Over this past weekend, I heard some chatter about switching out this year’s annual Tour d’Hoe for something around the Napa / Sonoma Valleys. 

I’m all for providing as much help as possible on this front. I have some experience with the Napa Valley (I work closely with hotel owners and vineyard owners in the valleys) and would love to help organize. 

My biggest issue is that I never attended a Tour d’Hoe, so I’m a bit inexperienced as to the expectations of the event. 

1. Is the event similar to the West Coast Gathering? Ie. Two night overnight stay, organized ride, lunches, dinners, etc?

2. Do people plan on spending the night, or is it thought of as a 1-day cruise, then return back home?

3. Do we see this as a drive through the twisties, or is it a tour of some wineries (there are a few car-specific wineries in the valleys)?

4. Timing. When was the Tour d’Hoe usually planned?  September is terrible for wine country as it’s Harvest season and tends to be crowded and potentially hot.  If an overnight stay is desired, room rates in September are 3-4 times higher than normal season.  The end of October / beginning of November starts bringing some fall-like colors to the valley.  Room rates drop, and tourists go back to their respective homes.  But the possibility of rain starts to exist in November.

5. Attendance.  I know this varies, but historically how many cars/folks have been interested in the Tour d’Hoe?  Would roughly the same about be interested in a Tour d’Vino?

Would love your feedback. If anyone else would like to assist in the organization, please let me know. 

 

 

 

 

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In the past Tour D' Hoe was the weekend after labor day. We'd meet in Auburn on Thursday and stay at the Comfort Inn, IIRC. Meet for dinner out on Thursday evening and leave for South Lake Tahoe Friday morning. The drive to SLT was the main drive. People did what they wanted for dinner Friday evening but groups formed so no one ate alone. Saturday we went on personal excursions around the area, others went on a boat ride around Lake Tahoe on Noel's boat, but we met as a group for dinner Saturday evening. Sunday people returned to Auburn either individually or in groups.

Much less structured than the West Coast Cruise and far less people. When I went in 2017 it was probably twelve of us. No route books, no raffles, no shirts, just some driving, carousing, socializing, and hanging out. Still a lot of fun.

In my opinion, winery's are winery's, you've seen one you've seen them all. Tahoe, Sequoia, Yosemite are much more beautiful and appealing to me. A cruise with the focus of driving Hiway 1 from Morro Bay to Monterey would be awesome!  Spend Friday night in Morro Bay and Saturday night in Monterey with dinner and all the festivities.

Hey @Kevin - Bay Area,

As @Robert M mentioned, Tour d'Hoe has been a more intimate affair. I started this event several years ago as a 1 day tour (the weeken after Labor Day), starting at the Holiday Inn in Auburn and winding through the foothills and Tahoe National Forest before arriving for lunch at Meeks Bay or Sunnyside, then head home by way of 89 through Emerald Bay and back down 50 to 49.

In 2015 it grew to a two night stay in South Lake Tahoe with some participants arriving Thursday in Auburn with a barbecue at our house that evening. It was a well attended affair with approximately 15 cars and 35-40 people. Noel arranged the hotel, Mitch and I worked out the drive.

The following year saw a smaller turnout for a 1 day drive.

We tried a two day event again in 2017. The initial response was promising, the net result wasn't. We didn't meet the minimum at the hotel so I had to take an extra room. I didn't make the event due to a family emergency that took us to Salt Lake that weekend. The trip up found our hapless participants stuck in a monumental hailstorm.

Last year reverted back to an optional overnight stay in Tahoe. It was organized by @Ryan in NorCal and was attended by a small (7-10 cars) but enthusiastic group.

I think an event in the Napa/Sonoma region will draw a good sized crowd. Practically everyone I talked with at this years West Coast Cruise expressed great interest and desire to attend. Having it later in the year would be a big plus. Andie and I would be there for sure.

Troy Sloan posted:

In my opinion, winery's are winery's, you've seen one you've seen them all. Tahoe, Sequoia, Yosemite are much more beautiful and appealing to me. A cruise with the focus of driving Hiway 1 from Morro Bay to Monterey would be awesome!  Spend Friday night in Morro Bay and Saturday night in Monterey with dinner and all the festivities.

Love that cruise as well. Except for the slow RV’s. 

I’ve attached two stills from my GoPro. The moment when some schmo-hawk in an RV pulls in front of me as I’m forced to pass him around a blind curve so as to avoid collision. I was going downhill at speed. Wouldn’t have been able to stop. 

When I passed the RV in the oncoming lane, I was greeted by a 70s Mercedes Benz. 

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I’m with @KEVIN - BAY AREA on this.  On the way to SLO this year we met for lunch in Monterey then drove down PCH to to hotel.  Definitely worth the drive and I’m glad we did it!

The slow RVs and the one time we had controlled traffic were the only things remotely bad about that run.  But all we had to do was look to the right and all our troubles faded away:EA15964F-9867-4DEF-9FBC-E97DFCB79218

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What about October 18-20, 2019?

