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...

Lodging Planner for Dunsmuir Railroad Park - Oct. 13 - 15, 2023

Three days of MINIs, friends, forests, and old railroad cabooses.

2022 Dunsmuir dinner
photo by Simon Tildesley

NOTICE: To all Registered Club Members interested in attending this 3-day event

We are posting this early to give everyone a chance to make their RESERVATIONS AT THE Railroad Park Resort NOW. It books early. You can also book accommodations at other local hotels as well (in Dunsmuir or Shasta City). There are a very limited number of cabins and cabooses remaining available onsite. Many folks who attended last year booked for this year at that time.

Please make your reservations with an option to cancel in the event of disasters such as wildfires or pandemics, or in the event of personal illness/emergency.

GO TO THE RAILROAD PARK RESORT website to book (and more info below)

Other lodging accommodations are available outside the railroad park in Dunsmuir or the town of Mount Shasta:

Lodging Planner for Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP Weekend Run - Sept. 9 - 10, 2023

Sequoia NP, (c) Johan van Geijl


NOTICE: To all Registered Club Members interested in attending this 2-day event

We are posting this information early to give everyone a chance to make their lodging reservations in the Three Rivers area overnight stop now. Vacation lodging has been booking early this year all over the state. It seems that people want to get out and about after a couple years of staycations. 😷 😵‍💫

Please make reservations with an option to cancel, if necessary. Past history of wildfires, pandemics, and other disasters makes this a prudent precaution. 

Most of us are aware of the beauty and splendor of Yosemite National Park (YNP). Most of us have also experienced the frustrations of the YNP reservations system and the long lines that must be endured during peak seasons. Fewer people know that much of Yosemite's beauty, including groves of giant sequoia trees, exists outside of the YNP boundaries. Our run hosts, Rick Sanchez and Dolores Quintero-Sanchez, have been tracking road conditions and planning out an entertaining and scenic tour of the Sierras, skirting the Kings Canyon National Park, and ending in the Sequoia National Park. 

The 2-day run itinerary will start on Saturday morning, September 9, in the Central Valley town of Salida (about halfway between Manteca and Modesto) and travel to the Sierra town of Oakhurst for lunch before ending the day in the town of Three Rivers. Three Rivers is a gateway town to Sequoia National Park. Members on this run will need to make lodging reservations in the Three Rivers area for Saturday night. 

The Sunday run itinerary will take run participants into Sequoia National Park itself. Entry into US National Parks requires the purchase of a park pass for each vehicle entering. Run participants MUST purchase their own park pass in advance of the run because a hard copy pass must be mailed to your home address before you leave for the run meetup on Saturday, September 9! Passes purchased at the time of entry into the park are subject to typically long waiting lines, and the group will have to leave you behind. There are no good options for all the cars on the run to wait near the entrance for anyone who must stand in these lines.

There are three options for purchasing a park pass online with hyperlinks to the NP pass websites:
  1. Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP Standard Entrance Pass ($35)
    Good for up to 7 days for one vehicle with up to 4 adult occupants (children under 16 are always free), you must specify the starting date of Saturday, September 9.

  2. Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP Annual Entrance Pass ($70)
    Good for 1 year from the date of purchase for one vehicle with up to 4 adult occupants (children under 16 are always free). This is a good option if you wish to visit Sequoia or Kings Canyon NPs at least once more in the next year, but it does not give access to other national parks such as Yosemite.
    Senior, Disabled, and Military pricing discounts are available, but only in person with qualifying identification, and this would require you to stand in line at the entrance while the group moves on into the park.

  3. US National Parks America the Beautiful Pass ($80)
    Good for 1 year from the date of purchase for one vehicle with up to 4 adult occupants (children under 16 are always free). This option is best if you want access to any US National Park or federal recreational lands, and you plan to visit one or more of these places at least three times in one year. This pass does include Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, and all other US National Parks.

There are a variety of lodging accommodations in the Three Rivers area. Please click the links below to explore your lodging options.

Anderson Valley, Ft. Bragg, Lake County, & Lake Berryessa Overnight Run - June 24-25, 2023

Cruising North of the SF Bay through wine & beer country, rocky Pacific coastline, redwood forests, inland lakes, & finishing in Davis.    

Glass Beach, Fort Bragg

Your Host For The Event:

Larry Anderson

Register at MotorSport Registry:

Click here for a link to the run registration page at MSR.

