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Peak to Peak Drive

On Saturday, May 12, 2018, 18 Miata's from the Bay Area Miata Association rallied at Blvd Coffee of Almaden at 9AM. Several of us enjoyed their delicious coffee and yummy breakfast sandwiches.

After welcoming a couple of new members, we ascended to "The Cube" atop Mount Umunhum. We circled the Miatas at the top for group aerial photo. We marveled at the views of the San Jose area but the fog covered Santa Cruz which was a marvel of it's own.

We drove back down Mount Umunhum into New Almaden and crossed the South Valley through the Coyote Valley and back up the other side on Metcalf Road passing the Old United Technology rocket fuel testing site.

 We enjoyed lunch at the at Beach Hut Deli before setting out for Mt Hamilton.

Unfortunately, a couple folks had to leave after lunch, the remaining 15 cars made our way to Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton. Once at the top we enjoyed a fascinating docent talk at the 36-inch refractor telescope. 

The rest of us had heard a rumor that the road to Livermore was closed until 4PM for construction. It was about 3:30pm when we left the top of Mt. Hamilton. Half of us took the chance to wind our way down the back of Mt Hamilton and through San Antonio Valley. The rest called it a day and headed back down the front of Mt. Hamilton and home.

Our gambled payed off and the road was open by time we reached the construction area. We arrived in Livermore via Mines Rd, said our good byes, and drove off into the sunset.

See you at the next one!

By Kirk Wilson (with edits)

 

Annual Picnic with Friends and a Special Guest

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Bay Area Miata Association (BAMA) gathered in Huddart Park in Woodside on Saturday April 28, 2018 to celebrate another successful year as a car enthusiast club. The weather was cool and the rain held off while we all enjoyed each other’s warm company and the delicious variety of picnic food brought to share. Many of us enjoyed second and third helpings. 

The picnic included a “Shine & Show” event. After enjoying our tasty meal and great conversation, the crowd moved towards the cars lined up in two rows in the parking lot. Owners were dusting off their Miatas and adding the final shine for our special guest, Tom Matano, who BAMA president, Mike A., described as the “Father of the Miata”.

Tom had the difficult task of judging which cars were the best of their class. Tom said the cars were all well cared for and maintained, he had some tough decisions to make. Before handing out the awards Tom delighted the crowd with stories about the early history of the Miata.

Red sports cars had adorned the covers of popular sports car magazines. Mazda wanted another standout color, along with red, for the original Miatas. Tom said that yellow was supposed to be one of those colors. However, it took some experimentation with primers, etc. to get the yellow they wanted. Tom had suggested “Mariner Blue” which was available 1990 through 1993. Sunburst Yellow was introduced in 1992. Scott A’s 2002 “Sunburst Yellow” was awarded the trophy for “Best NB”. 

Many thanks to Shirley, Joy & Wendy for planning a very successful picnic.

Several Miata owners got together after the picnic and decided to go on a drive to the beach. Gorkem lead the drive through Pescadero and down to Ben Lomand, driving on what seemed to be almost all of the twisty turny roads on the peninsula. We parted ways at Saratoga after an exhilarating drive. 

We’re all looking forward to next year’s picnic, which should probably include extra blankets and hand warmers.

See Photo Album of the Annual Picnic >>

Mystery Drive to the Filoli House & Gardens

After a bit of a rough start, mostly due to California’s unpredictable Spring weather, the BAMA drivers rolled into their final destination, Filoli, Woodside, CA. The skies turned from rain to nice white fluffy clouds and blue sky.

The group divided up into another three groups and followed very knowledgeable docents throughout the house and gardens. The story of Filoli (an acronym for Fight Love Live) is of a great San Francisco family, the Bourns, who made their mark in CA history with gold mines and the Spring Valley water company. 

The second family who owned the home, the Roth’s, were in transportation (R/R). The house tour included history of the two families who lived in the beautiful countryside estate. Many of the furnishings were owned by the families or were from the same time-period and were donated for exhibiting at Filoli. 

In 1975 the house was bequeathed to the National Trust for Historic Preservation with an endowment. Its expansive gardens are maintained by 14 gardeners and hundreds of volunteers. The daffodils and tulips were in bloom, the trees were just budding, and the air was crisp from the fresh fallen rain. 

The tour ended, of course, in the lovely gift shop, where we could purchase mementos, including a plant or two, of our visit to this CA treasure. The resident peacock also made his appearance.

We enjoyed lunch in the small café munching on salads, sandwiches and scrumptious desserts.  Afterwards, we parted ways, tired and satisfied after a wonderful afternoon together in the California sunshine.  For more information about Filoli go to: https://filoli.org

Moss Landing Drive and Phil's Fish Market Lunch

On Saturday morning we gathered for some friendly chat and hot coffee before heading out together on one of our favorite runs. We had about 20 cars, 30 members and guests to enjoy the sights as we zigged-zagged through the Santa Cruz foothills to the coast at Moss Landing and eventually back over the mountain as the fun continued. The weather could not have been better, crisp air and sunny skies make for a great top down ride. 

Thanks to Walt for orchestrating and leading us on a great trip. Walt found a very nice, scenic route via Bear Creek Road.

Phil’s Fish Market did not disappoint and was as delicious as always. Parking is always a challenge at Phil’s as it’s popularity on a sunny, brisk day was very evident. The line to get in was out into the parking lot. From Phil’s we cruised to Castroville to the Farmer’s Market for fresh artichokes and other fresh veggies & fruits. We took advantage of an almost empty parking lot, line up the Miatas for a great photo opportunity.

We managed to turn left back onto the highway and drove some wonderful twisty, turning roads to Gzditch Farms for some pie, ala mode, coffee and juice. There we saw another car club, the Thunderbirds! Another great photo opportunity.

Filled to the brim with pie, coffee & juice we drove on to Uvas Reservoir to check out the height of the water.  The Miata drivers lined up their cars again and the cameras came out again. Now there is some great aerial footage and a couple of videos from our drive on the website. You’ve got to check them out! We have some very talented videographers in the group. 

Annual Meeting at OakTree Mazda

BAMA held its annual meeting with a full house of attendees and welcomed the new BAMA board of directors for 2018 on Sunday, January 21. We were pleased to meet four of our newest members and have their participation in the discussions. We even had a couple of recent members volunteer to lead upcoming drives.

The agenda covered exciting plans for new drives and some overnight trips to be coordinated by our expanded event committee. New methods were proposed for making it easier for members to contribute ideas. Be sure to check the event calendar on the website and look for notifications on the BAMA Facebook page for scheduled events.

We want to give a big-shout out to the generous hospitality of OakTree Mazda for making their conference room available to us and for providing tasty sandwiches for lunch.

Many of us had fun looking at the new inventory of MX-5's. On the showroom floor, we got to checkout the latest MX-5 with the cherry red soft-top which was decked out with an added Brembo/BBS package and Recaro sport seats.

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Stuart is a prospective member and is shopping for his first Miata. He seemed to really like this classic 1991 NA British Racing Green special edition.

The Election Results Are In

Left to right: Gorkem, Mike, Joy, Gary, Susan

The election results for the BAMA board of directors were confirmed on Saturday, January 21 and the board of directors for 2018 are:

Elected Board

  • President: Mike Abell
  • Vice President: Gary Allen  
  • Treasurer: Gorkem Cakir   
  • Membership Coordinator: Joy Robinson
  • Recording Secretary: Susan Bean

Appointments

  • Media Coordinator: Steve Bean
  • Event Coordinator: Wendy Allen
  • Event Committee Advisors: Walt Lightfoot and Rollo Dowling

Thanks to those of you who voted in this election. Your participation in the club is valuable.

Polar Bear Run

Mazda USA reached out to BAMA on behalf of Mazda USA’s social media team to see if our club and members were willing to brave the cold on New Year’s Day for a nationwide Miata celebration. #MiataPolarBear

That challenge was accepted. Eighteen from BAMA and two guests from LA, 18 in all, in 10 Miatas, and one OTM (it was a Mazda at least) braved the sunshine and temps in the mid-60’s to drive top down on New Year’s Day. Some of us wore polar bear gear and had polar bear mascots to celebrate the challenge.

We met at Woodside Plaza in Redwood City, CA and around 10:30 am drove the seemingly ‘made for Miata’ twisty, curvy road over Skyline Drive to La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve, Woodside, CA. Sears Ranch Road Parking Lot and Lower La Honda Creek is now open. There are miles and miles of hiking trails on the preserve, however, this time we only stopped for the breathtaking views and photo ops.

Reluctantly we left the Preserve and headed to the very eclectic San Gregorio General Store for more photo ops, rest stop and provisions.

From the General Store we headed towards Half Moon Bay and lunch at the 3-Zero Café at Half Moon Bay airport. The café was quite busy and we enjoyed watching the small aircraft take off and land, as well as each other’s company, while we waited for our lunches. The food was outstanding, well worth the wait. 

From there we went our separate ways enjoying other twisty, curvy roads on this spectacular CA New Year’s Day. We welcomed in 2018 doing our favorite thing, driving our Miatas. Zoom Zoom. 

Poinsettia Run

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Eight cars and fifteen individuals made the lovely drive through the Livermore hills to the Robert Ferry Nut Company in Waterford. The staff was very hospitable and we tasted a variety of fresh nuts, popcorns and candies. 

From there we proceeded to the Duarte nursery in Hughson for a tour of their poinsettia shop. It is like going to a Costco that only sells poinsettias and cyclamens. 

A T bird club from Modesto was visiting at the same time and we saw a beautiful 1955 model and 2 1957’s. From there we went to the Golden Corral in Modesto for lunch and then broke up.

It was a great drive and as always Walt Lightfoot did a splendid job in leading it.

See Photo Album of the Poinsettia Run >>

A Scenic Ride Through San Francisco Bay Area

Many thanks to Gary & Wendy for arranging a wonderful drive. We met at the Sunrise Café in Pacifica and had a wonderful breakfast meeting up with some other BAMA members including our newest members Russ and Alex Daley in their green NA. 

Everyone signed in and at driver’s meeting Gary passed out directions and a driving map of our route. We headed out towards the Golden Gate Bridge and had a very interesting and scenic drive through the city. Some native Californians had not been in some of the parts we drove through. We drove past some beautiful homes, surfers and many people walking along the bay were enjoying the lovely weather.  

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We pulled off into a parking lot so the last few cars could catch up before we drove across the Golden Gate. Along the route we saw some people enjoying the drive in the little yellow sightseeing cars that weren’t much smaller than our Miatas.  

Our next stop was Fort Cronkhite for a planned picnic and brief Board Meeting.  There we met some difficulty finding a parking space as there was a road race and a surfing event taking place. However, we can be creative with our smaller cars and managed to find spaces and a couple of picnic tables for lunch.  We had a lively board meeting, minutes will be posted once approved.  

From Fort Cronkhite we drive into Sausalito for dinner. After breakfast and a picnic lunch we thought we might not be hungry but the food at Salito’s was so good we could not resist plates of shrimp, fish & chips, fish sandwiches, and some of us even had dessert.  

It was a great day, lovely weather, scenic views, successful board meeting, great food and even better company.  Thanks again Gary for leading a fabulous drive. 

Car Show in Pleasanton

BAMA was well represented at the Cars on Main show sponsored by our bank, First Republic Bank in Pleasanton, on Thursday Sep 14. Shirley and Ken Christensen's classic red NA, Steve Wilson's blazing yellow NB and Walt Lightfoot's soul red ND were on display.  The bank hosted us to BBQ and entertainment.

Other cars in the show were a Pantera, Jaguar XKS, Chevy beach wagon, Corvette, Viper, Boxter, Chevy El Camino, and 1937 Dodge.

Sonoma Run

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Eleven cars, nineteen members, and guests met in Glen Ellen on August 19 at a little coffee shop on Arnold Drive. The club paraded over Trinity Road/Oakville grade stopping towards the bottom to photograph the majesty of the Napa Valley. From there we drove to downtown Sonoma via highway 29, followed by hooking up with Old Sonoma Road, Old Sonoma Highway, Highway 116 and finally Highway 12 which dropped us into the Sonoma square. 

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We had a lovely lunch at the Old Swiss Hotel. At the hotel two additional guests from Rohnert Park who had not registered joined the group midstream. After lunch, some left to go home or wine tasting, others walked over to the original Williams of Sonoma store and were treated to a historical overview by the store manager. A smaller group still stopped in at the local Peets coffee for a beverage before their return home.

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Mystery Drive

Saturday was the Mystery Drive with Walt L. leading. Walt kept the locations a mystery until we actually got there. We had 14 cars and 27 people. To throw us off Walt said the first stop was to see Willie Wonka, we were all thinking chocolate! However, it was a miniature train club.  The trains were in a huge abandoned warehouse in Crockett, CA. The miniature train club members came and ran all the trains for us and patiently answered many questions. The work they put into the train display was amazing and we all had a great time. We were not disappointed that there wasn’t any chocolate! 

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Next stop was to The Nantucket Seafood Restaurant where we all feasted on clam chowder, fish & chips, crab cakes, and various other sumptuous fish plates. We had some great conversations and got to know several new BAMA members who joined us on this excursion. 

After we got our fill of fish, etc. we drove to the Bailey Art Museum in Crockett, CA. Clayton Bailey has on exhibit ceramic sculptures and robots built out of everyday metal objects, like coffee makers, teapots & old roasters. Betty Bailey, Clayton’s wife, had her watercolor drawings on exhibit and Dr. Gladstone had his pseudo-scientific curiosities. Check out the website at claytonbailey.com.  If you’re ever in Crockett  (also home of Aldo Ray) this museum is worth a look.

Our fourth and final destination was Port Costa, which according to Wikipedia was once the United States busiest wheat shipping port. We went into the Port Costa pub to get out of the heat where on exhibit was a huge stuffed polar bear in a glass case. They also had other eclectic displays.  Several of us visited the little antique shop on the corner where there was a small treasure, a Sweetgrass basket, made in Charleston, SC. This brought back memories of watching Gullah women from Daufuskie Island making Sweetgrass baskets in Charleston City Market.    

We all went our separate ways after having a great time on a successful Mystery Tour.  Many thanks to Walt for putting together a fun and very interesting BAMA drive. 

Yosemite Drive & Adventures

 " It is easier to feel than to realize, or in any way explain, Yosemite grandeur. The magnitude of the rocks and trees and streams are so delicately harmonized, they are mostly hidden. "  —John Muir

"It is easier to feel than to realize, or in any way explain, Yosemite grandeur. The magnitude of the rocks and trees and streams are so delicately harmonized, they are mostly hidden."  —John Muir

  Rollo & Penny

Rollo & Penny

The telling of the story of this run is best done by the many pictures taken by our Club members. Six cars with 12 enthusiasts enjoyed the many twisty roads, DiCicco's Restaurant on Friday evening, a 7:30am departure from Best Western Hotel Saturday morning, and an intense day visiting Yosemite's grand sights.

Bridal Veil Falls and Yosemite Falls were almost unimaginable in their glory. At Happy Isles, the massive power of the snow runoff was displayed.

The Merced River was almost overflowing, and very rapid. Touring buses provided transportation about the Valley, providing a multitude of visual displays not available anywhere else.

An afternoon zoom-zoom trip up the mountain put us at Glacier Point, with a spectacular view of Yosemite Valley (snowed-in just 2 days later).

Most of the members made it to dinner at the Wawona Hotel, now called Big Trees. Fine foods and desserts were consumed and stories of our day's discoveries were shared.

On Sunday, only 4 hearty souls made the ride on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad to see the living history of the old logging days.

It was exceptional; much chugging, steam blowing, temperature dropping, and imaginations in high gear thinking of all the tasks the lumberjacks had to perform on such steep mountain sides.


  Steve & Susan

Steve & Susan

The drive to Yosemite was very pleasant, we had intermittent rain showers, but once we got to Oakhurst the weather was very nice. We met up with the rest of the gang at DiCicco’s restaurant and had a great time with excellent food and drink. Tom Woods, a long time BAMA member, joined us for the evening meal after showing off his new Fiat 124 Spider. 

 

We had an early breakfast at the Best Western Hotel in Oakhurst and set out for the drive to Yosemite. Our first stop was the Tunnel View which was spectacular as always and whetted our appetite for more of Yosemite. From there we drove to Bridal Veil Falls. However, the Falls were streaming so much water that visitors coming from the Falls were soaking wet. A few passed along a plastic rain poncho to those who were brave enough to make the journey. We were not among those brave ones, however, Walt’s grandson, Devin, was among the brave and got some great shots of the Falls and came back rather soaked. 

From there we attempted to find parking in the village, many others had the same idea and we after much searching abandoned that idea and headed for Glacier Point. We stopped at a pull over and found a picnic table where we had a quick packed lunch and got some great photos of our car with the Bridal Veil Falls as a back drop. The creek was high with rushing water, we couldn’t have planned a more picturesque picnic spot. 

It was a chilly, foggy drive to the top and we were skeptical about the view once at the top. We were delighted to find sunny skies, big white fluffy clouds and warmer temperature. We spent a good deal of time there and got some great photos. We even saw a wedding party, including a cute flower girl, getting their photos taken. The bride was lovely and we’re sure their wedding photos will be spectacular.  After munching on an ice cream bar and getting our fill of photos we headed back down the mountain. 

On the way down Gary & Wendy passed us headed to the top. We pulled over at an overlook for another view of the beautiful scenery and before too long Gary & Wendy came back down the mountain and joined us.  Shortly we had more BAMA members joining us at the overlook and had an impromptu meeting and discussion about our evening plans.

Later we all met up at Big Trees Hotel & Restaurant, formerly Wawona, and had a lively conversation and a sumptuous dinner.

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Next morning most headed back towards home, four of us in two cars went on to the Yosemite Sugar Pine Railroad for a short trip around the mountain. It was a cold morning, we had heard some of the roads into Yosemite were closed due to icy conditions. It was cold enough to see our breath, several people, including us, waiting for the train bought extra blankets from the gift shop for the ride.  Huddled under our blankets, we all enjoyed the chilly ride. Happy to have had a wonderful weekend with friends and spectacular scenery we headed home. 

Photo album for the 2017 Yosemite Drive & Adventures >>

 

Carmel Valley Drive

After greeting three new members and fueling ourselves at Starbucks, we departed south out of San Jose via Mckean and Oak Glen, past the very full Calero and Chesbro Reservoirs, and ended up on Watsonville Rd. 

We continue southbound on Watsonville Rd and popped over Mt. Madonna via the fun and twisty Hwy 152.  With all our willpower, we made it past Gizdich Ranch and continue heading south-east through the Pajaro foothills south of Watsonville.

We continue our southerly journey via Hwy 183 into the Salinas Valley and work our way over to Reservation Rd / River Rd eventually arriving at Mission Soledad. We beat the heat by walking through the thick adobe walled mission.

The last leg before lunch, we round our way from the Salinas valley up Carmel Valley Rd. Even with slow traffic, keeping our Miatas from doing what they do best, we enjoyed a very sunny warm ride to lunch at the Trailside Cafe & Beer Garden.

After lunch we parted ways. Some spent the night in the Carmel area and others made their way home after enjoying the 17 mile drive.

BAMA 27th Anniversary Picnic

This was our Anniversary Picnic celebrating 27 years since our club's founding. It was a beautiful day at Huddart Park in San Mateo County. The weather was fine with sun and clouds (no rain!) and only a slight breeze. The park was lush with spring green ferns and flowers.The small creek by our picnic area was flowing quickly over cascades.  

Thanks to Shirley and Ken Christensen, the bbq had plenty of hot charcoals when the main group arrived. We had a good turnout of members with lots of shared food and a fun "spin the wheel" game and prizes. 

