As posted by Michael & Karen Bennett of the Mini Register in England after a recent visit to northern California.
REME Mount Tamalpais and Cheese Factory Run
6 weeks ago, in January, we were stood on top of a very large rock, surrounded by Minis and looking out to sea. Well we are doing it again but this time we are over 6000 miles to the west, the rock is Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, just north of San Francisco rather than the Great Orme on the North Wales coast and the sea in the Pacific Ocean rather than the Irish Sea. However the atmosphere is the same, we are amongst a group of friendly Mini enthusiasts. The Redwood Empire Mini Enthusiasts have kindly invited us to join them on one of their regular Mini runs that use some amazing roads in fantastic scenery. It is a testament to how welcoming and friendly the members of REME are; they even let us join in when we turned up in a VW Beetle provided by the evil hire car company.
We did not get off to the best of starts, the meeting place was the Safeway supermarket at Mill Valley, a few miles north of the Golden Gates bridge, unfortunately there were two in Mill Valley and we chose the wrong one, luckily two Minis were there as well and thanks to the organization that goes into these events, Randy and Tami Davis were soon able to contact the rest and we were able to join the group of nearly 40 MINIS at the correct start.
Although REME cater for classic Minis and new MINIs, today’s run consists only of the later cars including two Clubmans; a Cooper and a Cooper S
Our second glitch happened when we followed the wrong Mini along the Freeway and missed the turn off, again thanks to the excellent roadbook compiled for the run, we were able to regain the route and catch the group at the first stop; on top of Mount Tamalpais. The views from up here are fantastic with San Francisco and the Bay to the south and the Pacific to the West.
After a short beak, we set off back down the mountain and along the Marin County coast before heading in land again to the Cheese Factory for lunch.
The members if REME had traveled from a wide area around the Bay and it was good to see how members who had not previously met soon introduced themselves and started chatting, we were made equally welcome and it is a good reflection of the open, friendly nature of the club.
Talk inevitably included the Minis and the modifications made to them, and these were extensive. Of the 40 cars present, no two looked the same, and even those with an apparently standard looking exterior revealed a host of goodies when the bonnet was lifted
After lunch, we looped back to the coast and crossed from Marin to Sonoma County before the finish at Petaluma
Cracking day Gromit!