Run Details:

Please note that this is not a normal one-day club run.

On the first of two days of Northern California grand touring, NorCal MINIs will drive through the wine country of Napa, through Cloverdale, cutting over to the Point Arena Lighthouse, and follow the Mendocino coastline up to Fort Bragg. Book your Saturday night lodging in the Fort Bragg area (see a list of possible lodging options below the daily run details), so you can join the group for a second day of driving CA-1 up the coastline just south of DeHaven, before cutting eastward through redwood forests, turning southward through Lake County, past Lake Berryessa, and ending in Davis at the Sudwerk Brewing Company. Over the course of these two epic days, the club will drive the scenic bends and curves of wine country, ocean coastline, forests, and inland lakes.

We'll start our weekend fun on Saturday, June 24, by meeting up at the Starbucks in San Ramon (21001 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon, CA 94583). After everyone has a chance to arrive and use the restroom, we'll hold our first drivers' briefing of the weekend, and convoy northward on I-680.

General Notes:

  • Please check your oil, brakes, and tire pressure before heading out.  This trip will test all of them!  Also, bring windshield cleaning supplies… because where we’re driving, the bugs are definitely out.
  • Parts of our route go over rough roadways (typical paved but worn backcountry/mountain roads).  Your host will do his best to call out the nastier spots ahead of time on the Club radio channel.
  • Bring some warm clothes.  Point Arena, Mendocino, and Fort Bragg have a high probability of being fogged in and chilly, even if it’s warm and sunny on the rest of our route
  • Please top off your MINI's gas tank and charge the batteries in your radios before arriving at the two Starbucks for the meetups on Saturday and Sunday!

Please have a radio tuned to Channel 7-21 CTCSS to hear alerts during all runs! The Club has loaners if you don’t have your own. Leaders will use the club radios to alert drivers to hazards, so please have your radios or borrow the club radios to listen in.

Saturday, June 24 Run 1 Details (San Ramon to Fort Bragg):

Day 1 Route Map:


Meeting Location:
21001 San Ramon Valley Blvd
San Ramon, CA 94583

Meeting Time/Departure Time:

For our Members who live north/east of San Ramon and would prefer to join us along the way, meet us at the Fairfield Shell station (
4450 Central Way, Fairfield, CA 94534).  We will be arriving there between 9:45-10:00 AM.

Special Run Notes:

  • There are both Shell and Chevron gas stations across from the Starbucks where we'll be leaving from. Please fill up before meeting at Starbucks. (Saturday's route can be easily completed with a full tank.)
  • We will be crossing the Benecia-Martinez Bridge on our way to Fairfield. Traveling north on this bridge requires a $7 toll. The toll booths are automated without a CASH option!!
    Please either have a FasTrak electronic toll tag in your car or sign up for a License Plate Account (https://www.bayareafastrak.org/en/tolls/license-plate.shtml) before the run!

After our driver's briefing at the San Ramon Starbucks meetup location, we will line up and head northbound on I-680. After crossing the Benecia-Martinez Bridge and its elevated views of the Carquinez Strait to the left and Suisun Bay to the right, we’ll make our first stop at a Shell station in Fairfield (4450 Central Way, Fairfield, CA 94534).  Anyone needing a bio break, or who neglected to fill up before the run can do so here. This is also where we’ll pick up anyone joining us along the way.

Leaving the interstate behind us in Fairfield, we will head north on CA-121, then cut northwest on CA-128 through wine country. Our next rest stop will be in Calistoga at Pioneer Park (1308 Cedar Street, Calistoga CA 94515 - https://visitcalistoga.com/directory/pioneer-park/).  Parking will be on the street in front of the park. Public restrooms will be on the left as you walk into the park towards the playground.

Pioneer Park, Calistoga

After our stop in Calistoga, we’ll hop back on CA-128 heading towards Cloverdale for lunch.  Parking and meet-up after lunch will be in the parking lot roughly at West First and Commercial Street.  Many restaurants are within walking distance on both East 1st Street and North Cloverdale Blvd. Some suggestions for lunchtime dining include the following:
Downtown Cloverdale

After lunch, we’ll rejoin CA-128 for some twisties, on our way to our next stop at Anderson Valley Brewing Company (CA-128 & CA-253).
 The bathrooms are clean and the beer is divine! This venue has been developed into a destination with many activities and amenities. We will pause for a while to soak up a flavor of AVBC, but we will have to limit ourselves so we can get to our final destination in Fort Bragg at a reasonable hour.

After leaving Anderson Valley Brewing, we'll be heading West toward the coast on Mountain View Rd. (Route-510). The road is single-lane in a few places and is generally very twisty with rough pavement. We'll be taking it easy on the uphill half of this road (no more than 25-30 MPH), but the payoff makes it worthwhile!

Upon reaching the coast and CA-1, we’ll take a brief jog south toward the Point Arena Lighthouse. The Lighthouse Tower is re-opened for tours and the view of the coastline and the Pacific Ocean from the top is breathtaking (as is the stair climb to get there). Lighthouse tours run every 20 minutes; we’ll time our stay based on when we arrive.  More information on the lighthouse may be found online:  https://www.pointarenalighthouse.com/
  •   There is a $5 admission fee per person.
Point Arena Lighthouse

From Point Arena, we'll be heading north to Fort Bragg. At that point, you are free to head for your hotels and have dinner, etc. on your own.
 Downtown Fort Bragg has many restaurants to choose from, but keep in mind the town tends to shut down a little early!

Sunday, June 25 Run 2 Details (Fort Bragg to Davis):

Day 2 Route Map:


Meeting Location:

576 S. Main St.
Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Meeting Time/Departure Time:

Special Run Notes:

  • There is a Chevron gas station a couple blocks South of the Starbucks meetup location. Please fill up before meeting at Starbucks. (Saturday's route can be easily completed with a full tank.)
  • Also please remember to check your oil level, tire pressure and condition, and top off your windshield washer fluid.
Starbucks, Fort Bragg

We'll hold a morning driver's briefing in the Starbucks parking lot before heading up the coast along northbound CA-1 for more Pacific Ocean views. Life's rough, isn't it? LOL Just before reaching DeHaven, we’ll turn East along Branscomb Road to US-101. The first half of Branscomb Road is a narrow, two-way, non-divided road, so we’ll be taking it easy through here. The back half of Branscomb Road is a normal, two-lane mountain road with painted dividing lines down the middle of the road. Our first stop will be at a Chevron station just after we turn South on US-101.  Our run host is positive you’ll need to stretch your legs after the morning drive. 

CA-1 near Westport

From the first rest stop, we’ll be heading south on US-101 through Willits, then heading East on CA-20, and turning South on CA-29 toward our lunch stop in Lakeport along the shores of Clear Lake. Arriving in Lakeport, we’ll be heading for the 3rd Street Launch near Library Park, at which point you can find a place to park, and we’ll split up for lunch.  If there’s no parking available at the launch, there’s ample parking at Park & First along the lakefront. The main Downtown area is on Main Street between 1st and 5th streets, with plenty of restaurants within walking distance.  Some lunch suggestions include the following:
Lakeport Boat Launch & Library Park

After lunch, we’ll regroup at the Safeway parking lot just off CA-29 (1071 11
th Street, Lakeport, CA 95453), then hop back on CA-29 South towards CA-175 East, heading for Loch Lomond and Middletown. Although Loch Lomond is listed on the route, we will not be stopping there. We will be making a pit stop in Middletown at the Store 24 Chevron (21026 CA-29 Middletown CA 95461), then head East towards Lake Berryessa via Butts Canyon, Pope Valley Cross Road, and Pope Canyon Road.  This portion of the drive will have some rough roads.

We’ll poll the group via radio to determine if a pit stop is needed at a rest area on the corner of Pope Canyon Rd and Berryessa Knoxville Road, otherwise, we’ll head down Berryessa Knoxville Road along the southwest portion of Lake Berryessa. We’ll then pick up CA-128 East and continue towards our final pit stop at Lake Solano County Park.

From there, it’s mostly a straight shot along County Highway E6 to Davis, where we’ll be concluding the run at Sudwerk Brewing Co (https://www.sudwerkbrew.com/restaurant).

