely drive along Suisun Valley Road, Highway 121, then 128 East along the south side of Lake Berryessa, where we got to enjoy some twisty mountain roads and beautiful morning weather.

At our stop in Winters, a local Highway patrol officer had to check and see what so many MINIs were doing in one place.  After our club president Simon completely confused him with his Queen’s English, the group was back on its way to our midway stop in Rancho Cordova via Highway 80 East.

Midpoint Stop -
Our lunchtime stop in Rancho Cordova saw us meet up with additional MINIacs from the Sacramento area, then have an additional drivers meeting to prepare for the second leg of our journey, which would take us along Highway 16, a quick sprint down Highway 49, then an eastward jog on Ridge Road towards Highway 88 to our final midpoint stop.  As is usual for a group our size, we were a complete and total spectacle, with the station worker declaring “I have to get a picture of this!”

For the last leg of our trip, we continued along Hwy 88 East, heading up the mountain towards Carson Pass and Kirkwood.  It was here that things went from our nice springtime weather to a scene from a cold December day.  Temperatures dropped to the mid-30’s, and the snowfall we were greeted with during the last leg of our drive was a stark contrast to the sunny mountainside scenery we were seeing before.

A quick left onto Highway 89 took us to Meyers near Echo Lake, then a short drive along Pioneer Trail to Stateline, NV to wrap up the day.  Some members joined up for beers at a local Irish pub to put an exclamation point on a fabulous day’s drive.

Larry Anderson - retrogmr@gmail.com

More great pictures from the run!!

And here's Dirk!



Gold Country Run & Annual Picnic Saturday July 24, 2021

Your Hosts For The Event: 

Dave and Anne Sitter

Date of the Event:

Saturday July 24, 2021 

This is a fun run into the beautiful and historic Gold Country of California. We begin the run in Santa Nella and will be on flat country farm roads for the first 90 minutes or so. We will get to get some speed under our wheels while we drive past some of the farms and dairies of the Central Valley providing us our fruits, veggies and dairy products. We are making a 30 minute stop at The Fruit Barn in Merced (http://www.mercedfruitbarn.com) where you can shop if you want, pick up food, drinks and sit for awhile under a shady tree for a quick live connect with your Mini family.

Once past we will then get into some very windy roads heading up into the mountain communities. They are very narrow in some spots but we will slow speed down as we get to see the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains heading into the Tuolumne County side.

We will continue on through Jamestown up through Sonora and on to Indigeny Cidery where we will have our NorCal Mini Club Annual Summer Picnic. The club is providing sandwiches and fixings. If you want to bring your own food you are welcome to do so as well (note: bring your own outdoor lawn chairs as well)

Indigeny is well known for some of the best hard cider in the surrounding area. We HIGHLY recommend you taste test if you are a hard cider fan as you will not be sorry. 

The run officially ends at Indigeny.

Meeting/Departure Time:

Meet Up Location:
Hotel Mission De Oro
13070 CA-33
Santa Nella, CA 95322


There is an optional overnight on Saturday night for anyone who chooses to do so. If you do, we will be meeting up at the WalMart parking lot on Sanguinetti in Sonora Sunday morning for a drive to cute historic Columbia and, if time permits, we may check out Moaning Caverns. Below are a few local hotels and motels you can check out if you want to book an overnight stay. DISCLAIMER: We have not stayed at any of these places, however, they are recommended by Sonora locals.

The Historic Sonora Inn
160 S Washington St, Sonora, CA 95370•(209) 532-2400

Gunn House Hotel
286 S Washington St, Sonora, CA 95370•(209) 532-3421

The Gold Lodge
480 West Stockton Street, Sonora, CA 95370

Sunday Information for those staying overnight:

Meet Up Location:
WalMart on Sanguinetti in Sonora
1101 Sanguinetti RoadSonoraCA 95370

Meet/Departure Time: 10:30am/11:15am

Simon will be leading a group to the Columbia Moaning Caverns about 25-30 minutes away.
It is a fascinating place to visit if you are interested or you can choose to visit the town of Columbia which is a very interesting old town.

FYI regarding the Caverns. Simon is planning on booking the 1PM tour. So please do the same if you wish to go along with him.

Check out the Caverns website as you will need to make a reservation if you choose to visit.


Finally, in conjunction with this run, and in the spirit of giving back which the club takes very seriously, we are collecting donations for the local animal rescue Anne Sitter spends much time volunteering with. As a foster mother to many many sick cats, kittens and mom/kitten families, Anne's passion lies with animal rescue. 

Heading Home Animal Rescue a local rescue whose focus is on feral cat communities and rescuing and rehabbing cats and kittens to adopt out. However, they also rescue and rehab dogs, puppies, rabbits, birds and the occasional wild small animal. 

HHAR also has a barn cat program for feral cats who cannot be adopted out due to their fear of humans but who thrive in barn situations as mousers and rodent catchers. Anne has volunteered much time with them for about 8 years fostering, rehabbing and working on spay/neuter days for the rescue. Any amount of money goes to the rescue to help with veterinary bills, purchasing food, meds and whatever else is needed to ensure they can rescue and find loving home for as many animals as possible. 

Check out their website and you will see a few before and after pictures of cats and kittens who have come into the rescue and rehabbed. All of them have been adopted out and are now living their best lives, one of them even with NorCal Mini's Officer Mike Toibin and his wife Christine and 2 of them with club directors Dave and Anne Sitter. 

The club will be matching donations with their own donation of $250. 

On behalf Heading Home Anne thanks you all in advance for your kind donations to help these animals who cannot help themselves. 

Heading Home is an amazing organization so come on NorCal open your wallets and your hearts and donate as much as you can!!
Let's blow the $250 club donation away!!

You must RSVP via MotorSportReg:

As of today JUNE 29th, 2021 the following protocol is in place.


The following guidelines are our best attempt to secure your safety given what is known at this time. They are by no means comprehensive, and we cannot predict every circumstance. Therefore, we are counting on you to exercise your best judgment throughout the event. Please have an awareness and understanding of the following COVID-19 safety protocols:
• NorCal MINIS asks that anyone who is at higher risk for severe illness, feeling unwell, or who has been in contact with anyone that is sick in the last two weeks to STAY HOME
• In line with State guidelines – people who are fully vaccinated may attend without a face mask. If you are not fully vaccinated – we kindly request that you maintain a face covering.
• NorCal MINIs will encourage everyone to maintain personal hygiene in regards to washing hands
• Club loaner radios will be available at the run. These will be sanitized prior to be handed and out will be sanitized again upon return.
• Any PPE you wish to use must be supplied by yourself. This includes any face coverings or hand sanitizing products
• Participants will be required to Sign Waivers Electronically
• Please be courteous with people who wish to maintain PPE and social distancing. It is their choice to do this and we cannot question their vaccine status
Anyone who continually or willfully violates these guidelines will be asked to leave by a club officer or director.
• Any participant that falls ill within 2 weeks after the event MUST contact NorCal MINIs and share a description of their symptoms, related test results and movements during the event
• NorCal MINIs will make every effort to alert affected participants privately of the situation
Ultimately, it is your responsibility to assess the risk to you and make a responsible decision on whether or not to participate. You assume all risks and agree the Club holds no liability if you or anyone in your party should develop any Covid-19 symptoms afterwards by attending a NorCal MINIs event. Participants are required to follow these guidelines; any participant may be asked to leave the event for non-compliance.

Join Today! Create your MotorSportReg Account to become a PAID Club Member, use the link below:

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