Originally Posted by MotoSailorDC
Great RR! I've never been to the UP, but have spent a lot of summers in the upper LP. I really need to ride up there sometime!
Thanks. I think you will enjoy a trip to the UP. With 1/3 of Michigan's land mass and only 3% of the population, it seems a little more open for this kind of riding.
Originally Posted by St. Louis Dave
Great RR! I've done most of this trip via snowmobile a few times in my life. It looks a lot different with leaves on the trees and ground and not 4 feet of snow.
One note to all. I am a groomer operator for one of the snowmobile clubs in Michigan and spend MANY hours all winter long making these trails super highways for snowmobiles. It's this time of year that clubs all over the state are out brushing and signing these trails to keep them free from blowdowns, low hanging branches, signs to warn you of hazzards and informational signs. We're all volunteers and always looking for another hand to help us keep things up to snuff. If you feel like helping out, just search the net for snowmobile clubs in the area you enjoy ADVing in and help out if you can. I'm all for dual purpose use on the trails, but looking for help to keep them in great shape year round.
Just so there is no confusion here, let me clarify that this ride principally relies on roads of various sorts and ORV trails. Some of the seasonal and forest roads (and ORV routes) also happen to be snowmobile trails in the winter. It is wonderful when you get on a road that is also a snowmobile trail because the snowmobilers do an excellent job with the signage that would otherwise not be there. Some of that is visible in some of the photos. In some lesser used sections, the ATV/OHM/ORV crowd (many are winter snowmobilers as well) do a great job helping to keep the brush down and the trails unobstructed. This is also true of the loggers, bear hunters, and other sportsmen who use some of the more obscure tracks.
Like Dave points out, even though we pay license fees via the ORV and snowmobile sticker programs, and even though a portion of those fees support trail maintenance, the work does not get done without people (usually club members) going out to brush, groom, sign, and otherwise maintain the trails. There is formula for compensating clubs for this work from the state sticker funds. This is true for off-highway motorcycles, ATVs, other ORVs, and snowmobiles. The rates paid aren't extravagent and when you get into bridge work the money doesn't go too far.
This often unseen work is sometimes taken for granted.