Sudwerk Brewing Co., Davis

Some hotel options in Fort Bragg include:

Seabird Lodge Fort Bragg
191 South St.
Fort Bragg 95437
707 964 8000

Motel 6 Fort Bragg
400 S Main Street
Fort Bragg 95437
707 964 4761

Super 8 By Wyndham Fort Bragg
888 S Main Street
Fort Bragg 95437
707 409 0055

Holiday Inn Express Fort Bragg
250 West State St.
Fort Bragg 95437
707 964 1100

Surf Motel & Gardens
1220 S Main Street
Fort Bragg 95437
800 339 5364

Register Via MotorSport Reg:

Check out 2023 Run Calendar for a complete list of events for the remainder of this year.

Join NorCal MINIs Today! Create your MotorSportReg Account to become a Registered Club Member, use the link below:
NorCal MINIs Membership

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

Santa Cruz Mountains Run - May 20, 2023


Santa Cruz Mountains backroad


Your Host For The Event:

Duane Caldwell

Run Details:

Apologies for the late posting of the run description and registration. The last round of strong "atmospheric river" storms a few short weeks ago washed out a key section of our original route around the backside of Lexington Reservoir, so the route for this run had to be completely revised.

The new route has a few potholes, but not too many. The mountain springs are all running thanks to our very wet winter, so the roads can be wet and slippery in many spots even on clear, sunny days.

We'll start our day by meeting in South San Jose at the Princeton Plaza Mall parking lot (1436 Kooser Road, San Jose, CA 95118) along Kooser Road between Michaels and Walgreens. There is a Starbucks, McDonald's, a small bakery, and an Electrify America charging station all located here in the mall. There are also gas stations between the Hwy. 85/Almaden Expressway offramp and the mall at the intersection of Almaden Expressway and Blossom Hill Road.

Please have a radio tuned to Channel 7-21 CTCSS to hear alerts during the run! The Club has loaners if you don’t have your own. Leaders will use the club radios to alert drivers to hazards, so please have your radios or borrow the club radios to listen in.

The concept for this new run route is a tour through the backroads of the Santa Cruz Mountains, spotlighting the mountain lifestyles instead of following roads heavily traveled by those on their way to the Boardwalk. We will be up close and personal with the scenery and homes of those who live in the mountains. Many of the homes we will pass started as vacation cabins for the wealthy residents of San Francisco back in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The small mountain towns we will pass through started in the early 1800s to support the logging and mining industries. The coast redwoods we will see along the way are the tallest living things on the planet and were known to produce enough lumber to build as many as 20 homes from a single tree. Only the famed giant sequoias are more massive than these redwoods.

We will meet in the Princeton Plaza Mall parking lot along Kooser Road between Walgreens and Michaels. Please fill up your gas tanks (or charge your SE batteries) before you arrive. You can stop in to use the restrooms at the Starbucks or McDonald's located in the mall near the Kooser Road and Blossom Hill Road intersection.

Princeton Plaza Mall Meetup Location

After the driver's meeting, we'll head south out of the mall parking lot on Meridian Avenue. We'll turn right onto Coleman Avenue following along the Santa Clara Valley Water District's groundwater recharge ponds named after the historic Almaden Vineyards winery, the oldest commercial winery in California (est. 1852). The winery closed many years ago and the vineyards became tract homes, but the name and the history live on.

A short distance down Coleman, we will turn right at the stop light onto Camden Avenue and immediately transition to the far left lane to make a left at the very first, very close stop light onto Hicks Road. Be prepared to turn and change lanes quickly. Our group leaders will help lead us through only when there is no cross traffic coming down Camden.

Quick Left onto Hicks Road from Camden Ave.

This is where the roads really get fun for MINI drivers. Be prepared for tight and twisty roads as Hicks Road snakes along beside the wooded Guadalupe Creek. We'll turn right at Shannon Road, and start heading up into the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains heading towards Los Gatos. We'll make a left turn onto Kennedy Road, watching for oncoming traffic, of course, and start climbing even faster up and over the first set of hills. As we reach the bottom of these hills, we will need to slow down a bit to pass through a quiet neighborhood in the exclusive town of Los Gatos. Please obey the speed limits, stop signs, and watch out for bicyclists and pedestrians. We'll make a left at the stop light onto Los Gatos Boulevard, then a right at the stop light onto Saratoga-Los Gatos Boulevard (one end of Hwy. 9) passing over Hwy. 17 and taking the cloverleaf onto southbound Hwy. 17.

