08/05/2014 12:49 pm ET Updated Oct 05, 2014

MINI Takes the States Day 1: Tony Hawk, San Francisco, and MINIs Everywhere

It’s official… 2014 MINI Takes the States is underway! As Roadtrippers kicks off Day 2 from Reno, NV, let’s fill you in on all the day 1 shenanigans…

Day 1 began at Golden Gate Fields as the fog slowly lifted off the SF bay to reveal the city and Golden Gate Bridge , but the real sight to see was the HUNDREDS of MINIs assembled for day 1. Our first “rise & shine” event featured booths from sponsors, food trucks for a quick breakfast, and even a pet lounge for thirsty/tired dogs. The real draw, however, was this skater you may have heard of: Tony Hawk.

It’s one thing to drive off into day 1 of MINI Takes the States, it’s another to drive under Tony Hawk as he ramps over you on a skateboard, and that’s exactly how the 2014 MINI Takes the States kicked off.

After a quick drive to Sacramento, the gigantic band of MINIs invaded Niello MINI for lunch and a chance to see a beautiful MINI dealer as well as stock up on MINI swag. From here it was back on the road en route to Reno, NV.

With day 1 being one of the shortest routes of the trip, Roadtrippers took a few detours to see Donner Lake, and to Lake Tahoe to see this blue water everyone seems so keen on. It was worth the extra half hour and sand in our shoes to stand on the beach and look out over the vastness of this incredible lake. This trip isn’t about sitting on the beach though... it’s about hitting the road, so we loaded back up and made the quick trip down the mountain to Reno, NV.

The official nighttime event was a bowling party at the National Bowling Stadium, which you may recognize from ESPN or even the movie Kingpin. There was no toupee-wearing Bill Murray, one-handed Woody Harrelson, or Amish-dressed Randy Quaid, but the place has to be the most impressive bowling alley we’ve ever seen.

Our picture make the place seem empty, but we arrived late following a dinner for press and media. We assure you, the place was rockin' earlier in the night with nearly 1,000 people.

We’re already meeting some of the MINI owners, and let us tell you, they’re quite the eclectic bunch. Roadtrippers will be featuring several of the teams over the next 2 weeks, so follow along on Roadtrippers Rides Facebook page and Twitter.

Check back tomorrow for an update from the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats Speedway. In the meantime, here as some snapshots from day 1 for your enjoyment:


-Austin Coop