Grampa's Lake Superior Ride

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Oldone, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    This was done three years ago but might still have some interest for those who might be considering
    doing a ride like this. We really enjoyed it and want to go back to see what we missed. :-) Please let
    me know if any of you had a chance to ride in any of these areas and if so, what I should see the next
    time? Thanks.....

    Please Note: Dave in this report was injured badly in a motorcycle accident in August of 2014 and is
    paralyzed from the waist down. Please pray for him while he hopes to re-gain use of his legs again.
    Thank you.
    Notice his current (Feb. 15, 2015) "Lokomat" therapy... Here...After six months since the accident he's
    just now feeling "some slight sensations" in various areas. He still has his Burgman 650 that he rode here in this ride report.

    Lake Superior Ride.......1,954 miles for me..... 2,115 for Dave...... six days...... June 12-18, 2011

    At first I wasn't going to do this since there's so many great RR's already on here. After a few weeks went by though, I
    decided to try to do better then first one although I'll have to ask you to over-look some of my "un-good" parts! Thanks
    for reading.....Soooo, as our grand-daughter used to say, "Yet's take a wook"....:deal


    My first ride report was around AZ, to some National Monuments.....Grampa's National Monument Ride.

    Day 1......Our Lake Superior Ride started out in Wisconsin so Dave met me in the Ashland area. Dave
    is a teacher from the Chicago area that I met up with on the Internet a couple of years ago. We did a
    one day ride along the Mississippi river last summer for a warm-up to this ride. (His wife rode with him
    on that ride.) Actually, we had no plans for another ride but we just started emailing about it and
    eventually we decided to give it a try. Here he’s made it to the WI. border. As it turned out, he was
    a great guy to ride with and we had a great time.

    [​IMG]

    We started out in Odanah, WI. where we stayed the first night and went clockwise to Thunder Bay, Ont.
    where we stayed the 2nd night, Then on to Wawa, where we spent the 3rd night outside of town a few
    miles in a great family motel that was fixed up really nice, called the Northern Lights Motel. Then on to
    Munising, MI. for our 4th night and then to Hancock, MI. for the last night. Dave went south back towards
    the Chicago area on the last day and I went back through Duluth and west from there to get back home to
    Park Rapids, MN. The fog was terrible going over the bridge in Duluth and following a semi-truck was my
    only chance of seeing a thing. The only things I could see were just his tail-lights!
    I couldn't even see the
    side of the road so that I could pull over and stop, it was that bad!
    :eek1 Click on icon in upper left corner for a
    drop down menu of places we went.


    <iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=zEw4cLQvP-HA.kM8jxWjycJyk" height="480" width="640"></iframe>

    In the meantime, I was riding from MN. and was in Ashland, WI. when I took these. Not very good photos
    but I really like the Ashland area and the downtown is really a neat place. I like any kind of water and to
    have it right in town is really a bonus.

    [​IMG]

    Lots of places to stop along this stretch to enjoy the sights.

    [​IMG]

    The roads coming through the back way of MN. were really fun, peaceful, and quiet with hardly any traffic
    at all. The only problem with these kinds of roads are the zillions of deer that can surprise you at any time
    of the day or night. I had a near miss last year when what seemed to be a monster-sized one jumped right
    in front of me! Yikes to that!! :eek1

    [​IMG]

    Dave bought a new Suzuki Burgman 650 a few months before our departure and did some riding in the cold
    early spring weather to get enough miles on it for a suitable break-in. It&#8217;s a neat bike with lots of storage,
    especially with the extras that he added to it. His conclusions so far are that it&#8217;s an excellent addition to his
    other bikes. (A Honda PC800 Pacific Coast (like my two) and a Honda GL650 Silverwing.)

    [​IMG]

    Day 2......We started out in Ashland after I topped off my gas and Dave grabbed a quick breakfast. Actually,
    we started out at the casino east of Ashland where we stayed that night before. I had stayed there last
    summer and liked their good rates, food and desk service. They were very helpful and considerate and since
    we were on our bikes they suggested that we park them right up next to the building under the eave. Very
    nice gals that were working there both times that I was there. I'll sure stop again if I'm ever in the area.

    [​IMG]

    Although I had been through the Bayfield loop (start on map) last summer, we decided to take that first as
    long as it was on the way. Since it was over-cast that morning, we didn&#8217;t come up with any photos worth
    showing. Later on in the morning it cleared off and going up the North Shore was perfect. Hi Dave!
    :wave

    [​IMG]

    Ashland is a pretty nice area with the main Hwy. 2 going right next to the lake with city parks along the way.
    We stayed at the casino east of Ashland and since I didn't have as far to ride, I got there a couple

    of hours
    before Dave did. We were able to get an early start the next day, shortly after day-break.

    [​IMG]

    We tried to get a few photos in the Bayfield area but none came out very good at all. This one proves that
    we tried though! We stayed on Hwy. 13 the whole way pretty much and really didn&#8217;t see too much water,
    although it&#8217;s a nice peaceful ride through the woods. Most of the road was fairly straight and the conditions
    were good all the way to Duluth.

