Sonora Run - Sunday June 9, 2024

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Recap - Paso Robles Holiday Run - December 3rd & 4th 2022

Your Hosts For This Event:
Steve and Tina Sandke

The route for the Paso Robles weekend planned to take us through backroads to California’s most remote Mission, the Holiday Parade in Paso Robles that night, then a short but windy ride the next morning. As the weekend approached, we all watched the weather forecast closely; would the rain stay away?

The rain did not stay away. However, it cleared at some key points, enough to make the weekend work well!

12 cars met in Morgan Hill early on Saturday, December 3. It rained pretty hard on the way down to Morgan Hill, but as we approached the meetup, it dropped to sprinkles and then stopped. The timing was perfect. After a half hour spent catching up and explaining the plans for the weekend, we hopped into our cars and headed south. We headed south on 101 in light rain, picking up two more cars in Salinas. After a short pit stop in Greenfield, we spent a few more miles on 101 south before heading onto the backroads for the rest of the day.

The rain started to increase as we drove down Jolon Road, and by the time we turned into Fort Hunter Liggett, it was coming down impressively. There were some troops camping in the field as we went past; hopefully their tents were waterproof!

It wasn’t long before the group pulled into Mission San Antonio de Padua, one of the oldest of the California Missions. It is definitely the most remote of the Missions. We all went into the gift shop, where a friendly docent explained the mission’s history, described what’s in the gift shop in great detail, and told us in no uncertain terms not to go out an emergency exit door in their museum! The museum was a nice interesting diversion, and the grounds and chapel were beautiful as well. Everyone appreciated getting out of the rain and stretching their legs. After a quick group photo, we were off again.

We took back roads into Paso Robles, and soon we found ourselves at the main square downtown, where the group scattered for lunch. Most folks spent the afternoon exploring the town or tasting wine. Four cars took a trip out to see the Elephant Seals north of Hearst Ranch.

The rain had cleared as we regrouped around 5 PM near the downtown train station, and the festive car decorating began! Folks were super enthusiastic and very inventive. Sprinkles began just as it was time to move to our staging spot for the parade. Once we were in place, we had another hour or so before the start, and most of us spent the time finishing our decorations off. By the time 7pm rolled around, the rain was coming down in force, but we were in our cars and ready.

An impressive number of folks lined the parade route, and so many kids were waving and calling out at “the Minis” that many of us rolled down our windows and waved back, ignoring the rain. Sleeves were wet at the end, but it was worth it. We returned to the train station, cleaned off our decorations, and scattered for the evening.

A good number of us ended up at Firestone Walker for a late dinner, and the staff were nice enough to let us bring our dogs in.

Sunday morning dawned bright, dry, and clear. Where was this weather yesterday?!? A smaller crew gathered at a local Starbucks, and after the requisite socializing, we drove a short but spirited run through the backroads east of Paso Robles and Atascadero, ending in Santa Margarita. A little before lunch, we bid each farewell, and resolved to come back next year to drive in the parade again.

On Monday the parade organizers published the judges’ results, and we were absolutely delighted to learn that NorCal Minis had won first place in the Decorated Cars category!

Thanks for a great weekend!

Tina and Steve

For more great pictures check out the link below! THANKS TO DUANE