Jim Beam (and others) take Peewee's Big Adventure

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by ComfortablyNumb, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    This is my first ride longer than three days. I have been dying a little bit at a time as I read all the excellent adventures everyone else is having on this site so I decided to do something about it. I was able to find a span of 8 days to circumnavigate Lake Superior this summer and had a long, cold, dark Northern Ontario winter to plan and acquire gear. I took stock of what I had - competent bike (08 KLR) (stop laughing), compatible riding buddy and enough cash saved to purchase camping gear and bike stuff.

    Over the winter I acquired a tent, sleeping bag, mattress, pants, stove, new rubber, updated GPS and all those little odds and ends. As all of you that plan a bike trip, this is as much fun as the ride (well almost). It was that anticipation that made the winter bearable. I noted that camping gear on Amazon is sometime half the price in the winter, specifically the tent that got for $140 and is currently selling for $270.

    I spent about 2 months plotting and re-plotting a track around the lake with help from Google Earth and Google Maps. Street view was very helpful as well as past ride reports on the site such as the one by Cannonshot.

    I really wanted my first longer trip to be enjoyable and allow me to take copious amounts of photos and video so I was happy to see that the 3020 km trip (Timmins to Timmins) would work out to a pleasant 340 kms per day average.

    As the title indicates, this would be Peewee's Big Adventure and here he is, ready to ride. I also brought Murray the Bellhop to assist with setting up the tent, serving drinks, fluffing pillows, serving dinner, etc.

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    Starting mileage

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    Now my riding buddy Dave (Superdave) has the taste for Jim Beam and at $12 a bottle at Duty Free in S.S.Marie, he was like a kid in a candy store (yes, I know, it is) because it retails for $30 in Ontario. Now I on the other hand am more sophisticated and therefore settled on Jim Beam Black.

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    Day one consisted of a ride on Hwy 101 from Timmins to Wawa then down Hwy 17 to S.S.Marie then a jump over the bridge and right turn on 6 Mile to Brimley, Michigan to camp.

    As many have experienced, the Lake Superior coastline between Wawa and S.S.Marie is as they say on Seinfeld "it's real and it's spectacular".

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    After passing the Good Humour employees at the border, we made a right on 6 Mile Road and pulled into Minnow Lake Campgrounds. The owner, Mary Jane is a sweet girl who adopted us on the spot. We almost had the whole place to ourselves for $17 which included hot showers and flush toilets. Now Dave and I have not camped since high school and that was some 30 years ago but with the assistance of Peewee and Murray we got the tents up, dinner started and celebratory drinks poured.

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    Your author:
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    Dave:
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    Total kms for day one - 602

    Day 2 consisted of a ride along Lakeshore Drive up to Iroquois Lighthouse then up Hwy 123 to Paradise for lunch then we continued on 123 to Co Rd 407/Deer Park Road and 12 miles of rough dirt road on the Grand Marias Truck Trail to Grand Marais then on to Munising.

    Iroquois Lighthouse

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    It was about now that I encountered what many adventure bikers have and that is how people of all ages flock to the bikes and ask, "where are you from", "where are you going", "I used to have a bike", "you are some lucky guys". I don't know how many times I put my helmet on, started the bike and still it was hard to get away. I am not complaining, the genuine friendliness of complete strangers actually renewed my faith in humanity!

    Next stop was Paradise, no kidding! Did you ever wonder what you might find in "Paradise" cause there are many out there looking. |I can tell you what is in paradise:

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    bet you didn't guess those things!

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    #1
  2. Nacho911

    Nacho911 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    478
    Location:
    Alberta Rocky Mountains Canada
    Jim is a great companion on a road trip. We also partake in plenty of Jim. I am fond of the Red Stag. A 1.14L at Superstore here in Calgary is $33.99:clap:1drink

    That makes me dance every time.
    #2
  3. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    After lunch in Paradise we took Hwy 123/Falls Road up to County Road 407/Deer Park Road which turned into Grand Marais Truck Trail. Now it is called this for a reason and that would be because it is 12 miles of gravel (not a deal breaker for a dual sport bike). On this day it was raining which turned the road into a rough, mud slicked mess. Due the rain, the camera stayed in the tank bag. It is well worth the minor inconvenience because after the gravel, it turns into this at the Sucker River. One needs to use a bit of caution as this pavement appears to be old pieces of asphalt that have been dug up and reassembled:

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    This road eventually leads to Grand Marais:

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    After Grand Marais a cold, steady rain began and we decided to stop in Munising instead of our goal which was Marquette. It was not a tent night so a warm motel room it was:

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    No Peewee, that's not the bilge water known as Captain Morgan.

