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Old 06-14-2014, 10:08 PM   #1
TonyBKK OP
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Father and Son Great Lakes and New England Summer Tour 2014

Bike serviced, bags packed, time to hit the road to New York where I will pick up my son and co-pilot :)


Weather forecast shows cold and rain...


Today's itinerary will take me from the Twin Cities north along the shore of Lake Superior and across the Canadian border to Thunder Bay, Ontario!


First leg is a straight shot up I35 to Duluth-


The temperature was in the 50's in the Twin Cities and dropped as I rode north-


Even with the heated grips and seat of the Land Yacht I was quite chilled by the time I pulled up to Grandma's Saloon in Duluth-


Only 43 degrees Fahrenheit in Duluth! (6 Celsius!)


A wife beater and gourmet beer brat at Grandma's soon had me feeling better!


I've warmed up, but unfortunately the weather has not improved one bit...


Once past Duluth the interstate ends and the ride is slower and more scenic, but it's cold and windy and wet... Some random pics-












By the time I reach Grand Marais I'm freezing again, so make a pit stop for hot coffee and warm pie :) Grand Marais is a trippy little town! Gotta love the Beaver House!!


Time to push on! Weather radar shows more rain ahead. This is nasty weather is getting a bit tiresome...


My original plan had been to camp at either Sleeping Giant Provincial Park or Kekabeka Falls Provincial Park, but with more rain and cold forecast I decided to hell with camping and booked a hotel in Thunder Bay.




I lived in Minnesota for years and never knew there is a National Monument at Grand Portage!




Approaching the border! Not much further to Thunder Bay!


Crossing into Canada was a piece of cake. What a contrast to the border crossings in SE Asia!




Welcome to Canada!! :


Room with a view ;)

But more importantly heat and a hot hot shower!

I didn't realize that Thunder Bay is in the Eastern time zone and an hour later than Minnesota so by the time I checked into the hotel it was already 830 at night. After a hot shower and a long soak in a hot bath I started to feel human again, but it was now 10pm and most restaurants were closed already... Oh well, sniffed out a Subway and am now enjoying that in my room as I bang out this ride report.

Tomorrow I plan to visit Kekabeka Falls, some 30 minutes to the west of Thunder Bay, then ride northeast to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Hope the weather will be better tomorrow than it was today!!
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:29 PM   #2
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Looks to be a little chilly for your start! Great pic’s and information. Looking forward to the rest of your ride with your son. Thanks
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:08 PM   #3
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Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada!


Kakabeka Falls is a waterfall on the Kaministiquia River, located beside the village of Kakabeka Falls in the municipality of Oliver Paipoonge, Ontario, 30 km west of the city of Thunder Bay!


With all the rain we've been having recently the falls were in full flood and quite impressive!






Next stop- Sleeping Giant Provincial Park!
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:13 AM   #4
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Looking forward to the rest of your trip. great pic's
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:34 AM   #5
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Kakabeka Falls to Sleeping Giant.

From Kakabeka I rode east back towards Thunder Bay and then Northeast along the coast of Lake Superior towards Sleeping Giant Provincial Park which is on a peninsula that juts into the lake. Some nice scenery along the way-


I guess even the Canucks have fallen for the HD marketing ;)


Nice slow ride on small coastal roads with on and off rain. Had to stop for a pic of the Land Yacht on this one lane wooden bridge near Amethyst Bay-


Eventually I reach the road that heads south into Sleeping Giant Provincial Park-


As I rode south the temperature dropped quickly. It had been 50 Fahrenheit on the "mainland" but by the time I reached the southern end of the peninsula temperature had dropped to 43 Fahrenheit or about 6 Celsius and the rain became heavy...


An an absolutely stunning park but I was pretty cold...


Stopped at the Lake Marie Louise Campground to take some shelter and decide what to do. Camp here or press on?


The lovely lass running the visitor center told me that the forecast called for thunderstorms and continued cold, so I decided to give Sleeping Giant a pass and ride further east in search of more hospitable weather.

Man there were a lot of deer in this park. I rode nice and slow to make sure I didn't hit one!


They sure urge have had a lot of rain! Check out this picnic table that used to be on the shore of Lake Louise-


There's a small village at the very southern tip of the peninsula. I felt like I was in some small fishing village on the Atlantic coast!


Time me to press on! Bye bye Sleeping Giant!






Look at the height of that railroad bridge!


Feeling it!
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:36 AM   #6
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Wicked Labatt's, Canadian for Beer!

It's a bit after 3am and I'm sitting in a uniquely Canadian 24hr coffee joint called "Tim Horton's" in the hamlet of Burk Falls, Ontario because the OPP pulled me over a couple hours ago, not because I was breaking any laws, but because they said its stupid dangerous to ride around these parts after dark... I saw all the moose and deer warning signs and knew it wasn't smart to be out riding, but sometimes you just don't want to stop, ya know? Anyway, this place is alright, decent coffee, free WiFi and they don't seem to mind me loitering about

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, I'd just left Sleeping Giant Provincial Park and am riding east towards Ottawa. A brief photo stop on the bank of the Nippigon River-




The rain had stopped, for now, but the wind was making for quite a white knuckle ride. The big Land Yacht was getting blown all over the place... Another stop at a viewpoint overlooking Nipagon Bay-


Rolling on!


Beautiful panoramas but with the unpredictable gusty wind it was tough to take a hand off the bars to snap pictures-


One more before I stopped for gas in the tiny town of Schreiber, Ontario-


The town of Schreiber is so small that the gas station only sells regular unleaded, while the Land Yacht, being a bit of a snob, prefers 89. Oh well, half a tank of regular swill mixed in with 89 shouldn't cause any troubles as long as I don't wring her neck. Then, as I'm in paying for the gas the skies open up! Thunder and heavy rain!