  • 1st place: Allen Fong—$50 Visa gift card
  • 2nd place: Joy Robinson—$25 Visa gift card
  • 3rd place: Joe Armstead—2 movie passes & 2 boxes of movie candy. 
    (mistakenly gave prize to Gary & Wendy first
  • Last place: Rollo Dowling—a toy bird, an eagle or perhaps a turkey?
  • Other misc prizes....

Mostly we enjoyed chatting and looking at each other's cars, of course. Miatas of all models were there from Frankie Armstead's black 1992 with the pop-up headlights to Walt Lightfoot's and Marc Salit's 2016 Soul Red beauties. All were in great shape.

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Fun in the Sun, Phil's Fish and Freshly Baked Pie

On Saturday, March 11, we finally were able to get out and drive our Miatas with the tops down. A group of 13 cars with a total of 24 people met at our traditional meeting spot, Starbucks in Los Gatos.

We followed a new route through San Jose and Morgan Hill over Hecker Pass Highway to Moss Landing. It was a beautiful day. Temperatures in the 70's. The hills were green with all the new growth due to our winter rains.

When we arrived at Phil's Fish Market, the place was busy with lots of people out enjoying themselves. Several of our members commented that the food was better than ever.

After lunch we returned through Watsonville to Gizdich Ranch. There we enjoyed fresh apple juice and slices of their famous fruit pies.

Finally full, we made our way back over Hecker Pass. This time we took the turn onto Uvas Road and stopped at the reservoir. It was full of water! That was quite a change from the low water levels we have seen in previous years.  

We then drove through the scenic hills back to Los Gatos where we stopped at Peet's for a final chat.  All in all it was a fine first outing for 2017.

Making Plans for Sunnier Days and Top Down Drives

The annual meeting was held on Sunday, January 8, 2017 at Oak Tree Mazda in San Jose. Due to a major storm with high winds and lots of rain in the area, only a few of us were able to make it this year. Unfortunately some of our members were also suffering with the flu and other ailments.

Even so, we had a lively meeting with discussion of exciting plans for 2017. A strong effort to increase membership outreach and improve communications is one of BAMA’s main goals for this coming year. 

New BAMA members Kirk and Ronda

On that note, we were pleased to welcome our newest member Kirk who joined us on Sunday and bravely drove his brand new ceramic metallic MX-5 RF to the meeting. 

Oak Tree Mazda had an RF model in the showroom a few of us got to check out.  We’ll have to come back on a sunny day to take it for a spin.

We really appreciate the hospitality at Oak Tree Mazda for providing a comfortable meeting space and a tasty lunch. 

Steve and Susan feeling comfy in this new ride

The Election Results Are In

The elections for BAMA board of directors concluded on Saturday, January 8 and the board of directors for 2017 will be:

  • President: Mike Abell
  • Vice President: Walt Lightfoot  
  • Treasurer: Shirley Christensen   
  • Membership Coordinator: Joy Robinson
  • Recording Secretary: Rollo Dowling
  • Media Coordinator: Steve Bean (appointed)

Thanks to those of you who voted in this election. Your participation in the club is valuable.

Bocce Ball, Dinner and Evening Drive

Last night a lively group of 22, including some new members, gathered for the Bocce, Dinner, and Drive event.  

The Bocce was a spirited match between the "red" and "green" teams.  Some of the players were old hands but several had never played and didn't know the rules.  They found that it was easy to learn and fun to play.  The final score was red team by only one point!

Then we had a full table for dinner.  Lots of good food and conversation.  

After dinner, we held our traditional drivers meeting while ogling the newest MX5 (model D) in the group.  Then we were off for a sunset cruise through vineyards, ranch lands, and windmills,  Stopped for a mid-drive break, then we were off again through the darkening hills and valleys of Livermore, on to Sunol, and then a very dark drive on Foothill Road to Pleasanton where we stopped to admire the cars in the Specialty Cars showroom.  An old BRG roadster caught my eye!  

Then we drove home by the light of the rising full moon.  A lovely end to a fine event.

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