2009 49er Rally
Chris Weld writes (05/21):
This year’s 49’er Rally was the best ever! It just started that way as the grounds were opened Thursday Noon for early arrivals. I was to meet my friend and neighbor, John Guy in the same area in which we camped last year with Dave Reimers and company. (No Dave this year though…) I was riding out of Old Station and thought I’d avoid ‘valley heat’ with a romp over to Susanville and pick-up US 395 for Reno and IS #80. I took my first break at Hallelujah Junction, where Hwy#70 terminates into US#395. Old Station to Reno is 135 miles and IS #80 is ‘quick’ over the mountain. But I studied the map and thought how many opportunities in life are like this? I turned up CA# 70 for the few miles to the terminus of CA #49. Auburn’s on #49, it’s not fast but damn, what a good decision. No traffic, nothing to slow me down till San Juan and little into Nevada City, a lot (but moving), into Auburn. I arrived at the fairgrounds five minutes after John and we conversed about set-up.
The area in which we camped last year, two ball fields facing each other, now sported huge tents, each about 120’x80’ under which we could camp. Had it been raining like last year it would have been an easy choice but the weather was warm and projected to be warmer. We parked our motors where we did last year and dismounted. Then I saw it! There in the middle of center field (both centers mind you..), was a lone, unattended picnic table. Hot damn! We responded to take claim and move the table. What a heavy SOB that table was.. We carried it fifty feet and rested, another 50 and rest. Then I saw Greg Hutchinson with his BMWMOA Ambassador flag flying from his tent and enlisted his help for the last 100 feet or so. For those who don’t do rallies, a table is a rare find indeed as it acts like a magnet and you meet people, our find was particularly ‘magnetic’.
We were setting-up when Simon appeared. His wife Christine was to arrive the next evening and he was most welcome, even without the bottle of Maker’s Mark he produced. Simon had just finished finals and brought some papers to grade but he was ecstatic that his just restored /2 made the trip. Friday dawned early for John and myself but there was no sign’o life at Simon’s tent. We brought him coffee in bed for which he was most appreciative.
We walked down to the lower area and found more of these 120x80 foot tents - Wow! We got more of the free coffee and purchased our Poker Run entitlements. I learned that the Club did not have to pay for the tenting, the 49’er follows a home show and the supplier didn’t have time/staff to take the tents down and the Rally was welcome to use.
The mentioned Poker Run lists directions and some mapping. It was 117 miles in duration and took you over all sorts of roads you’d never find on your own. You could pick-up some extra cards if you could answer several questions (e.g., ‘What’s written over the Post Office Here?’ (turned out to be Rescue’s Post Office - 1869), and ‘What’s the weight limit on Baxter Road?’ and so on. I saved my booklet for Bob’n Marco who may want to take an overnighter to Auburn and ride the route, certainly worth doing.
Friday morning saw us make an important discovery, Katrina’s Cafe on Hwy #49 in Auburn. It was so good we did breakfast there every morning save Monday’s (closed).
Attendance this year was down, it’s usually in the mid to high 900’s, but this year, a mere 635. The awards ceremony was hilarious, Z Ortiz does a fantastic job as MC. Our own Joe Groeger took his usual awards, Oldest Rider, Oldest BMW ridden to the Rally and Brent and Sue Hanson got the people’s choice award for their sidecar set-up. Z. told me the Club made it’s ‘nut’ and have the grounds again for next year.