Screw this! There's a bar/restaurant attached to the service station; if you can't beat 'em join 'em, eh?
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:51 AM   #7
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Laugh The Circle Route Motel in Schreiber, Ontario

A quick look at the weather forecast tells me I should stay put, so I get a room at the "Circle Route Motel" behind the gas station and order another round!


Ya know, for a cheap no name motel in the middle of nowhere the Circle Route really wasn't too bad. I parked the bike right in front of my room and didn't bother taking the bags off. Didn't seem like thieving weather ;)


The heat worked, big room, bed was comfy, shower was hot, and it had a fridge and WiFi so really I couldn't complain too much. At times it sounded like the gale outside was going to tear off the roof and when I awoke in the morning my bike was covered in DIRT...

Schreiber, Ontario; a tiny little town struggling to hang on!
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:57 AM   #8
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I like you name the title of the trip: Summer Tour 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBKK View Post
Bike serviced, bags packed, time to hit the road to New York where I will pick up my son and co-pilot :)


Weather forecast shows cold and rain...


Only 43 degrees Fahrenheit in Duluth! (6 Celsius!)



Oh wait, it means Subscribed!
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:38 AM   #9
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Cool2 Here comes the sun! Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada

Next morning was cool and foggy-


In some areas the fog was so thick i had to slow way down. Wanted to take a pic but needed to devote 100% of my attention to staying in my lane! It was a lot thicker than this-


Rode past Neys Provincial Park which is supposed to be quite spectacular, but the fog was so thick i didn't bother stopping, then, just as the coast and road turn south towards Marathon and Pukaskwa National Park the weather did a 180, out came the sun, and up went the mercury


This is more like it!!


Welcome to Pukaskwa National Park! Brandy, the cutie manning the gate, was sporting a nose ring and killer smile and told me to go find a spot and come back "whenever" to register.


I walked the campground which was mostly empty and finally choose spot number 35 as it was fairly secluded but also right on the trailhead that leads to some trails i wanted to hike.




Quite a nice spot, and my first time using the new Marmot Limelight tent-


Lots of bears around here! Brandy said the best place to see them is the Marathon town dump but that they do visit the campground from time to time as well.


I went for a wander around campground and visitor center-


Hattie Cove, as seen from the visitor center-


Was pleasantly surprised to discover they have free WiFi at the Visitor Center. Bit of a pet peeve how the US National Park Service has contracted out the lodges in most US National Parks to private companies that want to charge you an arm and a leg for the "privilege" of using their WiFi....

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Old 06-18-2014, 01:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VietHorse View Post
I like you name the title of the trip: Summer Tour 2014


Oh wait, it means Subscribed!
It has certainly been a lot cooler up here in "Canuckistan" than I expected!
And to think that I almost didn't bring the liner for my riding jacket! I probably would have had to go shopping back in Duluth as I'd never have gotten this far without it. The heated grips and seat on the Land Yacht have also been a lifesaver! BMW seems to have calculated that as long as you keep your hands and butt warm, everything else seems to sort itself out
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:26 AM   #11
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Exploring Pukaskwa National Park, Lake Superior, Ontario Canada!

So happy to see the sun after two days of miserable wet windy and cold weather. I wanted to stretch my legs and there are a number of trails that depart from the campground. First one I hiked was the Manito Miikaba trail, aka, the Spirit Trail.


To reach the beginning of this trail you follow the boardwalk from the campground to the beach-


At the beach the trail splits; the Manito Miikaba trail is to the right, Southern Headland Trail to the left-


The beach itself is quite beautiful!

A cold breeze blowing off Lake Superior quickly killed any notions of going for a swim though!


After the beach the Manitoou Miikana trail climbs a ridge that takes you out on a peninsula that juts in to Lake Superior-


I was quite amazed to discover snow here at such a low altitude and late date!




A glimpse of Lake Superior through a granite ravine-
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:53 AM   #12
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I think that route is cold all year. I did it a couple years ago and found myself putting every piece of clothing I had on including the rainsuit to keep out the wind. I found myself chiding myself often for not bringing the heated jacket liner.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:03 PM   #13
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To the north the Pic river drains into Lake Superior- hard to see perhaps how muddy the river is from all the recent rain-


At the end of the peninsula stunning views in all directions! And to think that Lake Superior contains 10% of the entire planet's fresh water!




Colorful lichens somehow manage to survive in this harsh environment.




Walking around the peninsula and looking towards Hattie Cove-


Love some of the whimsical shapes you find amongst the driftwood that is piled high onto the beach-
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:21 PM   #14
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Awesome pictures and a great looking ride. Hope you find more sunny and warm days.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:25 PM   #15
TonyBKK OP
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Hiking the Southern Headland Trail, Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario ,Canada

The Manitou Miikaba trail was short but sweet so i decided to hike another called the Southern Headlands Trail-


Another great hike! The air here is so incredibly fresh and invigorating! Only thing that could make it better would be to have my son along to enjoy this together.


If i were at the ocean I'd call this a tidal pool. At a fresh water lake? No idea...


Had a chance to test my macro on this tiny little frog


Frog 'n shroom


Pretty awesome camouflage, eh?


A bit further on i found a perfect spot that was sheltered from the cool wind coming off the lake. Triscuits with cheese and summer sausage- simple and so good!


I nearly fell asleep there, lying back on the sun-warmed granite, but eventually found the energy to continue on. Lots of flowers in bloom-


Wild strawberry in bloom-


Flowers and shrooms :)




Lake Superior on the right, Hattie Cove on the left-


Heres the small inlet that connects Hattie Cove with Lake Superior-
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