Mike Hinton  by Mike Hinton, Redwood Region Secretary

There are many ways to welcome the first day of a new year. Those who choose to revel in the New Year's Eve ceremony look forward to a few extra hours of sleep. Others set up camp in front of the HDTV to watch the Rose Parade or some of the 20 college football bowl games (OK - maybe it's only 5!). For me, the best way to ring in the new year is to take a spirited drive in my Porsche, accompanied by like-minded enthusiasts! 

Fortunately, our new Vice-President Chris Harrell organized the Redwood Region's second annual New Year's Day Breakfast Run. This year's edition was dubbed the One One Fun Run. An appropriate name, as things turned out.

Cars began gathering at the meeting point shortly after 8:30 a.m. Coffee and other beverages were secured. Old acquaintances were renewed, and new ones made. As the 9:30 meeting time approached, the parking lot filled with Porsches of all ages and models. What an incredible variety of cars! Much of Porsche's model history was represented in our group, with the exception of Panameras. Some of you members must have them, so bring them out and let's see them! We both know that they are fun to drive on curvy roads....

By 10:15, we had wrapped up the formalities of sign-in sheets and drivers' instructions, and we prepared to hit the road. Unlike 1/1/11, which was wet and rainy, the first day of 2012 greeted us with perfect driving weather. In fact, due to the lack of rain in the past several weeks, the route was completely clear and mostly free of potential black ice spots (hitting one of those while turning could ruin your whole day!).

I'm sure our group of 45 Porsches (with 65 participants!) created quite a stir as we all funneled onto Highway 101, headed for the first twisty road of the day: Lucas Valley Road. After re-grouping at a convenient turnout, we started up and over the top of the hill towards Nicasio, with the cars following the route in a gigantic conga line. The route wound its way through Nicasio Valley, and after about 45 minutes, we gathered in the parking lot of the Marin French Cheese Company for group photo opportunities.

From the "Cheese Factory", we drove a couple miles on Hicks Valley Road and then turned left onto Marshall-Petaluma Road, headed for the coast. Marshall-Petaluma Road is a narrow, bumpy roller-coaster ride from inland to Tomales Bay. Being in the middle of the group was fun, as we were able to watch the cars ahead of us climbing and descending the hills in formation, with many beautiful views along the way, especially at the top of the ridge, where we caught our first glimpse of the waters of Tomales Bay.

From Marshall-Petaluma Road, it was time to head north on Highway 1 toward Tomales. This section of Highway 1 is delightful in a Porsche, with a smooth road surface and a variety of challenging curves along the way. By maintaining adequate following distances, you could leave enough space from the car in front of you to take some of the curves with extra gusto.

The group took a well-deserved rest stop in Tomales, then it was onward to our destination of the historic  Union Hotel in Occidental. Again, the roads were in generally good condition, except for the one suspension-rattling bump on Highway 1 before we reached Valley Ford. Ouch! I don't think anyone suffered rim or tire damage though.

Thanks to the members who helped herd our large group into the various parking lots and into the dining room.  It's a good thing that the Union Hotel has a large banquet room, because our enthusiastic group took up a large portion of the room. The restaurant did a good job of keeping track of everyone's orders (they even had separate checks for each group, which makes the money thing much simpler), and a good time was had by all.

I was asked to address the group with a few words, and what I said then bears repeating here: On behalf of the Board, and the Region, thanks to all of YOU for making the event truly a "One One Fun Run!"

Hope to see you at the next event! 


Porsches at Marin French Cheese Company

Porsches fill the parking lot at Marin French Cheese Company on the "One One Fun Run"
(photo by Chris Harrell)