's Orange County Tour, January 1, 2006

Judy and I decided on New Year's Eve (over pizza and champagne) to try to participate in one of the multiple-make, open attendance fun runs being held on New Year's Day this year. Folks in our club, the SoCal MINI Maniacs, had posted info and expressed interest in a couple of them: one starting in North Hollywood, and the other starting in Crystal Cove (between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach). We ended up going with the Crystal Cove event mainly because the scheduled start time was an hour later, and that gave us a little more time to wake up.

We made really good time getting to the event, as traffic on PCH early New Year's Day was almost entirely non-existent. The only real traffic we encountered was a huge cluster of around 200 bicyclists taking up 2 of 3 travel lanes near Huntington Beach!

We didn't get a lot of pictures this time, as we only brought my camera. But Judy did manage to snag a few shots to share with folks. This run was very informal, and lots of fun. The directions and map were clear and easy to follow, and it was great to find new twisty roads and see new sights. We had about 10 MINIs show up to represent among the many Porsches, BMWs, Ferraris, Corvettes, Mustangs, mid-50's Chevys, Miatas, Hondas, assorted muscle cars, and others. There was also a DeTomaso Pantera, a funky luxurious Citroen, and three Herbie Love Bug replicas. It was great seeing all the nice cars and their enthusiastic caretakers. Thanks to the organizers at! We're ready to go again next year!

(Click on any thumbnail for a larger image.)

Starting out from the Crystal Cove Promenade parking lot.
Spiked Mike in the "Lear Jet" let's us into the queue.

George Marsh's MINI, just after he snapped a blind pic of us through his moonroof.

Another shot of George's MINI and the line ahead, waiting to exit the parking area.
No, the SUV didn't stay for the run.

A look back as we get out onto the road. Nice Chevelle!

The coastal highway, heading South toward Laguna Beach

Spiked Mike pulling up alongside. I hit the gas just as Judy snapped the pic. Sorry!

Mike and George pretending to drag at the stoplight.

Juan Calderon in a quiet moment.

Into or out of downtown Laguna Beach, I think.

Lexter and Hopester getting a pic of us getting a pic.

MINIs, mid-50's Chevys, "Pheraris" (see his plate), and misty hills made for a great motoring experience!

A miasma of MINIs! Most of us stayed together during the run.

A view out the back at new SCMM members, Don, Diana, and Alex. Hope you folks had a good time! Sorry we didn't get to chat more.

Hopester grabbing another pic of Judy grabbing another pic from the other side!

Not sure which road this was, but it sure was fun!

I think this is part of Live Oak canyon Road... The lighting made it feel like we were in another world!

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(Modified 18:30 PST - January 1, 2006)