I don't know the area as well as Kevin and Paul, but I suggest base-camping from Healdsburg due to its proximity to twisty roads and distance from the main tourist arteries of Napa Valley. We can also find more affordable accommodations out this direction as well. Best Western Dry Creek Inn has rooms for $212 with similar amenities as Quality Suites in San Luis Obispo and there are a couple others nearby if we needed overflow.

Schedule could be similar to WCC (Friday Happy Hour, Saturday Cruise, Sunday drive home), with a couple more wine stops and coordinated caravans from SoCal, SF, and Sacramento.

Ryan in NorCal posted:

What about October 18-20, 2019?

I don't know the area as well as Kevin and Paul, but I suggest base-camping from Healdsburg due to its proximity to twisty roads and distance from the main tourist arteries of Napa Valley. We can also find more affordable accommodations out this direction as well. Best Western Dry Creek Inn has rooms for $212 with similar amenities as Quality Suites in San Luis Obispo and there are a couple others nearby if we needed overflow.

Schedule could be similar to WCC (Friday Happy Hour, Saturday Cruise, Sunday drive home), with a couple more wine stops and coordinated caravans from SoCal, SF, and Sacramento.

You can't go too wrong with a Tour up here in wine country in October (barring earthquakes or wild fires, that is ). It is worth noting, though, that the "crush" will be on (aka grape harvest), so you might avoid the main thoroughfares. That means, of course, it's too bad that you'll have to spend a lot of time on those back road twisties...or to quote MusBJim's oft used expression: Bwaaa-Waaa! Those "2-laners" are everywhere between East Napa County (Chiles Valley) and the coast (Hwy #1) and, trust me, they're great! I've lived here (Napa) since 2011 and I really don't think I've missed a one! And, if you don't need all those "similar amenities" as we had in SLO (did ANYONE go in the pool?), you actually can find some great "Base Camps" in the area for a lot less than $212/nt. I only wish I could cruise with you, but, alas, Mr. Ritis (Arthur) has made me set my surgery for Oct. 8th: Reverse Procedure Total Shoulder Replacement. Thankfully, it's my left shoulder and I'm a "righty." That said, I'll still be totally "wrapped-up" for six weeks...meaning NOTHING done with my left hand. Again, though, Thank Gawd the toilet paper is on my right!

Here's a suggestion you should at least look at it: Wine Valley Lodge, 200 So. Coombs St., Napa 94559. Rooms are $190/nt. and that gets you breakfast, pool, BBQ area , parking in front of your room (54 of them), and its location in south Napa is perfect for a start & end "base camp." You should check it out on a map of the area. It's just a thought and my 2 cents worth....knowing I won't be going. Of course, even if I was attending, I live in north Napa and, sorry, but I can't take in boarders. 

Kevin - Bay Area posted:

I have been looking for hotels around the $200-$250/night range (in keeping with the accommodations at SLO). The problem is timing.  Mid to late October is the tail end of Harvest season, and therefore the nicer accommodations will come with a hefty price per night. 

 I like Silverado. But it’s currently at $412/night for those days in October. 

I think I'm misunderstanding. Is that to BUY the hotel?

I have stayed at several properties in St. Helena due to mt wife's knee replacements and follow ups. My feeling is a lot of them are covered in phony tinsel and underneath is real tinsel. Total rip off over priced garbage that looks nice but are made out of ****. Recent stay at the Harvest Inn. Rooms during high season are over $500 and it is all made out of crap but qualifies as a 20 footer. The real nice places are closer to $1k a night. I would rather stay at a cheap motel and then your expectations will not be unfulfilled. Check this place out. It is a retro 50's Route 66 kind of place. Out babies would look great in a pic from this place. https://elbonita.com

 

Might want to look at Windsor (Sonoma County).  Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn all within walking distance from each other are in the $200 -$250 range.  Expect anything Healdsburg (5 miles up 101) to be pricey, both food and lodging.

And, I think Windsor is the epicenter of best back road driving in the State.  Sonoma County has it all;  corner to corner from one vineyard valley to the next, out through redwoods to the coast, and (of course) there is the coast. 

Ann and I were out in the spyder this morning for the first time in a long time.  Just a quick 2hr shot through a few canyons and valleys to charge the battery, if nothing else.  Along the way I commented that these roads are as fun as Tail of the Dragon in NC.  She agreed.

Mid October is the best time.

I was wondering if anything else has been contemplated regarding a fall cruise?

We could even consider Sacramento or the San Francisco area where the Petrolicious BMW 2002 episode was shot or even the Auburn area. All of them had some seriously nice driving areas. 

If we choose the Sacramento area we can all stay at Teby’s place. 

RE:  the post above.

I didn't know I was posting to the Board when I wrote all that bla bla.  I thought I was replying to a Personal Mail since the post from Kevin on 8-8 showed up in my email basket.

It doesn't really matter to me, but I apologize to others for all the bla bla that may be of no interest to them.

Mark

PS: and the link doesn't work for me, so others may be saved.

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