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Lodging Planner for Lake Tahoe Weekend Run - May 18 - 19, 2024

Saturday and Sunday overnight run to South Lake Tahoe. Enjoy the backroads, less traveled, and even more scenic than your usual run up the f...

Napa/Sonoma Run - Sunday April 21, 2024

Off the beaten path in wine country.

West bank of Lake Berryessa

Your Host(s) for the Event:

Chris Hanson and MaryAnn Worobiec

Route:

Register via MotorSport Registry:


Meet-up Time/Departure Time:

9:00 am / 9:30 am


Meet-up Location:

Starbucks 
5121 Business Center Dr
Fairfield, CA 94534 
(In the Costco shopping center parking lot)

Costco will be behind you when looking at this Starbucks

Important Note: 

There will NOT be any options for gas along the first 70 miles of the route! Please make sure to have a full tank prior to joining the run! We won't stop at restrooms for the first hour either, so plan ahead.

We recommend stopping in Cordelia (Exit 41 from both I-80 E & W), 5 minutes away from our meetup location before joining us for the meet-up and drivers' briefing. The addresses are all technically in Fairfield, but many of the road signs here identify it as Cordelia, so don't get confused, just follow your navigation system to the addresses.

Suggested fuel/coffee/restroom stops before arriving at the Starbucks in the Costco parking lot:
  • Costco Gas Station (same parking lot as the meet-up)
    5101 Business Center Dr, Fairfield, CA 94534
  • ARCO
    134 Pittman Rd, Fairfield, CA 94534
  • Chevron
    4470 Central Way, Fairfield, CA 94534
  • Shell
    4450 Central Way, Fairfield, CA 94534
  • Starbucks near the Chevron/Shell gas stations listed above
    4490 Central Way, Fairfield, CA 94534

Run Details:

We will start our April run near where November’s Napa run started: in Fairfield. From there we will head north on the twisty, two-lane roads connecting Fairfield to Napa. Instead of heading into the valley, as last year’s run did, we will continue north along the western bank of Lake Berryessa on Knoxville Road which promises plenty of twisties and spectacular views of the lake. As we reach the northern end of the lake we will take our mid-run break at the Pope Creek Day Use Area; it has plenty of parking, vault toilet restrooms, and views of Lake Berryessa:
From our pit stop we will motor northwest on Napa’s backroads through Pope Valley where we will see miles and miles of vineyards! 
We will continue north into Lake County through MiddleTown where we will connect up with highway 175 and head up into the mountains through the small town of Cobb where we will diverge from 175 and head up Bottle Rock Rd for more twisty roads at elevation.

The end of our run will take us through Kelseyville to The Shannon Mercantile (see “Lunch Details” below).

Lunch Details:

Our destination, The Shannon Mercantile is Lake County’s go-to destination for all things wine and food. In addition to a full wine bar, they offer pre-made sandwiches, salads, and charcuterie from local favorite, Rosey Cooks Catering. Enjoy a selection of non-alcoholic beverages, picnic, and gourmet food items, as well as housewares and gifts. Take a moment to relax or shop in the heart of Lake County, any day of the week. https://shannonfamilyofwines.com/locations/the-mercantile/ Tasting fee is $20 (waived upon 3 bottle purchase). They offer 4 flights to choose from, with 5 wines per flight. They welcome friendly, well-behaved dogs on a leash. They provide electric vehicle charging stations for the convenience of guests.

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.

Hilly California backroads can be rough, especially after winter storms spawn new and bigger potholes. We will call out cyclists and oncoming traffic on the radios. Most of the route is fairly smooth with a few backroad sections that may be a bit 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.

We ask that you turn on low-beam headlights - not Auto - to make us more visible to other vehicles either ahead or behind us, including your fellow MINI drivers.





Lodging Planner for Lake Tahoe Weekend Run - May 18 - 19, 2024

Saturday and Sunday overnight run to South Lake Tahoe. Enjoy the backroads, less traveled, and even more scenic than your usual run up the freeways. 


Lake Tahoe East Shore

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


We are posting this early to give everyone a chance to make their RESERVATIONS in the South Lake Tahoe area ASAP. The area is popular for weekend getaways all year, so accommodations always book early. There are hosted cabin rentals (e.g., VRBO, Airbnb, etc.), as well as hotels and motels in and around South Lake Tahoe.

Sunday's run will likely be on the Nevada side of the lake (eastern shoreline), so you may wish to consider that when weighing where to book your Saturday night stay.

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.