    [​IMG]

    There were several nice marinas in the Bayfield area and a few expensive looking boats that were tied up
    in various areas. Most were too far away to get a very good photo though.

    [​IMG]

    A few photos didn't come out too bad, although nothing like so many of these great photos on here! Sorry
    about that. The North Shore was a great start for the lake portion of our ride and it was a beautiful day so
    we lucked out as far as that went. Riding over the bridge in Duluth, MN. was a good start and this is such
    a great port city with beautiful views. We live about 170 miles from here and since our daughter went to
    college in the area 25 years ago, we made lots of trips over this bridge. It brought back many memories
    going over it.


    There is another side to the bridge story though, because when I came across this same bridge six days
    later, it was in a heavy, heavy fog with thick mist. I was following a semi-truck and all I could see were
    the two vague tail-lights and absolutely nothing else! I wanted to just pull over but had no idea where the
    side of the road even was, so I just kept following those tail-lights for miles! Yikes! Would you believe
    there's no photos of that? :eek1

    [​IMG]

    Duluth has a great "Skyline Drive" that over-looks the city and harbor as you travel along on it's 30 miles
    or so road. The views of Lake Superior from up on that drive (which is about 600 ft.up ) is breath-taking.
    The downtown "Canal Park" area is very interesting and includes museums, galleries, harbor tours, etc.
    Duluth lies on the western shores of Lake Superior where up to 1,000 ocean-going ships stop annually.
    Learn more here:

    [​IMG]

    One of my favorite cities with a great view of the harbor......
    :0-0

    [​IMG]

    Heading for the tunnels after coming off of the bridge and the nice ride along London Rd. where the famous
    Glensheen Mansion is located. For those who aren't familiar with that, it's really something to see. Built by
    an oil tycoon years ago on somewhere around 8 acres right on the shores of Lake Superior. Tours are still
    given at certain times. There's lots of history to this place including the murders in the 70's that most have
    probably heard about. (Too much traffic for a photo....sorry.) See more here:


    [​IMG]

    This interchange and tunnel system doesn't seem familiar to me so I have a feeling that it's fairly recent.
    Maybe the time has just zoomed on without my realizing how many years it's been since I've been here.
    Does anyone have any idea how many years this has been here? Maybe I'll be surprised to find out.
    :confused

    [​IMG]

    #1
  2. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)

    PeteE

    That's interesting since I was just looking at the roads around Lake Michigan yesterday and found out that I could probably do that in about the same amount of miles. I hope you can do the Superior loop someday as there's parts of that that're very nice. Thanks for the photo comment, but I'm afraid I'm coming up pretty short when it comes to good quality. I bought a new camera last Christmas but I've learned that I've got to spend a little more than $79 to get better results! (That first photo was along the N. Shore before I got to Thunder Bay.) Some photos are really similar all around the lake.

    Gary
    #2
  3. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    On the North Shore, not so far yet from Duluth. (I think those are buildings from Duluth in the far
    background?)
    Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes and they say that all of the great lakes
    plus more would fit in there. It's 350 miles from east to west and 160 miles from north to south.
    Deepest spot is 1,333 ft. deep and average depth is over 400 ft. There's 350 ship wrecks down there
    in those depths including the famous Edmund Fitzgerald. (Just things that I happened to read not so
    long ago so that I'd have something to put here!!) :hmmmmm More information here:


    Oh, and that's my 1990 PC800 Pacific Coast bike with a little over 24,000 miles on it. My 1998 is out
    in AZ. waiting for the upcoming PCH ride in Sept. (That's the ride that I mentioned earlier on where a
    bunch of other Pacific Coast bikes meet up and ride for a week along the coast that was named after
    these bikes. About a 3,000 mile, 12 day ride for me, leaving from the Phoenix area). Note: I've since
    decided that I'm going to have to cancel this trip this year due to several unexpected things. :cry

    [​IMG]


    #3
  4. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    Next stop will be the Two Harbors area where the now well known Grandma's Marathon starts each year.
    The race, that draws thousands of runners, ends in downtown Duluth at the Canal Park. Our son ran that
    race back in 1982 when he was thirteen years old. (He's still going strong even though they have three
    boys of their own now.) This is an ideal course as it follows along the lake-shore and normally has a
    southern breeze to help the runners cool off somewhat.
    :jive

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    Also in the Two Harbors area are these Iron Ore Docks built many years ago.The ore carrying ships pull in
    alongside the loading docks with the help of the tugs. Cars loaded with ore then line up on top with a
    hopper and when that is lowered and the chute is opened, down slides the ore into one of the bays on the
    ship. It only takes a matter of seconds for the bay to fill and then it's on to the next one. :1drink

    <AHREF="HTTP: s1111.photobucket.com="" albums="" h479="" garlar12="" lake%20superior%20ride="" ?action='view&current=oredock-1.jpg"' target="_blank"><A href="http://s1111.photobucket.com/albums/h479/garlar12/Finished%20Day%20one%20Lake%20Superior/?action=view&current=oredock-1-1.jpg" target=_blank>[​IMG]</AHREF="HTTP:></AHREF="HTTP:></AHREF="HTTP:></A< p>
    <A href="http://s1111.photobucket.com/albums/h479/garlar12/Finished%20Day%20one%20Lake%20Superior/?action=view&current=oredock-1-1.jpg" target=_blank><A< p>Here it's showing how the next unit drops down and loads. I wished I would've timed how fast it
    loaded because it was really fast. It was lots of fun to watch that whole process.