Kennedy Road downhill to Los Gatos

We'll enjoy the Hwy. 17 cruise up into the mountains towards Lexington Reservoir and exit at the Bear Creek offramp. We'll drive past Bear Creek Road back towards Los Gatos on the frontage road, Montevina Road, and turn left onto Black Road. Once again, we will head up into the mountains on tight, twisty, and narrow roads, so keep your eyes open for bicyclists and oncoming traffic. Please stay in your lane and don't blast around those blind hairpin turns if you can't see the roadway through the hillside and the trees. The roads we will travel are popular with driving, motorcycling, and bicycling enthusiasts, and there are many homes along the way.

As we head up Black Road, you'll notice we'll start passing many Christmas tree farms. These farms qualify for government agriculture subsidies, so many homeowners with acreage plant Christmas trees to help pay the bills. We will also pass a few vineyards and wineries. The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA is an official viticultural area with a long history of winemaking that is growing in popularity and international acclaim.

Gist Road

We will turn left onto Gist Road. Be prepared for lots of tight, steep hairpins as we climb up the mountain through oaks, redwoods, and mountain homesteads. At the top of the ridgeline, we will make a sharp left turn onto Hwy. 35, taking the southern loop and turning right onto the coast side of Bear Creek Road. This side of Bear Creek road will take us past the David Bruce and Byington wineries on our way to connecting with Hwy. 9 at Boulder Creek. We will pass through one traffic control restriction around a partial road washout, so keep your eyes open for oncoming traffic and listen to your radios for guidance from your group leader.

In Boulder Creek, we will take our rest break at Johnnie's Super Market. Stretch your legs and use the restrooms at one of the nearby businesses. There is a gas station across the street from Johnnie's. We will continue south on Hwy. 9 out of Boulder Creek towards Ben Lomond, but we will turn right and uphill at Alba Road just before we reach Ben Lomond. Alba is a very fun run up through the trees to the next ridgeline. Passengers will have some spectacular views as we travel through some of the burned-out portions of the forest near the top. Drivers should ignore those views and concentrate on the road ahead, as the road gets very entertaining through this section.

Johnnie's Super Market Mural, Boulder Creek

When we reach the top, we will turn left onto Empire Grade Road for a relaxing and scenic cruise downhill to our final destination at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum parking lot. The Arboretum is a series of gardens filled with exotic and some native plants. The grounds and the garden store/nursery are a pleasure to wander through, and you can picnic here if you choose. The Arboretum requests a small donation in one of several donation kiosks if you choose to stay. If you'd rather enjoy a coastal lunch, it is a short drive from UCSC to Santa Cruz.

UCSC Arboretum flowers

Meet-Up Time/Departure Time:

9:30am/ 10:00am

Meet-Up Location:

Princeton Plaza Mall parking lot along Kooser Road between Michaels & Walgreens 1436 Kooser Road San Jose, CA 95118

Additional Run Details:

*Please bring your radio*, fully charged, turned on, and tuned to Channel 7, Subchannel 21 CTCSS before you arrive at the start. If you don’t have a radio, ask for a loaner at the driver’s meeting. For radio recommendations, please see https://www.facebook.com/legacy/notes/728353274556164/.

Be sure to turn the “VOX” voice-activated setting OFF, or we will hear the wind from your AC, your conversations, and any noise in your car broadcasting to everyone.

Make a pit stop before the drivers' briefing. We will be driving for a while through twisty hills before our rest stop up in Groveland, so plan ahead.

Hilly California backroads can be rough, especially after winter storms spawn new and bigger potholes. There are no major hazards that would take out a car, but some of the backroad sections are definitely bumpier than others.

There are stretches where local wildlife may be seen on each side of the road. At some point, these animals may decide to cross the road, so please watch out for deer, wild turkeys, etc. trying to get from one side to the other right in front of your car.



UCSC Arboretum Parking Lot

Lunch Suggestions in Santa Cruz:

Lupulo Craft Beer House
233 Cathcart St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Mission St. BBQ
1618 Mission St. 
Santa Cruz, CA 95023

Seabright Deli
415 Seabright Ave. 
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

West End Tap & Kitchen 344D Ingalls St. Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Register Via MotorSport Reg:

Check out 2023 Run Calendar for complete list of events for the remainder of this year.

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 Registered Club Member, use the link below:
NorCal MINIs Membership

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