Michigan's Upper Peninusla...from Ontario

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ScottDill, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. ScottDill

    ScottDill TANSTAAFL

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    Here's another ride report on theUP...thanks to Cannonshot.....It may not be too epic, but we had a good time and a few adventures....

    Michigan's Upper Peninsula - August 2011

    In August, five of us set out to explore the MI UP on our 650 thumpers. Gary (intotheabis), Dave (Dyno), Eric (ktmer), Gerry and myself used cannonshot's tracks as a guide and set out with no particular plan except to generally follow the tracks counter-clockwise, and camp when we found a good place. Since we were in civilization, we could buy food as we needed. No need to carry lots of stuff. Here is the path as recorded by my Zumo


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    The report is mostly built around Eric's pictures as he has most complete and best set. Others are interspersed as well.


    Day 1


    On Saturday, the four of us who lived in Ontario met up at the Timmies in Woodstock to get the trip started. Gerry and I got there first and ended up waiting a bit for Gary and Eric.....we would do this a lot. Those two like to take in the view a lot more than we other three. We were planning on meeting at Dave's place in Port Huron around noon, but given the late start and traffic jam at the border, we didn't get there until two. Gerry did some homeless-man-type mods to his seat (Gary, I need the picture of the cardboard) and we took off north just as the sky began to open up.
    Dave plotted a pretty good route through the lower peninsula and I'm sure he got tired of being referred to as "the local" whenever we wanted to defer leadership......most of the ride went OK, until Gerry decided to get lippy with a local cop.....


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    The rain settled down and Gary and I decided to follow Dave through a bypass that he named "Death by Sand" ... It was appropriately named


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    We found a place in the state forest to legally stealth camp and had a dinner of roasted weenies and beans. Dave set up his tent in the snoring section....way back there.


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    Day 2


    We headed out early towards the Mackinac Bridge. Dave picked out lots interesting roads to tackle.


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    We had some rain but made it into the UP and dried out over a big lunch before heading onto the semi-planned route. As it started to get late, we found a place to camp. Just as we stopped, I heard Gary say "Hey, what's that burning smell?" It turns out that his rear brake had seized and was smoking. We couldn't fix it, but were able to clear the rotor and wire his pedal up so he couldn't use his rear brake, but wouldn't do any further damage.


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    We made dinner from the provisions we carried with us. Gary looked to really enjoy it.............................


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    Day 3


    Just to prove that we did stop to see the sites....I present the Whitefish point lighthouse......I think it was the last one.....


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    The fearsome 5 in a line-up


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    Here's Eric in is usual pose......stopped to take a picture
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    Shortly thereafter, we hit the longest stretch of deep sand we had to face.


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    Gary split from us to take a the short cut to Marquette to see if the Kawasaki dealer had brake pads. We met him there late in the afternoon and found he was successful. We had dinner at a local restaurant and headed of to nearby Camp Horse Shoe. This is a private campground, but nice, cheap and full of "interesting" characters. We pitched in to help fix Gary's brakes with the precision instruments that one normally uses on a KLR


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    While gathering firewood, I snagged some rusty barbed wire and we all thought that would be the worst injury of the trip.


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    #1
  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Looks like you guys had a blast (so far). Looking foward to reading more!
    #2
  3. ScottDill

    ScottDill TANSTAAFL

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    We did...thanks for the tracks....and here's the rest. Hopefully the others will add some color commentary....
    #3
  4. ScottDill

    ScottDill TANSTAAFL

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    Day 4


    We awoke to the screams of Boo's mother......but that's a story to be told offline......and headed out


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    We took some nice roads


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    Ran through many logging roads that were active


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    ..and ended up making camp near the top of the Keweenaw Peninsula


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    Where my DR did packmule duty


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    Day 5


    Today gets interesting. We rode down alternative paths on the Keweenaw Peninsula and found many of the type of rocky climbs and snowmobile trails that we did on the way up. Late in the afternoon, we took off down a power-line trail and bypassed a gate signed "road closed" . From there it got a lot rougher and a bit muddy, with some deep dried ruts. I was up front and out of sight of the rest of the group. After I crossed a big mud bog, the first real water crossing of the trip, I dismounted and got my camera out to capture the others splashing through. Gerry was behind me, and its unusual for him to be very far back , so it was strange that he hadn't shown up after a few minutes....Finally Gary showed up and yelled across the water that we had to go back. At first I protested because I really didn't want to cross that mess again, but gave in because it was obvious there was a problem.

    Sure enough, Gerry had crashed in a mud puddle, fell wrong and had apparently (and actually it turned out) broke his collar bone. This is where it happened.


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    Dave has some mad first aid skills, and isolated the break about as good as a doctor would. Gerry was showing his usual personality.


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    We were about 2 miles from the main road, and since he couldn't ride, he had to hoof it out while we shuttled the 5 bikes out. We ended up stashing his bike in the woods near the street and he doubled up with Gary to ride to the nearest town & hospital...only 10 miles away. Don't they look look like happy newlyweds?


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    The rain started again and after Gerry was patched up, we took to a local hotel instead of camping. It is the Sunshine Motel in Ontonagon and is run by the friendliest people in the world. Gary and I got Gerry's bike back and they allowed us to store it in their shed until Gerry could come back and get it.


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    Day 6


    The plan was to take Gerry back up to Houghton where he could catch the bus home....he can elaborate on that story. Dave and Eric waited with him to make sure that he could get a ticket while Gary and I sprinted down to Escanaba. My rear tire was wearing dangerously thin and Gary was very dissatisfied with the performance of his Heidinaus so three days earlier, we had called the powersport dealer in Escanaba to order some new Dunlop 606's for us by the time we got there. They weren't much of a shop so we changed them in the parking lot.