    <Ahref="http://s1111.photobucket.com/albums/h479/garlar12/Finished%20Day%20one%20Lake%20Superior/?action=view&current=oredock-1-1.jpg" target=_blank><A< p>
    <AHREF="HTTP: s1111.photobucket.com="" albums="" h479="" garlar12="" lake%20superior%20ride="" ?action='view&current=oredock-1.jpg"' target="_blank"><AHREF="HTTP: s1111.photobucket.com="" albums="" h479="" garlar12="" lake%20superior%20ride="" ?action='view&current=orechutes-1-1.jpg"' target="_blank"><AHREF="HTTP: s1111.photobucket.com="" albums="" h479="" garlar12="" lake%20superior%20ride="" ?action='view&current=oredock-1.jpg"' target="_blank"></AHREF="HTTP:></AHREF="HTTP:></AHREF="HTTP:></A< p><A href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uu2ssQK9x0" target=_blank><AHREF="HTTP: s1111.photobucket.com="" albums="" h479="" garlar12="" lake%20superior%20ride="" ?action='view&current=orechutes-1-1.jpg"' target="_blank"></AHREF="HTTP:>[​IMG]
    We didn&#8217;t wait around to see how long it took to fill the ship but it was moving right along when we left!
    Here it&#8217;s already showing the bays pretty full and we weren&#8217;t even there all that long. I would think a
    couple of hours would make a lot of headway? More on the shipping industry here:
    <A< p><AHREF="HTTP: s1111.photobucket.com="" albums="" h479="" garlar12="" lake%20superior%20ride="" ?action='view&current=oredock-1.jpg"' target="_blank"><AHREF="HTTP: s1111.photobucket.com="" albums="" h479="" garlar12="" lake%20superior%20ride="" ?action='view&current=orechutes-1-1.jpg"' target="_blank"><AHREF="HTTP: s1111.photobucket.com="" albums="" h479="" garlar12="" lake%20superior%20ride="" ?action='view&current=oredock-1.jpg"' target="_blank"><AHREF="HTTP: s1111.photobucket.com="" albums="" h479="" garlar12="" lake%20superior%20ride="" ?action='view&current=orechutes-1-1.jpg"' target="_blank">
    <AHREF="HTTP: s1111.photobucket.com="" albums="" h479="" garlar12="" lake%20superior%20ride="" ?action='view&current=ore-2.jpg"' target="_blank"><A href="http://s1111.photobucket.com/albums/h479/garlar12/Finished%20Day%20one%20Lake%20Superior/?action=view&current=ore-1-1.jpg" target=_blank>[​IMG]<A href="http://s1111.photobucket.com/albums/h479/garlar12/Finished%20Day%20one%20Lake%20Superior/?action=view&current=ore-1-1.jpg" target=_blank>


    </AHREF="HTTP:></AHREF="HTTP:></AHREF="HTTP:></AHREF="HTTP:></AHREF="HTTP:></A< p>
    #5
  6. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    Said to be the longest tunnel along the North Shore, it was built in the mid 90's and is over 1,400 ft.
    long. I guess the purpose of building it was to make the road safer since these cliffs were preventing
    road improvements. Most of what goes the closest to the lake is on the old Hwy. 61 although in some
    areas, traveling on the newer Hwy. 61 was necessary..... Heading up to Gooseberry Falls next.


    [​IMG]

    Looking back down the road to where we just came from going 60 mph or so. I had no idea what kind of
    photo would result in just pointing and shoot? Anyway, when I first was looking at the photos, I was
    wondering why the lake was suddenly on the other side! This was just before the Gooseberry Falls area
    and beautiful country with a great sunny day all that day. (After an over-cast start that is!.)

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)

    [​IMG]

    We didn't walk up above the falls very far so no good photos from there unfortunately. It seems like
    there's an interesting area about a half-mile up the river where it gets fast with rushing water? I'm not
    very sure about that though since it's been such a long time since I've been here.


    [​IMG]

    I guess I'll have to give away another "Oldone" photo since the background is really what everyone
    wants to see anyway! Plus, there's no doubt that the name sure suits the person!The Gooseberry falls
    is really a pretty area not only at and below the falls but also above.

    [​IMG]

    There were quite a bunch of kids there making lots of "fun" noises but once in awhile it became reasonably
    quiet and the sounds of the cascading water were really nice to hear. It was really a neat place with lots
    of walk-ways on both sides of the falls with various viewing platforms. It had been 20+ years since I was
    there the last time with our family and again, lots of good memories to stop there. :raabia

    [​IMG]

    Dave didn't always seem like he wanted his photo taken so I sorta got him anyway a few times! But,
    like I said before, it's the background anyway that people are interested in. It's such a shame that
    photos don't began to capture the real scene though. At least that's always the case with my photos!
    Congratulations goes out to those who do such a great job though.

    [​IMG]

    This is where the river from the falls enters Lake Superior. I'm not sure how far the falls are from the lake,
    but I would guess maybe a half-mile or so? You could go onto the Internet to learn more about this area here:

    [​IMG]

    This was one of the most beautiful areas of the whole trip and we could've spent hours here.

    [​IMG]

    The viewing platforms, stairs, benches, etc. really added to the whole setting and made for a very fun stop.

    [​IMG]

    This was visible from the falls stairs as it was right around the area where the river emptied into the lake.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Our plans were to stop at the Split Rock Lighthouse after Gooseberry Falls but an area of road construction
    seemed to throw us off course for the entrance to that. By the time we passed the construction we were
    beyond the entrance and we didn't realize that right away. We decided to just keep going rather than to
    turn around and ride back through part of the construction again.

    [​IMG]

    Our first day on the trip was absolutely great as far as the weather was concerned. We had good luck with
    our bikes and our timing worked out good as far as our reservation that night in Thunder Bay went. Dave's
    new Burgman was proving to be a good buy and he really loved the way it was riding.

    [​IMG]

    Dave was a good sport and offered to take photos for others and help out when he could. We had a
    nice visit with this family who was on a week vacation with their kids. They all seemed to be so much
    fun to visit with. It's amazing what happens when you're out traveling and meeting total strangers.

    [​IMG]

    As long as we were taking photos the gal offered to take ours too and since this was the only one that
    we had taken together, I might as well add this here too. I sorta like it when I'm standing far enough
    back that nobody can see all the "Oldone" wrinkles! It never got tiresome watching the great lake either.

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    Some of you could really do wonders with your photos considering some of the great opportunities along
    here. The entire North Shore has these various viewpoints and if only I had the equipment and knowledge,
    maybe I could accomplish more. There were lots of great views of the big lake for miles and miles.

    [​IMG]

    We're getting closer to Grand Marais where the road starts down the well known Gunflint Trail. This
    area has a great history to it and I've included a link to lead you to more information about their
    wilderness programs, etc here:

    [​IMG]

    It was amazing how close the road was at times to the lake and it was a little hard to keep my mind
    on riding. This one was taken at 60 mph. or so and I suppose that never helps with the quality? I love
    some of the history of the great lakes and the shipping industry. Those guys put in some hard days
    on those ships and ore carriers. Lots of information here:

    [​IMG]

    The PC800 Pacific Coast bikes are really a nice riding bike weighing about 650 lbs. I mentioned this in my
    first RR, but if you missed it, they were made in 1989 and 1990 and then again from 1994 through 1998.
    This one is a 1990 and I have a 1998 that I keep in AZ. where we spend our winters. The 1997 & 1998
    models did away with the front wheel covers so they just have the fender on them.

    [​IMG]

    We're not far from the border crossing now and since this was my first time, I wasn't sure if I was going
    to make it across or not? Someone had told me that I needed a medical insurance card in addition to
    my passport so I was a little nervous. Luck would have it though, I sailed right through in a couple of
    minutes. Very nice people there too!

    [​IMG]

    Once we got on the Canadian side of the lake the views began to change almost immediately. Although
    there didn't seem to be quite as many attractions from Thunder Bay down to Sault Ste Marie, the ride
    was still very interesting and some of the pull-outs and viewing areas were really very scenic. One area
    gave us a real scare but I'll tell about that when I come to those parking area photos.

    [​IMG]

    Day 3......The Terry Fox Foundation was started in 1981 or '82 when Terry Fox went on a campaign to raise money to fight cancer. He had lost a leg from that when he was a teenager and went on a running effort that called for a marathon distance every day for something like 150 days in a row! (I can't imagine doing that on even two legs!) He was forced to stop running and was hospitalized for the final time when the cancer had spread to his lungs. He died shortly after that but his mother continued on with the foundation and has done that ever since. The last that I heard, she was seriously ill herself so I don't know what will become of it now? Anyway, a park-like setting over-looking Lake Superior with his monument was built shortly after his death and a visitor's center now occupies that location as well. Something like $550 million had been raised the last that I heard. I remember so well watching him run on TV when the media had their coverage of him so much of the time. Much more information can be found here:

    [​IMG]

    It was before sun-up when we stopped at the edge of Two Harbors to see the monument and although the
    photos didn't come out so good, you can kind of tell how tall the monument stood. The "Sleeping Giant"

    park and outline is directly behind the photo above. I tried to get a close-up of the descriptive engraving
    but it didn't turn out. I'm sure those details along with Terry's photos can be found on the above link though. This was the thing that I wanted to see the most when planning for this trip since I remembered him so well!

    [​IMG]

    More to follow....
    #9
  10. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    The views from the eastern side of the lake were quite comparable to the North Shore side. Probably one big
    difference seemed to be the eastern side had a more rugged appearance and reminded me of photos that I&#8217;ve
    seen of the oceans. Later on, that will become more evident when the rocks become more common. Soon we'll
    come to the rest stop where we had the scare of the day!

    [​IMG]

    There were lots of great views of the lake from the road and very little traffic.

    [​IMG]

    Somehow there always seemed to be a bike in front of me when I took those photos!

    [​IMG]

    Not so far down the road from Terrace Bay is the scenic area of Aquasabon Falls. We were in the
    woodworking business for 35 years and the bridge and platform construction were really fascinating
    to me. I&#8217;m quite certain that they will be around for many decades to come, considering how sturdy
    they were constructed. It's a loooong ways down and it protrudes out over the ledge quite a ways.

    [​IMG]

    The views from on here were great and I was having a good time looking over the construction of the bridge
    and walk-ways. The main supports were laminated or sandwiched 2"x10" and fastened with huge stainless
    steel bolts. Where any angles met, a near perfect bevel existed and I have no idea how they could've been
    done with that much accuracy? Oh, and back to the falls, there's some history involved with those too and a
    video of it's construction so go here to learn more.

    [​IMG]

    These were taken from the viewing platform where only a small portion of the lake could be seen.

    [​IMG]

    Canada has many various water falls and we could've seen a lot more of them but we had to keep riding
    in order to make it to our reserved motels for each night. We didn't know it at the time, but the motel for
    this night was a real big surprise, that's for sure!

    [​IMG]

    I guess the great job on the construction of this area isn't quite so evident in this photo but it was still
    solid as could be and it was way nicer then what the photo shows. Really, it was!!

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    This is where the scare happened, at least for a few minutes. We stopped here for a few photos and I needed
    to take a few things off as it was warming up. A woman came up to me and asked if we'd seen a man walking
    around. She was pretty concerned and we learned that they'd stopped and she had taken a quick nap as she was
    driving and was tired out. When she woke up, her husband was long gone! As it turned out, he had dementia and we weren't sure where he went. Dave started yelling the man's name and looking all over for him and eventually the guy answered from waaaay down along the shore.. We were on a steep hill and somehow he had made it all the way to the bottom. He finally climbed back up and all was well with a very happy lady! It looked like they were a great couple and it was so nice to see a happy ending to that story!

    [​IMG]

    Some of our riding was deepin the woods for a time and then out of the blue, we'd be back to the lake again.
    Actually, it was really a refreshing break and was nice to be able to do that. We didn't get too many photos of
    those areas though, mainly because there weren't as many rest stops out in the woods.

    [​IMG]

    It was amazing how we could go from what seemed to be deep in the woods to right next to the lake in the
    matter of just a few minutes. There were a couple of small villages that hung right close to the shoreline in
    several areas that made for an interesting setting.

    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure where these people did their shopping but there weren't any stores in some of these areas. It
    still made for a neat scene though and I'm sure it must've been a relaxing life style enhanced by the big lake.

    [​IMG]

    One more stretch before reaching our motel for tonight. We'll find out that the mosquitoes also love this area
    in particular. I'm not too sure how people who live in some of these areas can handle that constant agony.
    Maybe it's something that you have to get used to, but coming from MN., I thought I knew a little about those
    little buggers! :zilla

    [​IMG]

    We got a real pleasant surprise after we pulled into this motel out in the boonies. Actually, it's about five miles
    from Wawa, Ont. but on first thought, it just looked like the common older Ma and Pa motel. When we met the
    owners and got a look inside, we couldn't have been happier! The gal was a cartoonist before moving to the
    area ten years earlier and her talents showed through-out the whole place. Cute little sayings and cartoons all
    over the walls and about every convenience provided that you could think of. Rags for our bikes in a cute little
    bag, umbrellas hanging on the wall, toothpicks, match-books, etc. I wish I would've made a list and taken photos
    of the inside but just didn't think of it. The guy was really a neat person too and the work that he had put in
    renovating the place was just un-real. One of the rooms was made into a breakfast room and it was done up
    with the cutest decor and food galore! (The place had been sitting vacant for quite awhile and was rundown
    when they bought it.) Be sure not to miss it if you ever need a place to stay in the area. I rate it the very best!
    :nod

    [​IMG]

    Day 4......I took this through the screen in the window above my bed as we were rounding up our things for
    the day. It was really beautiful country and although we did ride through some construction the day before,
    the roads were mostly in good condition.

    [​IMG]

    I couldn't pass by the famous Wawa Goose and we needed fuel anyway so we back-tracked into town the next
    morning and as luck would have it, got to the station just as they were opening. The goose was only a couple
    of hundred feet from there, so I just left my bike at the pump and got a quick photo. Now I have become one
    of hundreds who've got a photo of the Wawa Goose! :wink:

    [​IMG]

    This was taken just down the road from Wawa as we were on our last leg on the Canadian side. The lake was
    still shadowed from the sun so the photo doesn't really show the true beauty. It was really very nice though.

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    These are the last of the Canadian photos and soon we'll be at the big bridge and the border crossing. It
    really doesn't seem possible that we're already to this point. One thing that's made it so enjoyable though
    has been the great luck that we've had with the weather so far. The Canadian people who we've met have
    been very nice so that added to the enjoyment too.

    [​IMG]

    Well, we were back to the U.S. border already and the time was going fast. The long bridge was next with
    the Soo Locks down below that. It was really quite a scenic crossing and quite an experience for me since
    I'd never been across it before. We had a little bit of construction to go around but nothing serious.

    [​IMG]

    Right after the border crossing was the long approach to the really big, high, tall bridge with nice scenic
    views above the water down below. The crossing coming back took a little longer with more questions
    being asked with a sort of stern look on the guy's face. Just as I was beginning to feel like a real criminal,
    he sent me on through. Ufta!! :mrskbasa

    [​IMG]

    Have you ever noticed that Dave did most of the leading on this trip? Seems that I've seen that Burgman
    bike somewhere before! Actually, he did a good job up front and I was well satisfied to be behind. I got
    hung up at a traffic light just before the turn to the crossing and had to go around the block, where I got
    hung up a couple more times at traffic lights. In the meantime, Dave was patiently waiting for me just
    before the climb to the border so it worked out fine.

    [​IMG]

    Under the big bridge, we're looking for the Soo Locks here in Sault Ste Marie and have decided that it must
    be close to this area. The locks were another attraction that I was really looking forward to visit and it turned
    out to be very interesting. It was a little disappointing to have missed seeing the big ship though.

    [​IMG]

    This is really an interesting area with lots of small, cute shops along with the larger stores too. It
    would've been fun to spend way more time there then we did, but we had to get moving on down
    the road for another reserved room for that night.

    [​IMG]

    We found the locks just down the road and luck would have it, a huge ship was just leaving as we
    pulled into our parking spaces just across the street from the visitor's center and viewing area. It
    was one of the longest ships called the Saginaw. More information on the locks can be found here:


    [​IMG]

    I did learn that the locks are 155 years old and has a drop of 21 feet between Lake Superior and Lake
    Huron. We waited around for 45 minutes or so for a 750 ft. carrier to come through and in the meantime
    we watched several small tugs and ships lining up for the opening of the locks. A few photos show some
    of the events taking place as we waited.

    [​IMG]

    The visitor's center right behind this viewing area is a cool place with maps on the walls with history
    over the many years that the locks have been operating. Monitors show the arriving and departing ships
    and tugs, etc. with schedules and the ETA information. The border bridge is in the background. :*sip*

    [​IMG]

    We watched as a small boat waited in the lock in front of the viewing area for that to fill up while the
    big carrier was coming into the other lock. It's pretty amazing how fast these fill up considering it's 21'
    deep! We didn't think to time it but I'm sure it must be in the website information that I'll post again here:

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    This is the big carrier that we waited for for close to an hour. We could see it coming in a couple of
    blocks out but it really took it's time, barely inching along, especially once it reached the lock. I'm not
    sure how long it would take on average to make it completely through and on up to full speed again.
    Probably several hours. The website would tell, I would think? :deal Here:

    [​IMG]

    As we were grabbing a bite to eat and stopping for a few things at the store, we noticed the wind
    starting to kick up and by the time we left Sault Ste. Marie, it was blowing pretty hard. This would
    turn out to be the first real windy day of our trip, at least for a couple of hours. We wanted to see
    the Tahquamenon Falls so we headed for Paradise, MI. since they were located 15 miles or so
    west of there on #123. When we reached Whitefish Bay (the lake), the winds really kicked up
    coming off of the lake.

    [​IMG]

    As I was coming down the hill I noticed the wind was hitting me at a little different angle and when I started
    going around the curve a gust hit me full blast. I was happy that I was hanging on pretty good about then!

    [​IMG]

    The roads in the Paradise area were in great shape and the stretch going from town to the state
    park was about the nicest of our trip with the exception of # 41 up by Copper Harbor. (Lots of
    people have commented about that road.) It was also a very pretty area, even before we got to
    the park. Dave paid for my park permit so thanks again Dave!

    [​IMG]

    Once we got to the state park where the falls were located, there were many interesting things to look
    at including a Moose even! Some of the young trees were really growing hearty and some of the old
    ones had been around for many decades according to the growth rings on some of the stumps. It was
    really abeautiful park.

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    From some of the information that I've read, these falls are the 2nd largest east of the Mississippi behind
    Niagara Falls! The upper falls are over 200' long and are over 50' high. The brown color stems from a tanic
    acid that comes from cedar and hemlock swamp land where the river originates from.


    [​IMG]

    From above on the viewing deck that was 95 "puff-puff" steps up above the falls!
    :knary

    [​IMG]

    They say that 50,000 gallons of water goes rushing over the falls per second on an average. This
    changes dramatically according to weather patterns and I would imagine that it could increase a
    great deal in the spring and during heavy rains of course.

    [​IMG]

    The lower falls were several miles from the upper falls and were somewhat less dramatic however the
    surrounding woods and park setting was quite stunning. There's lots of history to the area, first with the
    Ojibwa's and then later on with the logging industry. You can find lots of that history information here:

    [​IMG]

    Although it doesn't show up very well, the lower falls come over in two places. You can barely see them
    way on the right and left edges of the photo. The river setting throughout the falls area was really scenic
    and I was hoping that would show up here better than it does.

    [​IMG]

    Although our plans had been to keep riding on the same road that the state park was on, we learned that
    this #123 was closed further down the road. The only choice we had was to return to Paradise and go back
    the way we had come in. We had thought of going up to the Whitefish Bay point too but it was already
    getting late so we started back for Munising, MI. where we had reservations. The evening shadows were
    beginning to show and we were a little concerned about the deer hour, but we made it without seeing any.
    Riding through the pines was really peaceful with very little traffic.

    [​IMG]

    We made it to our motel in Munising about 9:30 p.m. and it was a pretty long day. It amounted to over
    14 hrs. so that was a great plenty. Of course, a lot of that time was spent off the bikes, but it was still
    a tiring day, but very enjoyable. The roads all the way from Paradise were great and we made good time
    that last leg. Plans were to see the Munising Falls the next morning before heading off towards Copper
    Harbor.
    :snore

    [​IMG]

    Day 5......Not far from our motel was a park-like setting where we parked our bikes early in the morning
    and walked up a trail to the Munising Falls. It was really an interesting hike and very pretty setting
    in the woods.

    [​IMG]

    There was a trail leading up to another trail leading through the higher elevation but we didn't want to
    spend a lot of time there since we wanted to see the Copper Harbor area and had quite a ways to go.

    [​IMG]

    A poster on the site said the the Munising Creek has continued to erode the sandstone cliffs in the
    area, creating these rock formations and waterfalls. Rock-slides have been a result of this continuing
    erosion these past few years, causing a closure to some of these trails in the back side of the waterfalls.

    [​IMG]

    Since we wanted to get on down the road, we took off with the hopes that the weather would hold up
    for another day. We'd had good luck so far but as the day progressed, the weather continued to turn
    cooler with some slight rain and mist and fog. By the time we got to the Baraga area, I was shaking
    like mad. The cold, wet wind coming off of the Keweenaw Bay was brutal.
    :vardy

    [​IMG]

    A stop for some hot tea, fuel and a change into some heavier clothes and rain gear helped matters
    somewhat. It would still make for a rather uncomfortable day though, and it felt pretty nice once we
    reached our motel for the night. (We had reservations for a motel in Hancock.) By the way, I think
    it might be a good idea not to get too cheap when buying rain gear. My brand new rain pants split
    wide open in a rather not so good area :eek1 the first time I put them on!

    [​IMG]

    I'm sure lots of you have heard of the Hwy. # 41 on the way to Copper Harbor? I know that I've read about
    it and have seen photos of it from those who've been on this same ride. Anyway, we discovered all of the
    great things that have been said about it are certainly true. It's really a nice area and great fun to ride on.

    [​IMG]

    The road was about the smoothest that I can ever remember riding on. I wish we could have that
    experience more often in one lifetime of riding! It hasn't ever happened to me before although I
    have been on some nice ones. It makes me wonder what Deal's Gap is like? Some of you know
    don't you? So, what was it really like?

    [​IMG]

    I'm not too sure how many enjoyable miles we were able to ride on Hwy. # 41 but they went all too fast
    and suddenly we came around a curve and there it was. A sign saying "Copper Harbor". We were really
    there and it seemed to have happened really fast! It wasn't that we were riding that fast either. No really!
    :ricky ("G" & "H" area on map.)

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    When we pulled into Cooper Harbor, we stopped at the visitor's center and was greeted by a lady who
    was very helpful in telling us about interesting things in the area. She acted like it was her first visit but
    we found out that she'd been there for six years! Her directions sent us up a steep hill over-looking the
    town with lots of scenic wonders. Brockway Mountain was where we went next.


    [​IMG]

    I really wonder what it would've looked like from up here on a nice, warm, sunny day. It's amazing how
    much the weather plays into any kind of a trip but on the other hand, it was quite an experience and I
    felt grateful for being there regardless.

    [​IMG]

    Several views from up on top.....it was misting with some fog so the photos didn't come out very good.
    Here's some information for this area though: http://www.copperharbor.org/


    [​IMG]

    Dave had been standing there taking photos and when he turned around, I got him and I'm not sure if
    he was expecting it or not.

    [​IMG]

    Well, the whole trip had been going just great. The weather had been nearly perfect for the fist four days.
    The scenery was breathtaking in many spots, we had some good visits with each other and with people
    along the way.........and then........and then.... ???
    :doh

    [​IMG]

    Down in a heap!!
    :ddog :muutt

    So, do I tell on myself I wonder? Oh well, I've got a good excuse so here goes.....I bought a new pair of
    boots just before I left for the trip and since the toe area was larger than my other boots, it was harder
    to shift. I changed the shift lever so that my boots would fit better, but was still having a little trouble
    changing gears at times. When we took our photos and were leaving, I ran into a hole in the crummy
    Brockway Mountain road and as I was gonna gun it out of the hole, I "chugged" and just as I realized
    I was in 2nd gear, I went in a heap! Luck would have it though, Dave came back and helped me lift my
    bike back up and away I went. (Actually, since I'm the "Oldone", he did most of the lifting.)
    :gdog
    Thanks again Dave! I was a little tender in a couple of spots, but good enough to ride the 370 miles
    back home the next day. Ufda!
    Well dang!
    #14
  15. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    Since the weather was still misty and cool, we decided to start back to our motel that we had reserved in
    Hancock. We traveled out on Gratiot Ave. (# 26) along the most rugged coastline of our trip. It was too bad
    that we couldn't come up with very good photos, considering the conditions, but we took some anyway and I
    might as well post a few. The views as we traveled down the coast were nice in spite of the mist and fog.

    [​IMG]

    It's rather amazing to me how trees can remain standing when so much of the roots are exposed.

    [​IMG]

    There were several nice areas to stop to get off of the bikes and take a stroll and take photos. There
    were also several small communities along this stretch but I'm not sure if we had any photos that turned
    out good enough to use here. So far I can't seem to find any but will add them if I run across them.

    [​IMG]

    After a stop for awhile it almost looked like it was going to clear up. Sad to say though, it wouldn't
    last real long and down the road a ways it was having a hard time behaving itself!

    [​IMG]

    The mist made it really feel cold and it would've been so nice right there on a sunny, warm day!

    [​IMG]

    Along about now I was about freezing up so I was more then ready to head back to a warm room. I was
    just a little bit stiffened up from my "wipe-out" a little earlier and was beginning to wonder if I would be
    able to ride back home the next day?? It would be 370 miles so I was a little concerned. :eek1 :eek1 Yikes!

    [​IMG]

    Oh brother, it was getting colder and with the mist and fog, I'm sure that made it seem colder yet? We
    had great weather the first four days so we certainly couldn't complain at all. It still didn't make it seem
    any warmer though! Little did we know, tomorrow wouldn't be any better! :waysad

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    Day 6.......Dave needed to go mostly south on the way home and I had to go mainly west so we decided to part ways right away in the morning. I left about 30 minutes after he did and since we could see the main bridge from our motel room, I stood there in the window and waved as he rode up on the bridge and headed south. Soon, I gathered my gear and got ready to load up, not too sure yet exactly what roads I would take at first. I kind of wanted to get one last look at the big lake and was still looking at the map.......:deal


    [​IMG]

    As I rode up onto the bridge, I could tell the fog was still in the area but was still hoping that maybe once I got away from the water it would clear up somewhat? I had 370 miles to go and it didn't seem too fun to have to ride it in the mist and fog.

    [​IMG]

    Down the road a ways I could tell it might be a loooong ride home since the fog was getting worse in spots and my little stiff spots from my mini-wreck the day before were being slightly stubborn! Since this was deer country and at the early morning hours, fog wasn't anything to be excited about either!

    [​IMG]

    I decided to ride over to Ontonagon on the way so that I could get one last look at Lake Superior but as I went by another area, it was obvious that I might not have too much luck! In fact, when I rode down on Hwy 64, from Ontonagon to Silver City I couldn't see ANY water at all. :waysad

    [​IMG]

    Since the weather stayed misty and foggy until about 75 miles from home, I didn't take many more photos. This one was taken about 30 miles from home on Leech Lake where I stopped for a quick break. I had the time of my life coming back over the bridge in Duluth, where that was totally engulfed with heavy, heavy fog and heavy mist. I told earlier about following that semi-truck and only being able to see it's tail-lights and nothing else! I had no way to pull over because I had no idea where the side of the road was! I followedit for miles and miles until the fog lifted just enough to see a little more down the road. Ufda!! :eek1

    [​IMG]

    I guess this is about it for this one as I made it home in one piece (pretty much). It was a fun time and it went way too fast. I know there were lots of things that we missed, but on the other hand, there were a lot of things that we saw! We lucked out the first four days with great weather and then had to accept the fact that it couldn't all be great. Even so, the two days of not so good weather still wasn't so terrible, except for times when I couldn't see!

    Thanks to those of you who might have taken the time to read this (if in fact there has been some?)

    Gary "Oldone" (and that's a sad fact!) :wings

    P.S. So long Dave! Thanks for a nice time.....

    Note: My first RR was "Grampa's National Monument Ride" in case you have any interest in that one.

    [​IMG]

    "Sweet Memories"

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,523
    Location:
    Toronto
    What a great ride!! Thanks for the report and all those lovely sunny pics! :thumb
    #17
  18. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    Thanks for your comment Gadget Boy!
    #18
  19. vivid dadas

    vivid dadas Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    865
    Location:
    Thumbolia
    Nice ride report, and great pics.
    #19
  20. Reddog*

    Reddog* "Gone" by P&1/2

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,901
    Location:
    Wykon Country
    Thanks for sharing. It is on my list to do also.
    #20