In the recently all too rare occurrence of taking one of the fleet on a road trip, the RustyButTrusty BMW 2002tii went out on a weekend excursion. The occasion this time was the Motherlode 400 Rally. This rally has been running for several years now over Father’s Day weekend, so if your father is a car guy, or a beautiful-scenery-flying-by-the-window kinda guy, this is the perfect way to spend it with him. Unfortunately we were only able to go for Sunday due to prior commitments, but Sunday is the preferred day if you want to test your car’s abilities at high altitude. And it is truly amazing how much a lack of oxygen will suck the power away from a naturally aspirated, 4-cylinder car. My (totally objective, seat-of-the-pants) impression was it affected the BMW even worse than the Alfa Spider a couple of years ago.
After an already beautiful day of driving through scenic backroads, you follow Highway 89 out to the 395 south, and drive down to the Sonora Pass road. Bring a full tank of gas, because there’s none until you get back over the hills, and even then it’s quite a distance. After climbing up miles and miles of tight, twisty road, hopefully not behind a Suburban, you get to this: