One year a mudslide ended our day at lunchtime. The Benbow Inn, near Garberville, was able to accommodate many of us. Others went to another hotel in town. Benbow Inn managed to feed 150 people a grand dinner and breakfast on short notice. Their bar had an all-time record day. And a number of the ladies headed into Garberville to procure toothpaste and toothbrushes for all. We were able to resume our drive the next day. This occurrence proved beyond doubt that we thrive on adversity!
We’ve used various routes over the years, mostly focusing on the Northern California coast and mountain backroads. In 2014 we featured a lovely cross section of California, incorporating Lake Tahoe, the Central Valley and Sacramento River Delta regions, in addition to the Wine Country and breathtaking coastal roads, including pastoral scenes of West Marin County.
Martin Swig’s untimely passing in 2012 ushered in a new era for the event. His sons, David and Howard, took the reins alongside long-time Mille organizer Dan Radowicz. This next generation of Swigs is determined to bring the California Mille and the spirit of Mille Miglia to a new generation of car enthusiasts.
The 2013 California Mille “Tribute to Martin Swig” was a great success, drawing a fantastic field of cars and a classic, challenging route over some of Martin’s favorite roads.
In 2014 we were celebrating the 24th running of the event, a significant milestone matching the original number of Mille Miglia run between 1927-1957. We have a record number of entrants, and it is encouraging to see many first-time participants joining the Mille family. And quite a family it has become – one that celebrates and rejoices in the California Mille’s three most important aspects: