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Old 08-09-2011, 02:11 PM   #16
MeanStreaker OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LumpyOne View Post
Cannon does an incredible job and I love his writing and history classes!!
+1! Definitely can't be emphasized enough!

If anyone wants much more info about the museum, log slide, and everything else I touch on in here, head on over to his report. I wasn't even going to try and compete.
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:06 PM   #17
Jettn Jim
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Im in! Just spent almost a week ripping around U.P. there enda June WaaaHooo...
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:46 PM   #18
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So I guess I should at least make a showing in this thread. Cannonshot is a true artist when it comes to planning a route. I don't know how many times MeanStreaker would say he was getting tired of 2 track and then in 2-5 min we would be on pavement. That or we would be getting tired of slab, and then back into the woods we would go.

I like how Meanstreaker posts the one down I had the whole trip in the intro, we were 20 min from finishing the whole loop and I finally bit it when I decided to try and go for it in the sand, lol. Oh well, just as a spoiler I wasn't the only one to fail to keep the rubber side down. Darn Sand!! As for the range estimation at Raco I ranged it at 2000 yards and that means I was pretty darn close

I will be sure to throw my .02 in here and there, afterall I have to keep Meanstreaker honest.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:48 PM   #19
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Dude, Reelaaaaaax.

You know my carnage is coming. Yours was just the better looking picture.
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:54 PM   #20
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My baby is ALWAYS honest! He likes to make jokes, but he's always honest. DryFire - that really is a nice picture of you and your bike. Very intimate, gettin' to know one another better.

I've seen all the pic's (all 450 of them, in slow-motion slide show nonetheless) and there are some fabulous one's coming up! I can't wait to read on and find out what was going on inside the helmet.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:33 AM   #21
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:26 AM   #22
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Day 2 - July 27, 2011 - Munising, MI to Big Bay, MI



I know. It doesn’t look like many miles, right? That's OK, there are good reasons for that we’ll discuss, and I personally wouldn’t have it any other way. One of the big highlights of the trip occurred here on Day 2.

This is how it begins:


Surprisingly, I slept pretty well even though that never happens my first night in a new place, no matter if it’s in a tent or the Hilton. Yep, that’s not a good travel trait when sleeping somewhere different every night.

Since it was pitch black when we rolled in the night before and we were more than ready to crash, we now get our first real look at the campsite:






DryFire is a little more motivated in the mornings than I am, and he graciously got to work on hot water for breakfast. (I worried all trip, and for weeks before, I’d hold him up too much. Hope that wasn’t the case.)






As he enjoyed some oatmeal, and I consumed my required amount of coffee, we commented how funny it was we had no idea of our surroundings last night. DryFire, the master outdoorsman, was impressed with the absolute glut of down firewood available at each site. Looks like deadfall was piled up everywhere by previous campers or whoever maintains the place. No bushwhacking needed.

It was also funny to see that we were basically on a little peninsula and were surrounded by water on three sides except for the road in and out. We had no idea there was a lake at 10:30 last night.

While sipping my Dunkin Donuts blend and munching on a granola bar, Tim and I moseyed over to our new friends who loaned us the lantern. I gave them each an Ohio ADV sticker for their rigs (one from southern MI and one from AZ). An OH inmate, MeefZah, had these printed up and I brought a few along to hand out when the situation warranted.

You can see the KLR sporting one on another trip below:



(If you want any, Meef can hook you up Here.)


We quickly finished breaking down camp, filled our Camelbaks and canteens with fresh, clear well water from a gigantic handpump, rode the few miles of gravel back to the main road (which seemed way longer the previous night), backtracked west into Munising, and reconnected with virgin UPAT.



We were quickly remote again.

Given yesterday’s experience, I had to take a picture of this ominous street name.




Thankfully, the next few days spared us from sand as deep as yesterday’s... and I’d like to think our growing experience helped as well. Either way, we were making a comfortable pace, enjoying the gravel/dirt roads and smaller trails as they came.




After a decent amount of time motoring away from civilization, DryFire beeps his horn and I stop so he can come alongside.

"What's up?"

“The bike is making a weird sound. It might be coming from the engine.”

Uh oh. Not good. We’re only in the morning of Day 2 (of 5), and we haven’t seen a soul in quite awhile.

He runs it for a stretch and tells me, “Sounds like a repeating, rhythmic Ker-thunk....... Ker-thunk....... Ker-thunk.....”

I take it for a short jaunt up the trail and back as well. Hmm, clutch seems to be catching fine. Acceleration/Decel seems normal. But I definitely hear it too. Don’t know what it is.

I return to DryFire and we shed some protection to have a basic look-see around. Everything seems tight, fluid levels are OK, yadda yadda yadda.

Then it’s noticed his chain might be a little saggy. Tim pulls out some tools and tightens her up.



We lube both chains and get on our way just as the mosquitoes begin to thicken, since we were in the same spot for a little while.

Geared up and riding on.




After awhile Tim reports the chain adjustment helped.

If that’s our only mechanical “difficulty” all trip... we’ll take it!
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:50 AM   #23
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Ya' went right past my house, and didn't stop in ta' say "Hi".

....and....hurry up with da' rest of da' report!
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:52 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper_Bob View Post
Ya' went right past my house, and didn't stop in ta' say "Hi".

Just the excuse we need to ride it again!
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:40 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanStreaker View Post
[COLOR=DarkOrange]
Given yesterday’s experience, I had to take a picture of this ominous street name.

I saw that sign and knew I was in for some trouble. It wasn't so bad though, compared to what else Cannonshot had in store for us!

John
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:14 PM   #26
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Day 2 Contd - July 27, 2011 - Munising, MI to Big Bay, MI

Cannon had us riding unbelievable stuff! Eventually we pull into a little Burg that appears about two square blocks in size crossing the laughing Whitefish River. (Wonder what that story is.)




Maybe there was more to it and we were just seeing the edge? After waiting a second as a road crew finishes some black top at the intersection, we’re waved through.


Town Hall and Fire house:





The folks who live next to this little bridge decided to further beautify their already scenic little slice of Heaven:











We hang a left at the Town Hall and motor on a ways.













Apartment buildings and suburban roundabouts came out of nowhere, which felt pretty weird even though we’ve only been riding out here for a day and a half. We spy KI Sawyer Air Force Base north of Gwinn and decide it’s a great place for a stretch.


The B-52 is certainly an impressive machine!













It’s past lunch time, so a few granola bars had to be sacrificed to the gods of momentum. After the nice break, we start walking back towards the bikes.


Oh, there they are! Right under the other wing where we left them.





We head out of Gwinn and get right back to UPATy goodness.






Then all of a sudden, the sand jumped up and bit me:




Man Down! Man Down!


This was more of a slow-speed drop than a crash, thankfully. And at least sand is soft!
I got my leg out from under the bike (Thanks Sidi Rain Adv boots) and snap the required pics.

Definitely not a ton of sand compared to what we traversed yesterday, but I was slowing at this fork in the trail and looking down at the GPS to figure out which track to take. Since I was slowing, more weight was probably on the front end. When I went to turn right, the front wheel washed out from under me and down I went.





No problem. No harm. No foul. I was sure it wouldn’t be my last dirt kiss of the trip.


Let’s giddy-up.


At some point after my fall, I remember hearing a very solid “DONG!” sound resonating from my skid plate on a particularly rocky stretch. While stopped later for a tree irrigation break, DryFire pointed out this pretty solid gouge. Guess the plate earned its keep!





We arrived in Marquette around 2:30 pretty darn hungry and pulled into the first joint we saw on the edge of town - the Union Grill BBQ.


The pulled pork is delicious. Even though we walked in starving, both of us left with food on our plates.




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Old 08-12-2011, 09:44 PM   #27
Jettn Jim
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Fun fun fun aint it!
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:55 PM   #28
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Union Grill

They have a really good chicken teriyaki salad its 40% chicken 30% cashew 20% dried cherry's 10% salad. its kind of like trail mix with chicken

One of my favorite places to get lunch.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:01 PM   #29
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Hey gporter. Good to see you in here.

The food was definitely great and the staff was helpful in filling up our Camelbaks and letting me steal a few sets of plastic silverware for camp food.

Top notch place.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:06 PM   #30
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DryFire and I pulled out the map and powered on the GPS during our BBQ feast to start making tentative plans about that night’s destination. Not knowing much about the area (pre-planning consisted entirely of downloading Cannon’s tracks and choosing between Primary and Big Bike Go-Arounds), what was coming up certainly seemed like one of the more desolate sections we’d be riding.

“Think we can make it to Houghton? Would be nice to get into the Keweenaw Peninsula today.” (That’s KEE-win-ah. Not ki-WAY-nay. DryFire correctly pointed out we’re far from Hawaii every time I butchered that one.)

”Seems do-able depending on how much sand we hit. We have all afternoon.”

“What do you think about Baraga (BEAR-uh-guh. Not bar-AH-gah) as a backup plan? Surely we should be able to do that?

"Yeah, that’s not too far and I guess it can be our fallback if something happens. We’ll just make up the miles tomorrow if that’s as far as we get.”



As you’ll see, neither of those happened. However, the delay that held us up was probably the highlight of the trip. At least it was for me.

-------------------------


So we left the Union Grill, gassed up the bikes, and put Marquette in our rearview mirrors.

A lot of this was fast riding on well-packed dirt roads. Every now and then a patch of sand would creep in and it kept me on my toes.






The UP surprised me with its terrain changes in relatively small distances. I had no idea it would be as hilly or diverse as it is in just the few hundred miles we’ve traveled.










Soon we were wicking it up on an obviously watered-down road. No other explanation was possible since it was drearily overcast but had not rained a drop the entire trip.

Wonder why? Are we getting close to a town that spends tax dollars on this? Really? Way out here? Didn’t make sense.

The reason didn’t matter at the time as we were just thankful for it. I’m sure it would’ve been quite interesting if the dry sand piled along the shoulders surprised us with a deep, silty bog as we cruised through at higher speeds.








Every once in awhile we’d pass some two-track heading off the road that could be a driveway, but we’re still waaaaay out in the wilderness. Nothing around here for many miles. We were probably 30mi west of Marquette and hadn’t really encountered anything since.

The road was fast and I was zoning out a little, wondering how much desolation we’d traverse to get to Baraga.

Then we zoom past something colorful in a little cutout in the forest. I slow down and stop about a quarter mile up the road and ask DryFire,

“What the heck was that?! Were those people way out here?

I thought to myself, "Maybe forest rangers or something? Hunters?”

We double back and I start laughing inside my helmet as we pulled in and hopped off the bikes.
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