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 - Marin to Bodega Bay Run - Feb. 25, 2023

(Click to enlarge - by Duane C.)

Your Hosts for this Event:
Gordon & Alison Lee

It was an overcast day with occasional rain showers, but that did not dampen the spirits of the NorCal MINIs members who brought 37 MINIs and their enthusiastic occupants to Corte Madera on the morning of February 25. Everyone was excited to hit the twisty backroads through the hills and valleys of Marin on our way up to Bodega Bay.

Our Run Hosts, Gordon and Alison, worked for months to plan and pre-run a fun route incorporating some new paths through Lucas Valley and some older favorites through Hicks Valley and Chileno Valley on our way to the bay.

Gordon Lee gives the rundown at the drivers' briefing
(Click to enlarge - by Mary Wolgamot)

Thanks to MINI of Marin for Hosting our Meetup!

Special thanks go out to MINI of Marin for hosting our meetup and breakfast, and for putting together a drawing with door prizes of MINI swag for some lucky NorCal MINIs run participants. Door prizes included MINI-branded umbrellas, bags, hats, and license plate frames. Sales Manager, Alex, Service Manager, Jesus, and the whole dealership team went the extra mile to welcome us all, provide parking for our cars in the back lot with an easy exit onto the road for our run, and laid out a tasty spread of bagels and hot coffee for all attendees.

Many of NorCal MINIs' members have been MINI of Marin customers, and we want to give special recognition to the dealership for being one of the MINI USA Golden Bulldog Award winners for 2023. This award is given annually to several MINI dealerships around the country to recognize outstanding MINI sales, service, and parts. Congratulations to the entire MINI of Marin team on this achievement!


Mary Wolgamot packed her Bo up with an impressive number of cases of Girl Scout cookies for those wishing to support her troop. I wonder how many of the boxes sold made it all the way home at the end of the day? LOL

Mary W. sells Girl Scout cookies
(click to enlarge - by Duane C.)

Run Recap

Thanks to Alex and Jesus at the dealership, the back gate at MINI of Marin was opened up for a more direct route out onto the access roads to northbound US 101. With 37 cars on hand, we split into three groups of 12 to 15 cars each. Gordon and Alison led Group 1, Duane Caldwell led Group 2, and Pat and Michelle Lewis headed up Group 3. Traffic on 101 wasn't too bad, so all three groups were able to stick together as they headed north past the Marin Civic Center to our exit at Lucas Valley Road.

Lucas Valley Road quickly leaves the businesses near 101 for the suburbs of Marinwood on the way into the hills of Lucas Valley. This stretch of road is two lanes, twisty, and treats the driver and passengers to oak-covered hills, redwoods, and the old West charm of Nicasio village before heading north past Nicasio Reservoir and our halfway stop at Marin French Cheese Company.

Redwoods along Lucas Valley Rd.
(Click to enlarge - by Mary W.)

Our halfway stop at the Marin French Cheese Company is a familiar hangout for NorCal MINIs members who have made this run in the past. Marin French Cheese is the oldest continually operating cheese manufacturer in the United States. It was founded as Marin French Cheese Company in 1865, but claims to have had its earliest operations as far back as 1854. The store welcomed our members for tastes of their various flavors of brie and allowed us to use their restrooms and scenic grounds to stretch our legs. The skies chose this moment to open up and sprinkle us with some rain, so we didn't get to enjoy the beauty of their picnic area along the pond. Still, it was a welcome rest stop.

Marin French Cheese Company
(Click to enlarge - by Duane C.)

From the cheese stop, we split back into our 3 groups and headed up through the farms of Hicks Valley before climbing up over the ridge (and its panoramic views!) and dropping back down into Chileno Valley. The rolling, winding roads through here are always a joy to drive, with lots of livestock to see along the way. 

We headed west on Tomales Petaluma Road to connect on northbound CA 1 through the quaint town of Tomales and continued up to our destination at the Tides Restaurant in Bodega Bay. Bodega Bay is famous among other reasons for being the location of Alfred Hitchcock's horror-thriller "The Birds." This year is the 60th anniversary of the release of the film. Fittingly, we saw quite a variety of birds on our drive up from Corte Madera to Bodega Bay, spotting wild turkeys, a pair of Golden eagles, Cooper's hawks, and a peregrine falcon in addition to numerous vultures and chickens, of course. A few of us slow eaters (or long talkers, LOL) were even fortunate to see a bald eagle hunting just outside the Tides restaurant after lunch.

Bodega Bay from the Tides Restaurant
(Click to enlarge - by Duane C.)

"I can only recall all the smiles, the thank yous, familiar faces, and Girl Scout cookies. 

Thanks to Duane, Pat, Michelle, and Paige [Lane] for supporting our event.  Thanks to Mary, Duane, and Tim [Nye] for the photo coverage."

-- Gordon Lee

For more photos from the day, see the albums on Facebook or in this Google Photos album from Duane Caldwell.