Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
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  • Mt. Tamalpais & Rouge et Noir

    Posted on July 14th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Ever since watching a video from a fellow G8 owner, I’ve wanted to get out to Mt. Tamalpais in the North Bay. I finally found myself at home with some time to get the G8 out for some “spirited” driving, so met-up with “The Yeti” and headed up towards Mt. Tamalpais.

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    Since “The Yeti” has driven these roads before, I let him lead. Not having to lead a cruise was a nice change after the past few weeks. The drive was very enjoyable with a decent pace for such tight roads in a national park. Of course, we had to setup some GoPro cameras to record the fun!

    The road up to Mt. Tamalpais is really a jewel. The climb covers almost 2400′ and is quite steep (up to 9% grade). The roads are twisty and quite “tight” (the trees and brush is close to the road), but the road quality is quite good. I’m sure on weekends you might get stuck behind slow traffic, but mid-week the roads were virtually empty!

    On a performance note: I was really happy with the way the new Bridgestone RE-11 tires performed on the tight roads. The speeds were not too high, but the heavy weight of the G8 put the tires to the test. A few times I heard them squeal a little in the corners… and even once had the right front start to lock under heavy braking into a corner.

    One of the best things about this drive were the scenic views of the Bay Area.

    It isn’t often that I make it over towards the Marin Headlands, so the view was one I had to stop and admire. Another thing I haven’t done in a long while was visit the Marin French Cheese Company (aka. Rouge et Noir). I didn’t have anything else going on, so I figured this would be a great time to make the drive up Highway 1!

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    The drive along the coast was great… the sun was out and the views were incredible. Having been away from California for so long, it was really great to get to the coast.

    People always ask me why I live in California… and I think I can sum it up with an image…

    Great weather… great roads… What more could I want? California Cheese!

    The drive up to the Marin French Cheese Co. was very enjoyable. The roads were fairly empty, but I did get stuck behind one car that was quite frustrating. It’s one thing to be stuck behind a Prius or a minivan, but to be stuck behind a Jaguar XFR (with a 510HP Supercharged engine), is just unacceptable! While I would have loved a spirited drive chasing a Jaguar up the coast, I was forced to crawl along 10mph UNDER the posted speed limit… Ug! When I had the chance to make a pass, I was sure to let the slow driver know my disgust with a loud whine from my Maggie.

    I arrived at the Marin French Cheese Co. just in time for their afternoon tour of the “factory”. They produce soft ripened cheeses like Brie and Camembert, which are two of my personal favorites. Everything is done by hand in small batches. I happened to be the only one on the tour, so was able to ask all sorts of questions about the cheese making process. After the tour I headed to the gift shop to pick-up some of their harder to find cheeses.

    One of the things that really gets me about soft ripened cheese is that it needs to age to obtain the full flavor. Unfortunately, most of the time I want to buy cheese in a supermarket it is too young to eat right away… so you have to wait to enjoy them properly. By going to the source I was able to buy some cheese that was at it’s peak flavor and ready to eat… I was also able to get some varieties that are not sold in stores, like their 50% goat milk cheeses.

    Overall the day was great… and much needed after being away from California and the G8 for so long. I can’t wait to get out and drive these roads again… I think a cruise up Highway 1 with the NorCal GOATs would be great!