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    After another celebratory drink what do we find? Matching food!

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    After dinner we put Murray to work turning down the sheets and fluffing the pillows

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    Due to the cold, wet ride Day 2 was an easy 292 km day.
    #3
  4. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    734
    Location:
    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Interesting telling and illustration of the ride with Pee Wee and Murray. I do not know Murray's personal background or story but I damn sure would not let Mr. Pee Wee get his tool that close to my food. He has a history and public record of yanking in dark theaters. :deal. That may or may not have been mayonnaise on the Burger. Just saying.
    #4
  5. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, I hear you, that's why I had the Friscoburger and didn't eat at the same table as Dave. He was not aware of Peewee's past indiscretions, Heh Heh! And btw, Peewee stayed in the top box at night.
    #5
  6. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    Day 3 dawned bright and sunny which confirmed that stopping early the previous day was the right move. This was my most anticipated day as the plan was to ride into Copper Harbour. Taking Hwy 28 along the lake brought up to Au Train which, in my opinion, has one of the nicest beaches:

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    Next stop was Marquette where we met Gretchen, a just retired State Trooper who was going on an adventure of her own. She was selling everything but her truck and 5th wheel and heading wherever for whenever, safe travels girl!

    We jumped on Hey 41 and headed up to the Keweenaw Peninsula stopping in Houghton for lunch and a new self inflating mattress for Dave as his had "let him down" literally, the first night of camping.

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    And then it was north on 41 to Copper Harbour. If you have never done this section, take a look at this:

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    And then we were there, Copper Harbour:

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    #6
  7. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    Continuing on from Copper Harbour, we took Brockway Mountain Drive, Sand Dunes Drive and then a right onto Five Mile Point Road which joins back up with Hwy 41:

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    As the weather was holding nicely, we again looked for a place to camp and found Hancock Campgrounds, which is run by the city and had hot showers, toilets and wifi!.

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    We pulled in and asked for a tent site that had privacy and after looking at our bikes, the lady said she knew just the site. It was not actually accessible by car but the bikes had no problem:

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    #7
  8. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    We put Murray the Bellhop to work, preparing dinner and starting the campfire:

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    After all the hard work, Murray decided to sneak a bit of Jim however he just could not reach it. Peewee offered to help. "Careful Peewee", said Dave, "you know what your parole officer said about finding your self in compromising positions".

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    To settle things down, DJ Murray got the tunes going:

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    About this time, we noticed flashlights coming up our path. "But I was only trying to help Murray, honest" said Pewee. It was only two of our neighbors, ladies from Florida who wanted to talk about our trip. After a few drinks one of them inquired about "why did you bring an R2D2"?

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    Time to hit the tent, good night!

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    Day 3 total = 436 kms
    #8
  9. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    In the morning it was time to pack up a greet another day on the road:

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    We said goodbye to Hancock:

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    with a plan to ride Hwy 26 and 38 to Ontonogon then on to Hwy 64 and 107 to the Lake of the Clouds in Porcupine Mountains State Park. The ride up into the mountains is a must do, the elevation change is just beautiful.

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    Now the other road that I was anticipating besides 41 was South Boundary Road in the Park and it did not disappoint. Go Pro video to be added later.
    #9
  10. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    Upon completing South Boundary Road I went into Presque Iles State Park for some photos of the falls. Here I committed the a criminal offense by sneaking Peewee in as he is still banned from all State Parks.

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    In the parking lot, Dave's mighty KTM 690 decided to expel all of it's hydraulic clutch fluid and that called for a desperate search for mineral oil (thank you KLR for the old school clutch cable). As this was the USA, there just had to be a Wal-Mart nearby? Out to Hwy 2 and a few miles down, what did we find? But of course, they are everywhere! (and this "stuff" would come in handy later, right Peewee)?

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    #10
  11. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    US Hwy 2 and Hwy 13 took us to our goal for the day, Bayfield, Wisconsin.

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    We managed to find an excellent place to camp, Dalrymple Campground, another town run site. Put your $20 in an envelope and pick your spot. We found a great site right on the shore overlooking the harbour:

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    Now this park allows you to have as much free firewood as you can carry, problem was, we were on bikes. Ah, but these are no ordinary bikes:

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    #11
  12. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    It was now that the "others" joined Jim Beam on this trip. Spirit supplies in town were limited therefore we ended up compromising:

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    It was Peewee's turn to make supper

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    While Murray aired up my pillow (strangely enough, Peewee also wanted to air up my pillow)

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    Now poor Peewee had gotten a bit plugged up from all this travel and so Dave kindly lent him some clutch oil and soon all was well again!

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    What else are we having for supper Dan? How about smoked Peewee?

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    Another great camping night!

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    #12
  13. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
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    Total mileage for Day 4 was 343 kms

    The next morning we had breakfast in town at this place, excellent meal!

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    Instead of riding the highway along the shoreline, we opted to take a shortcut across to Cornicopia. This was Star Route Road/Mountain Road/Co Hwy C, with Mountain Road being gravel.

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    Hwy 13 to Duluth was a nice leisurely ride with a stop in Herbster for ethanol free gas.

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    #13
  14. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
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    Well, we tried to access West Skyline Parkway at it's source off of Becks Road in Duluth but it was closed at this end. We made the mistake of going back to Commonwealth which was closed due to construction and before we knew it we were on the freeway going north. We managed to get off onto Congdon Blvd. and then onto North Shore Drive for a nice relaxed ride along the lake.

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    We had an excellent lunch here:

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    After lunch we continued on up Hwy 61:

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    The forecast called for rain and the clouds were moving in so we stopped at a great motel in Lutsen, the Cliff Dweller.

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    #14
  15. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    All rooms at the Cliff Dweller overlook the lake so everyone gets a view:

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    Total for Day 5 was 307 kms

    Day 6 we woke up to this:

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    #15
  16. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    Day 6 would see us travel up Hwy 61 and back into Canada with a detour to Kakabeka Falls. At a gas stop in Grand Maris, I saw this gem of a building out of the corner of my eye:

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    Stopped at a great roadside lookout:

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    #16
  17. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,979
    Location:
    Clearwater, FL USA
    love the thread and images
    WHY HDR ON EVERY IMAGE?
    just wondering
    i DO like HDR...
    #17
  18. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    Just like the effect on the sky and contrast. I found the photos looked kind of flat so I decided to change it up.
    #18
  19. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    Made it to the border and I gotta tell you, Peewee was happy to be back in Canada. He believes he is like a Draft Dodger, hiding out across the border and going to theatres as he pleases.

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    While Dave was making time with the "welcome to Ontario" girls, Peewee decided to get a leg stretch on the nature trail:

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    Next stop was Kakabeka Falls which was a nice ride on some secondary back roads. Peewee committed yet another indiscretion by failing to pay the fee:

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    Now we were being chased by some nasty looking clouds and could see rain in the distance. After a quick lunch of East Coast McLobster at the big "M" (yeah, right) and a stop to see Terry:

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    #19
  20. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb Gravel Is Good

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    48th Parallel, Ontario, Canada
    We tried to out run the thunderstorm but to no avail however, the Province was kind enough to put up some awesome shelters which just happened to avail itself just as we were about to put on the rain gear:

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    We pulled into Nipigon and stopped at the first motel we could find. As we got off the bikes I heard Dave say "I wonder what the room service is like:

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    First order of business made Peewee very happy:

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    After a few drinks, Peewee said he was going out to look for something strange, well........he found it!

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    A beer drinking parrot:

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    We warned Peewee to stay close as he had a bit too much to drink. We found him in the woods later on:

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    Total kms for Day - 308
    #20