October 2018 Motoring Report
Mines Road North-to-South
Mines Road is an extremely popular FunRun drive. So much so, we decided this year to run it twice: once from the North, going South toward San Jose. And a month later in September, we drove it in the reverse direction toward Livermore in the North. Here is Ron Castle’s report on the North-to-South event.
By Ron Castle, Mines Road FunRun Event Producer
GGR drivers are blessed to live in a region where great roads exist in all directions. Our August Fun Run went some 70 miles into the East Bay hills and began on Mines Rd. It was bliss. Smoke from the unfortunate fires that have gripped attention of the Bay Area disappeared for the day. Perfect weather, a great mix of people, and clear roads were all the right ingredients to make a fun run great. A growing interest in Porsche sport cars is still very strong. Eight first time members came out for their first fun run. That is over 20% of the entire grid! There was something for everybody: cars with rear spoilers (wings), air cooled cars well-cared and loved by their owners of course, new 718’s, and the usual suspects that saved Porsche like 996’s and earlier 986 Boxsters (like mine).
Once we left the edge of civilization in Livermore on Mines Road we went southbound to the middle of nowhere. Actually, it was along the steep hills of Arroyo Mocho Canyon alongside Mocho Creek (a 34 mile creek with a self-sustaining Rainbow Trout population that can migrate to the lower watershed from Alameda Creek). Further along we enjoyed uninterrupted stretches of oaks, wide open grassy fields, and wonderful sweepers. Once the California Foothill Pines come into view we expect the road to climb as we meet the base of Mount Hamilton’s east side.
Ascending upward to 4,000’ is a lot to ask of our cars on a warm day but they all made it to the top with some engine temperatures reported heating up to much higher than normal.
Our reward were stunning views such as this one at the top of James Lick Observatory:
The top of Mount Hamilton gave us a chance to stretch our legs and socialize a little more with fellow members. But it quickly became time to head off to lunch navigating what felt like 365 turns (one for everyday of the year) before making our way to sea level.
The decent to lunch wasn’t without surprise however. A large sandy brown Bobcat ten feet from the right side of our car leaped in front of us to cross the road. It made it across safely. Nonetheless a firm reminder to be ‘wildsmart’ while enjoying our Porsches in the hinterlands.
At the Italian restaurant the members seemed to be having a good time and enjoying the all you can eat buffet. While gazing about the restaurant I began to reflect on the joy these fun runs really do bring. How fortunate we are to share the passion of driving with new and experienced members. The food and driving stories were great and the company was even better. All too soon lunch was over and it was time to head for home. It is safe to say that the Mines Road Tour was a huge success.