Lake Tahoe East Shore

Lodging Planner for Dunsmuir Railroad Park - Oct. 11 - 13, 2024

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



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:







Avenue of the Giants Weekend Run - Sat. March 23, 2024

Saturday will be a very full day of cruising from Novato up through the Avenue of the Giants and ending at Eel River Brewing in Fortuna. Sunday has no formal club runs, but we have two optional scenic routes for your consideration.




Your Host(s) for the Event:

Tim Nye


Route:

Route Overview

Part 1 (Morning Route)

Part 2 (Afternoon Route)


Register for the Event on MotorSport Registry:

https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/avenue-of-giants-weekend-run-norcal-minis-744753


Meetup Time / Departure Time:

9:00 AM / 9:30 AM


Meetup Location:

Chevron 22 Rowland Way Novato, CA 94947 parking lot next to the Cinemax Theater

Chevron in Novato Meetup Location

Run Details:

Saturday will be an all-day drive to cruise up to the Avenue of the Giants, then motor through the magnificent giant sequoia redwood trees. This route is truly a unique California experience, and it all began in 1926 with a road trip. At that time, the Newton Drury and Pacific Lumber company invited wealthy philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and his family to a picnic in the park. Following that trip, Rockefeller pledged $1 million to the Save the Redwoods League to acquire prime redwood groves for conservation. In 1960, the Avenue of the Giants parkway was dedicated to the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, preserving these beautiful, ancient trees for future generations of road trippers like us.


Humboldt State Redwoods Park


After a short driver’s meeting at the Chevron in Novato, we will convoy out onto US 101N for about 40 miles, and then take Exit 505 and follow Dry Creek Rd. and Dutcher Creek Rd. to Cloverdale for an optional pit stop. We will then get back on US 101N toward Willits, where lunch awaits at a local eatery of your choice.

As we enter Willits on S. Main Street, there are a few lunch options. The after lunch meeting spot will be at the Grocery Outlet parking lot (1718 S Main St, Willits, CA 95490). A few options in the general vicinity are:

After lunch, we will continue driving north to the famous Chandelier Drive-Thru Redwood Tree ($15 fee per car). Our MINIs will be dwarfed by this massive tree as we drive through the passage cut into the tree.

Chandelier Tree

The second part of the route begins when we leave Leggett on US 101N and take Exit 650 to begin our tour of the Avenue of Giants (aka CA-254). Unfortunately, there are a couple of road closures on the Avenue of the Giants due to storm damage repairs and bridge construction. However, even US 101N has spectacular views through these forests. Our next stop will be in Miranda for fuel and restrooms. We will also make a stop at the Visitor Center for Humboldt Redwoods State Park ( https://humboldtredwoods.org/ ), There are many places to stop along the drive, get out and walk around. Due to time limitations, we will not be making long stops, but may stop to get out of the cars and take a few photos. Be sure to have your 2-way radios charged and turned on to listen for instructions from the group leader and caboose. If you fall behind, don’t worry and just continue driving north on the Avenue. Be sure to watch out for Bigfoot and areas of interest you might want to explore on the drive home.

Bigfoot

The Avenue ends in Pepperwood, where we will again find US 101N continuing to Fortuna, CA where food, drink, and lodging await. For the more adventurous, Eureka is about 20 more miles up the road. Refer to our run lodging planner page for information on lodging options in the area.

After checking into hotels, run participants are invited to meetup at a local brewpub, Eel River Brewery (1777 Alamar Way, Fortuna, CA 95540), around 6pm for beer, food, and cheer. This will be a non-hosted event with plenty of parking and seating for all who would like to join us. Eel River Brewery is America’s first certified organic brewery serving those who enjoy the road less traveled.

Sunday Day 2 Individual Route Options:

There is no club run on Sunday, March 24. The drive home will be on your own. Some may choose to travel home in small groups, while others may wish to drive the Avenue again and make more stops - there are many hiking trails and places to explore. Others may choose to drive a short distance up the coast to visit Eureka, Arcata, or Trinidad. A few routes home to consider are:

  • CA-36 E from Fortuna to Red Bluff: For those traveling home to the Sacramento-San Joaquin valley, Highway 36 is a 142-mile long and spirited 2-lane mountain highway. You can access it a few miles south of Fortuna. Just be sure to fuel/charge up before departing, because gas stations are few and far between until you get to Red Bluff. From Red Bluff, merge onto I-5 S and head home. Optional Route A
  • CA-1 S from Leggett to San Francisco: For those traveling home to the Bay Area, the northern part of California’s iconic coastal highway is majestic. It will go all the way to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, or you can cut across to US 101 S via CA-116 E in Jenner, and local roads near Bodega Bay. Optional Route B
  • US-101 S: For the quickest route home, the way we came is the way to go. For those returning to the delta valley, consider taking Exit 555B to CA-20 E toward Clear Lake. Whichever path you choose, drive safely!

Trinidad Pier


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 have a long drive ahead with some rest and gas stops planned in, but please have that gas tank on FULL to start our day.

California backroads can be rough, especially after winter storms spawn new and bigger potholes. We will call out cyclists and oncoming traffic on the radios. Most of the route is fairly smooth with a few backroad sections that may be a bit 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.

We ask that you turn on low-beam headlights - not Auto - to make us more visible to other vehicles either ahead or behind us, including your fellow MINI drivers.

Headlight Switch: Full Manual On





Lodging Planner for Avenue of the Giants Weekend Run - Sat., March 23, 2024

Saturday will be a very full day of cruising from Novato up through the Avenue of the Giants and ending at Eel River Brewing in Fortuna. Sunday has no organized runs.

Avenue of the Giants


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


We are posting this lodging planner early to give everyone a chance to make their lodging reservations for Saturday night in the Fortuna/Eureka area. While there will not be an organized club run on Sunday, Saturday's runs will end late in the day. We highly recommend staying over Saturday night, so you can enjoy Sunday morning on your own and a safe drive home.

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.


Saturday's runs will start in Novato, stop in Willits for lunch, pass through the drive-through Chandelier Tree ($15 fee per car), continue up through the Avenue of the Giants, and end at Eel River Brewing in Fortuna. We suggest looking for lodging in the Fortuna/Eureka/Arcata area.

Fortuna Lodging:

Eureka Lodging:


Chandelier Tree



Livermore to Castle Air Museum - Sun., February 25, 2024

Our February run will take us over backroads through the hills and valleys of the East Bay and out to the Central Valley and Castle Air Museum.

Castle Air Museum

Your Hosts for the Event:

Enoch & Merlyn Garcia


Route:

https://maps.app.goo.gl/bxX79kKk6jHfMwSC7


Register for the Event on MotorSport Registry:

https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/livermore-to-castle-air-museum-run-norcal-minis-250361


Meetup Time / Departure Time:

9:00 AM / 10:00 AM


Meetup Location:

Starbucks & Jamba Juice
2050 Portola Ave.
Livermore, CA 94551

Starbucks Livermore Meetup Location

Run Details:

We will meet in Livermore at the Starbucks/Jamba Juice parking lot at 2050 Portola Avenue. If we have enough cars, we'll organize into a spirited group and a scenic group for the run. Please be sure to join the group that best suits your driving style. The spirited group will depart for Mines Road first, and the scenic group will leave about 10 minutes later to minimize radio crosstalk.

After enjoying the twists and turns through the canyons along Mines Road, we'll turn east onto Highway 130/Del Puerto Canyon Road just past The Junction. This first part of our run does have extended sections of single-lane road, so our leaders will guide us through carefully and use the radios to call out any oncoming traffic. If the weather allows us, the first group will pick wider sections for a more spirited run through the twisties. The scenic group will drive to keep everyone together and enjoy the views.

Mines Road near The Junction


After Hwy. 130 crosses over I-5, we will stop at Love's Travel Stop to stretch our legs and take a biobreak. There are some limited fast food options here if members want to grab a quick snack and gas up, if necessary. However, we still have a way to drive to our destination, so this will not be a lunch break.

Love's Travel Stop in Patterson


After our stretch break, we will continue to Castle Air Museum taking the backroads with some long straights until we connect onto Hwy. 99 South. When we reach our destination, we will try to park together in the museum parking lot for a group photo.

Castle Air Museum


Castle Air Museum (5050 Santa Fe Dr, Atwater, CA 95301) has a collection of military aircraft on display. If you want to see all the parked planes in the yard and maybe go inside Air Force One, admission is $20 for adults , $15 for seniors and youth, and $10 for kids (6-12). Kids under 6 are free with a paid adult. The indoor museum is free, and it offers informational displays about the different aircraft on display outside. It also has a gift shop with souvenirs.

Lunch is on your own in Atwater. Yelp has several suggestions for lunch.


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 the canyons and valleys of Mines Road and out to Patterson without any suitable rest stop, so plan ahead.

California backroads can be rough, especially after winter storms spawn new and bigger potholes. We will call out cyclists and oncoming traffic on the radios. Most of the route is fairly smooth with a few backroad sections that may be a bit 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.

We ask that you turn on low-beam headlights - not Auto - to make us more visible to other vehicles either ahead or behind us, including your fellow MINI drivers.

Headlight Switch: Full Manual On