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    Dave and Eric caught up to us shortly after noon and we continued on. Even with a new front tire, Gary managed to find trouble.........


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    We rode some great trails and towards the end of the day, Eric noticed that were only a few miles from Camp Horseshoe....so we decided to stay again. Boo's Mom, Trish , was very excited to see us again......


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    We ate like kings


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    Day 7


    We made it back into the LP and found an equestrian camp ground..we didn't mind. It was raining again.



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    Day 8


    We rode most of the same roads heading back to Dave's house, it was really funny how we could practically ignore the sandy patches that made us clinch tight on the way up. A week of riding in it had really made a difference in our confidence.
    The final four at the point of separation....Great ride guys....and well done. We only lost one.........not bad really :-)


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    #4
  5. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    So, which one of you had Boo's mom wailing at dawn?

    Or need I ask...

    :lol3

    :ear
    #5
  6. Witness

    Witness Me

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    Scott thanks for posting that, whats the rest of the story with Gerry and the cop?

    Looks like once Gerry was gone, the rest of the ride was uneventful:lol3

    Gerry borrowed my trailer to pick up his bike a week or so later

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    #6
  7. Dyno

    Dyno Conquistador

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    If anyone is ever anywhere near Ontonagon, stop in and say hi to the cheery folks at Sunshine motel. The kind folks at Ontonogan hospital recommended them. They went above and beyond, and can be recommended wholeheartedly.

    http://www.ontonagonmi.com/

    Thanks Cannonshot! It was nice to know the little blue line was there to guide us along.
    #7
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Glad you got a chance to enjoy the route!
    #8
  9. intotheabis

    intotheabis High on life!

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    Great report Scott, here are some more photos of the adventure.

    Gerry's Seat mod, KLR style

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    UP Trip Aug 2011 (5) by intotheabis, on Flickr

    Waiting in traffic on the Blue Water Bridge, not all that bad............................

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    UP Trip Aug 2011 (3) by intotheabis, on Flickr

    Still not sure what happened here

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    UP Trip Aug 2011 (50) by intotheabis, on Flickr

    Or here

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    UP Trip Aug 2011 (104) by intotheabis, on Flickr

    Gerry checking to see if his hair got messed up by his helmet again

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    UP Trip Aug 2011 (54) by intotheabis, on Flickr

    Another shot of Gerry's puddle, you can see his helmet off to the right.

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    UP Trip Aug 2011 (82) by intotheabis, on Flickr

    Gerry making nice with the hospital medical staff

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    UP Trip Aug 2011 (87) by intotheabis, on Flickr

    Great people in the hospital, took me in for a fresh coffee as soon as I got in there, once I was set up they proceeded to help Gerry. I must have really looked like I needed a coffee!

    The trails were set up very nice, and help was never far away

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    UP Trip Aug 2011 (88) by intotheabis, on Flickr

    My GPS at the end of the ride

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    UP Trip Aug 2011 (125) by intotheabis, on Flickr

    More to follow
    #9
  10. OLD GREEN

    OLD GREEN Long timer

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    Looks like you had a great ride. When in August did you do it? I just did this same trip with four other guys in the middle of August and was very surprised that we didn't run into any other bikes the whole time.

    Thanks again to Cannonshot for posting the coordinates! :thumb
    #10
  11. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

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    Da UP, eh! (Marquette, MI)
    You guys should've stopped by when you needed repairs here in Marquette....I have a garage full of tools that I don't know how to use.

    All these guys making the UP loop, and nobody stops by to say "Hi". :cry
    #11
  12. intotheabis

    intotheabis High on life!

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    We left on Aug 20th and came back on the 27th
    #12
  13. RumRunner

    RumRunner Sit there, turn that

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    :thumb :thumb :thumb

    I hear the Boo is a bit randy :evil

    DW
    #13
  14. intotheabis

    intotheabis High on life!

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    Thats too bad we didn't know, I coulda used a bigger hammer

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    11day3Gary'sBakes by intotheabis, on Flickr
    #14
  15. KTMER

    KTMER On roads less travelled

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    Thats an Austrian hammer, don't make 'em big enough for KLR's
    #15
  16. KTMER

    KTMER On roads less travelled

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    Was a great trip, could have used a few more days though to really explore the route.

    A few more pics

    Gary and I ready to leave Hamilton
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    On the way to Woodstock to meet Scott and Gerry
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    Gerry in action. sand, sand, and more sand
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    Could have used a weed wacker but was getting late and needed to set up camp the first night. The coyotes were close through the night
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    Gary
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    We passed by a military training area where they blow stuff up according to Dave.
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    Nothing exciting happening at the time
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    Nice sideroad though the forest
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    Soldier Lake Park was the stop for day 2
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    where we ate, swam, and temporarily fixed Gary's bike
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    A file will not reshape a brake bad no matter how hard Dave tried
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    Day 3

    Tunnels through the forest
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    And more sand roads, many of which were hard packed and high speed
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    Our first look at Lake Superior, we never did feel how cold the water was, too busy :p3rry
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    #16
  17. ScottDill

    ScottDill TANSTAAFL

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    All you need for a KLR

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    #17
  18. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    Is that a metric rock?

    :brow
    #18
  19. ScottDill

    ScottDill TANSTAAFL

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    SAE, but it'll work.
    #19
  20. KLRUSERIOUS?

    KLRUSERIOUS? Farkle-whore

    Joined:
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    Toronto Ontario Eh?!??
    Inquiring minds want to know! Lol....great trip fellas
    #20