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Old 05-24-2010, 08:00 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper_Bob
Awesome report as usual!

Each summer 3 buddies and myself take our annual "guy's fishing trip".

One of my buddy's parents is friends of the daughter (who is now in her 70's) of the old captain of the mine. Two summers ago, we stayed in the house for a week, fishing the local lakes and streams.

That peak is still full of iron, and one night we had a heck of a thunder storm roll thru. The thunder and lightning we experienced in that old house had me curled up in the fetal position in my bed, just waiting to get blasted to bits!
That is pretty cool you got to stay there. I noticed two or three other company houses there that were nicely restored as well. You'll have to tell me about it next time I run into you.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:02 AM   #92
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Baraga, L'Anse, Pequamming, Skanee

By the way, this bay is the lake trout capital of the Great Lakes with twice as many fish as elsewhere.


Baraga has a nice historical museum


If you wonder what people do in some of these small towns up here, in Baraga there is a major prison. There is also some manufacturing where they make stuff like this.




A guy named Baraga was the "Snowshoe Priest" in this area many years ago. Baraga has an interesting history. He came from Europe to minister here. He has a big shrine near L'Anse.






They make ceiling tiles in L'Anse. I was surprised to see some railroad ties being processed.




In 1890, some investors thought it would be a good idea to build an ore dock in L'Anse to ship ore from the mines around Michigamme. They spent a couple million dollars on this project building the dock and a 42 mile rail line to haul ore that never carried a train. It was tough going building the line. They bought two locomotives, but one never saw the track. The one that did made it 20 yards before the bed gave way sending the locomotive into a ditch. After ten years and two million bucks, a Detroit Construction company bought the operation for $110,000. They sold the rails to other lines and disassembled the dock and sent it to Detroit. The chief engineer on this project fled to Mexico. This is an approximate path of the line. Some of it is now a road.


It is a nice ride with neat cuts and fills.


The dock would have been here.


Henry Ford bought this peninsula and set up a mill for his auto business.




The old power house for the mill.


Ford had a bunglalow out here. He only stayed there a few times. Mostly it was used as an education center for kids. Ford was big on education.


You can rent this thing for reunions and such. It sleeps 30.


Smelter bucket.


The road that circles the peninsula is dirt and a nice scenic ride.


I was happy to see this 1910 school building still in use and in fine shape in Skanee.




I skipped the out and back to Point Abbaye for reasons I'll explain later.

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Old 05-24-2010, 09:53 AM   #93
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Mount Arvon



This is a nice area. It gets a little wild back this way but it is a great place to ride. I did some exploring to see about changes to other tracks I have for some dirt bike rides I run through here. May not have been a good idea on the big bike though.


You find some nice scenic spots knocking around back here.


This is an old quarry for slate shingles.


Waste rock piled up nearby.


Thankfully there was not much mud. The water spots have stone bottoms.












People used to believe that Mount Curwood was the highest point. They named it Curwood to honor some conservationist. In 1982 the federal government resurveyed and found that Curwood was 1978.24 feet high and Arvon was 1979.238 high.



I told people in the past that the climb to the very top isn't really worth it as there is no scenic view.


I was doing some exploring for a back way off of Arvon using some logging roads. My solo riding risk management meter chased me back out onto a reasonable road because if something had happened on the alternate route, I would have been in a bad way. No possibility of traffic there except for maybe an ATV someday.

By the way, the roads I put on the track I am sharing are not the ones I was knocking around on. They are more reasonable like this one.


It was getting late in the day so I though I would head out of here. Out of all the stuff I had been exploring, by chance I turned on to this track.


Shortly down the road I met a girl and her dog. She was a little upset. She had been traveling and instead of sticking to the major highways, she followed a route recommended by her GPS that took her through this rugged area. Eventually she bottomed out her vehicle and did some damage (or ran out of gas - she wasn't sure) out here in the boonies. When I chanced upon her, she had already walked six miles. Being 16 miles out in the boonies, she would have been walking around out here in the dark. I loaded her and her dog up and took them to a State Police post. She offered to buy me dinner while she waited for someone to come get her but I explained that I wouldn't expect anything for helping someone and I was glad that it worked out the way it did.

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Old 05-24-2010, 11:35 AM   #94
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Holy crap, how did you carry a pillion AND a dog on the bike, on a rough road like that? Awesome!!!

WTF is it with people just blindly following their GPS?
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:41 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannonshot
This is Little Girl Point. Ojibwa lore says that a maiden got lost in the woods on her wedding day. She was later seen here with her lover. This point was a regular rest stop for people traveling from the Apostle Islands to the Porcupine Mountain area.
..it really is a nice little spot...with cool old stone buildings

great detail as always cannon


"Listen Spirits of the green wood plume, shed around thy leaf perfume, such as spring from buds of gold, which thy tiny hands unfold. Spirits hither, spirits repair"....was supposed to be a Longfellow quote...but his ending is "Spirits hither quick repair"...interpretation is up to each of us

the years of abuse these stones endure is ponderous

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Old 05-24-2010, 01:42 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeefZah
Holy crap, how did you carry a pillion AND a dog on the bike, on a rough road like that? Awesome!!!

WTF is it with people just blindly following their GPS?
To be fair, she was new to the area.

Unless someone was familiar with that big hunk of land, he or she wouldn't really know what it was like. Some of those tracks are listed as roads on the county highway maps. Instead of having to do a big skirt of the area to stay on major highways, the GPS would dutifully route you on a hypotenuse across the area to save you miles. I suppose that once you get far enough into it you think is is closer to keep going to get out than to turn around.

Great riding on a dual sport though.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:45 PM   #97
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..it really is a nice little spot...with cool old stone buildings
Yeah that park there is pretty nice. I'm sure you would agree that any time you can ride close to the shore it is really nice. (But perhaps a little cool sometimes. Real cool depending on the wind. )
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:30 PM   #98
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Alberta Sawmill

I skipped the loop through Sturgeon Gorge as I had a wheel bearing starting to go. But, it is a gorgeous area and I recommend that others check it out.




Ford donated this site and some forest land to the university.


The story goes that Ford was traveling from L'Anse one day when he stopped at this creek and decided it would be a good spot for a work village.


Ford used about 200 million board feet of lumber a year in his auto business. For a while he was being squeezed by his suppliers so he bought a bunch of timberland up in the UP and went to work supplying himself and holding leverage against other suppliers. Alberta has a sawmill. It was never intended as one of his big production centers. In fact, it only put out about 14,000 board feet of hardwood a day. Ford like to experiment with concepts for his workers. His intent here was to have a village that was part industry and part agriculture. Workers were given farm plots to grow food.





This exhibit was not open for the season yet. A guy saw me taking some pictures outside so he asked me if I wanted to see it. He opened it up, told me to give myself a tour, and asked me to lock the door when I was done.












Sawdust dropped to a conveyor on the first floor that fed it into the boiler. Larger pieces of scrap were used to heat worker homes.








It took 30 minutes to sharpen a blade. When cutting hardwoods, sometimes the blades were changed every two hours. It took two men 10 minutes to change a blade.


Worker housing.


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Old 05-24-2010, 03:13 PM   #99
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Wrapping Up

As I mentioned I had a rear wheel bearing going out. I took a direct route to Iron Mountain thinking I had some kind of chance of getting a repair there. So, I cut some stops along the way although I left them in the track. There is a nice spot marked on here to cruise some back roads for moose in the early or late parts of the day.


I do like my oversized windshield for several reasons.


Historical museum in Amasa. At one time Amasa had six mines, two railroads, 4 sawmills, an array of stores, and even some bootleggers. Not much here now except for some lumber and wood people. By the way, this town is generally 10 degrees colder than it's neighbors on clear nights. They once recorded 53 degrees below zero - the cold spot for the UP.








This town does have Connors Floors which makes sports floors. I think they did 14 floors for NBA teams. For the 2008 NCAA playoffs, they made 40 floors.

I thought I remembered the plant from riding around there in the past, but the location I remembered was not the floor plant but a hardwoods company instead. Could be that they provide hardwood for the floors.






Anyway, it was getting dark and I wanted to get to Iron Mountain right away because of the bad bearing.

I made it. The next morning I called the owner (David) at UP Cycle and Sport. I explained the problem hoping he might be able to find some bearings around town to get me back on the road. He told me to come on down and he would see what he could do. In a little over an hour he had some bearings in so I could get back home. Obviously he wouldn't have had all of the parts in stock to make a complete repair, so he annotated a parts diagram with the parts I would need to order when I got home.

It is tough to have to try to deal with something like that on the road, but Dave made a great effort to get me back on the road as soon as he could. Many thanks!


With that problem behind me, I was quite relaxed. When I spotted these rafters, I thought about how nice it would be to making that trip with them.




I posted the GPX file for people to download if they wanted to ride this trip or visit some of the POIs I waypointed in the file.
http://dco43054.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17

Thanks for riding along! I hope you enjoyed the history and photos.

I'm happy to answer any questions or help out the next guy if I can.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:05 PM   #100
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Great Report!

As a kid and Michigander I hiked Isle Royale with my parents. I have ridden ATVs in da UP, but have not been able to make it back up there for a bike trip. Your report is an inspiration to do so. Though it will not likely be this year (kid on the way).

Again great report
Ride safe

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Old 05-24-2010, 07:10 PM   #101
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Bravo Mr. Cannonshot! You've done it again. This report brings back many fond memories of our family cabin on Golden Lake near Iron River. The stories those old miners used to tell were almost as good as yours!
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:46 PM   #102
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Thanks for the great story. There are lots of nooks and crannies I haven't seen up there, I see now.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:44 AM   #103
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Thanks guys. I'm glad this evoked a few pleasant memories. Hopefully it put a little light on the UP as a fine destination for some great riding, scenery, and some interesting places to visit. Hopefully I was able to add a little new information for those that are already pretty familiar with the UP.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:35 AM   #104
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Outstanding! Thanks for the report.
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:36 PM   #105
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I just bought a GPS, so I can load the tracks and explore some of this awesomeness.

Thanks for taking us along on the ride.

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