Fun in the Sonoma Sun - Brunch Run to Sonoma, February 4, 2012

by Mark and Joan Campagna, Redwood Region Members

Saturday, February 4 dawned sunny and cool this year: a great day for the February 2012 run of the Redwood Region Porsche Club. My wife, Joan, and I had arrived hoping for a ride as fun as we'd heard the "One One Fun Run" had been. Unfortunately, we missed that run. However, there was still time to say Gung Hay Fat Choy!

And that was our mindset early Saturday morning, as 28 gleaming Porsches turned up at Novato's Vintage Oaks shopping center for the Brunch Run to Carneros Bistro in Sonoma. After the usual Club activities (introductions, drivers' meeting, etc.) by the usual suspects, we hit the road about 9:40 a.m. Heading back down 101 S for one exit, we looped onto CA-37 E and headed out on our 60-mile adventure.

The run took us through several different geographic landscapes, each with its own beauty, and each a reason why we get together to do what we do. From CA-37 E, we turned onto Lakeville Highway, traveling past the Petaluma River and wetlands, part of a robust stream of traffic that Saturday morning. A right onto CA-116 E/Stage Gulch Road brought us to a world of gently rolling hills dotted with farms and dairies. Our car was near the front our caravan, and as we looked back we saw 20 or so sets of bright eyes snaking over the curves like a long Chinese dragon dancing down the road. The sun was shining and the temps were invigorating; all was right with the world.

Skirting downtown Sonoma, we picked up CA-12 W on the northwest side of town and followed that to Trinity Road and Dry Creek Road, where the adventure really started. No more rolling hills: we were now on classic California mountain roads, the kind our Porsches were built to love. Time to indulge! The next 15 miles or so were a workout for car and driver alike, with numerous switchbacks, steep grades, sweeping vistas, narrow roads, and mile after mile of deep, quiet, primordial forest...the type of forest my wife calls a "state of grace."

That was what it felt like when we crested Oakville Grade Road and saw northern Napa Valley spread out before us. The vista took our breath away! Though it turned out to be a wrong turn - we should have continued on Dry Creek Road - the detour was not without benefit. We are small in this world and that bears remembering, and life has a way of making sure we don't forget it. Cresting that grade was one of those moments for us.

Turning onto CA-29 S we regrouped briefly, much to the curiosity of those who passed. But luck was with us, and our caravan was pointed in the right direction so we continued south, picking up our planned route again at Redwood Blvd. and continuing on from there without event. Several more neighborhood roads brought us to CA-12 W, where we zipped back to Sonoma for the second reason the Club gets together to do what we do: enjoy food!

Carneros Bistro in Sonoma turned out to be an attractive and welcoming restaurant. Our group was seated in the main dining room, which easily accommodated our 40+ adventurers. Equally pleasant-looking were smaller-sized outside patios that ringed the restaurant. Brunch was served buffet style at the counter and accommodated tastes ranging from continental to eggs or omelets cooked to order, to boxes of cereal, to vegetarian. We didn't notice too many empty plates as we made our second trip up to the counter!

The sun was still shining as my wife and I left the Bistro a short while later and headed south, linking back up with several club members at Sonnen Porsche in Mill Valley to check out the new 911. Like kids in a candy store, we all gathered round, big smiles on our faces as we imagined what it would be like to just slip behind the wheel and...sweet dreams!


Carneros Bistro

It was a beautiful day for Redwood Region;s first
Brunch Run of 2012 to
Carneros Bistro & Bar in Sonoma

Porsches in the Parking lot

Porsches pack the parking lot at
Carneros Bistro and Bar in Sonoma