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Recap - North Monterey County Run & Annual Picnic Sunday August 28, 2022


North Monterey County Run and Annual Picnic

Hosts: Vickie Casacca and Mick Brown

We chose Sunday, August 28 to hold our North Monterey County Run and Annual Picnic because we hoped the weather would be good and it was after Monterey Car Week. The weather wasn’t perfect but it wasn’t raining, so It was good to go.

The other thing this run was fortunate to have was lots of help from some of our dedicated officers and directors. A huge thank you to Dolores Quintero-Sanchez for coordinating payment for the picnic location with the parks department and picking up the meat sandwiches at Costco the morning of the event. Another huge thank you to Michelle Lewis for picking up the vegetarian sandwiches at Subway, purchasing all of the paper supplies and utensils and for organizing the set-up at the park. One more huge thank you goes to Paige Laine for purchasing the beverages and leading a group of 24 cars down to our meet-up location in San Juan Bautista.

We met at the San Juan School parking lot in San Juan Bautista around 9:20am. There were a few early birds, so they had plenty of time to run across the street for a quick cup of coffee. We had 30 plus cars and close to 75 people check in for the run, with several new members and many familiar faces ready to motor on. After checking out everyone’s cars, we had a brief driver’s meeting and left pretty close to our start time of 10:00am.

The first part of the run was on Salinas Road in San Benito County and the road definitely had its challenges. It was originally an old stage coach road that went from San Juan Bautista to Salinas and it seemed like the road hadn’t been updated since then, with some rough patches and potholes to maneuver around. 

Once we crossed over into Monterey County and the name changed to San Juan Grade Road it seemed to be a bit better and the views were pretty spectacular. We crossed over Highway 101 and traversed our way through Prunedale to the Succulent Gardens.


 Unfortunately, a different person was running the place then when we had visited during our pre-run. She informed us we couldn’t park where we had wanted to and forced all of us to move our cars. After a few disgruntled let’s just go remarks, we parked across the street and some of us checked out the gardens. They have over 700 varieties of succulents and several of us went home with new additions to our home gardens, including the very rare “TInalikes” plants that Steve Sandke proudly purchased. My favorite quote came from Paige’s sister-in-law, who was talking to her mother on the phone and said, “When they said we were going to a succulent garden, I thought it was going to be lame; but it is really cool.”

After about a 40-minute stop at the Succulent Gardens, we got back in our cars and headed to our picnic destination of Royal Oaks Park, a lovely park with plenty of shade and picnic tables in the Live Oak BBQ area. Michelle, Pat, Rick and Dolores had everything set up and quickly got the group in line for sandwiches, chips and beverages, provided by the club, and sides and desserts, provided by the members. There was plenty of food and even seconds for those that were still hungry!


After lunch, our President Simon Tildesley said a few words and then we had several door prizes to give away. Mick and I donated a few potted succulents, some pure Vermont maple syrup and some grab bags filled with souvenirs from our recent MINI Takes the States trip, which included a pair of MINI socks, a MINI pen and a miniature MINI Motoring cone from the BMW Test track in Spartanburg, SC. Michelle also donated a MTTS pint glass and Larry Anderson donated a NorCal club sweatshirt. 

The big prize of the day was a lovely gift put together by John and Lorraine Dick. It consisted of a patriotic rolling bag that held all kinds of terrific items for a fabulous barbeque.

 Everyone had a great time meeting and catching up with other members. Thank you also to Duane Caldwell for the fabulous pictures of the cars and events of the day.


Vickie Casacca, Mick Brown and Dirk

Lots more great pictures from the day - See the links below

And many thanks again to Duane Caldwell and also to Simon Tildesley, Paige Lane, Michael Kane and Mary Wolgamot for their great pictures.