A CannonRide Around Lake Huron

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cannonshot, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Just spent about 9 days exploring a circle loop around Lake Huron. I visited some interesting places and as usual will share some past and present history from the area similar to what I did for Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. I'm often amazed at some of the remarkable things that have happened in places we sometimes just ride by. I dug out some of that stuff and will share it as we make the loop.

    I'll also share a GPS files with a ton of waypoints and suggested paths.

    Edit:

    As promised, I put up the GPX for the trip so others can benefit from it. It runs up to about 2,600 miles and has over 900 waypoints in it. In addition to the points of interest, I include camping, medical facilities, gas stops, and dealers by brand.

    The file can be downloaded from either of these two locations.

    http://dco43054.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=61

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...5#post27097595

    I rode a Yamaha Super Tenere which was well suited for the paved and unpaved portions of my route.

    Had some bad weather to deal with along the way as well.

    Hope you enjoy the ride and that some of you find the information helpful in planning a trip of your own.

    My intended route.
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    #1
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  2. Rocer10

    Rocer10 Been here awhile

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    Looking forward to this. Is there any chance that you can include captions with the pictures?
    #2
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  3. TOTim

    TOTim Been here awhile

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    Looking forward to another great RR. Love the wedding photo bomb.
    #3
  4. RiderRick

    RiderRick Been here awhile

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    Another Cannonshot ride report, yippee! Great teaser pictures!
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    This is gonna be great :thumb

    :lurk
    #5
  6. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    It is always a little bit difficult to get started on these ride reports. Let's get rolling across the bridge and get this ride going!

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    Starting across the International Bridge that runs between the two Sault Ste Maries. SSM (ON) has a population of about 75,000 while SSM MI runs about 14,000.

    We'll cover SSM MI when we circle back around the lake later on.

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    Somewhere down in that eerie soup are the American locks. Only the superstructures of the ships are clearly visible in the fog.

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    The international bridge is a little under 3 miles long. It has a double arch span on the American side and a single arch on the Canadian side. There is 124 feet of clearance under the bridge for those tall ships to clear comfortably.

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    Looking from the double arch truss on the American side toward the single arch truss on the Canadian side.

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    Another view of the steamy locks.

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    Descending to the port of entry on the Canada side. This was by far my quickest entry into Canada. Three quick questions and I was on my way. Basically, where form, where to, and weapons.

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    A view from down below. In the previous photos the bridge looked a little empty. It was early in the morning. The bridge averages about 7,000 vehicles a day. With border screening involved, that is a lot of traffic.

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    Algoma Steel is clearly visible as you cross the bridge. They are the second largest steel producer in Canada and with their 2,800 employees are the largest employer in SSM. If you read my Lake Superior report you might remember me talking about a mine at Wawa starting up around the turn of the century. The Algoma Central railroad started up by building a segment from the mine to the port. Someone built this plant to produce steel with ore from the mine. They also bought four ships to haul the ore from the port near Wawa to here. They started out making rails for the railroad. During WWI they made artillery shells. Over the years they had hard times just like the other mills around the world but now they are doing well making a variety of products.

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    As you pass to the Canadian side you might notice Whitefish Island beneath the bridge. For 2,000 years local Indians used the island as a fishing station. In 1895 the government took it as part of their canal system and for railway stuff. Later Parks Canada took it over. In 1982 the Indians went back after it and even occupied the island as they fought for it. Eventually they got it back, along with $3.5M, and it is now an Indian Reserve. I'll cover some more disputes like this as we go on.

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    #6
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  7. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Sure, I'll do that for you. Glad you are along for the ride!

    Thanks for following along. There was a lot of fun along the way. :evil

    Thanks for following Rick!

    Thanks GB! Glad to have you along. I think a lot of this might be familiar to you as it involves some of your home turf. Hope I do it justice. :D
    #7
  8. gungpasuruan

    gungpasuruan Adventurer

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    Thanks so much for taking the time to post pictures and photos from the road.
    I dream of traveling on a similar trip
    #8
  9. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks for following along. Hope you enjoy the report. If you do a trip similar to this one, bring a lot of insect repellent. :D
    #9
  10. Blue Mule

    Blue Mule Persistent Slacker

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    :lurk

    You photobombed a wedding picture? :rofl
    #10
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  11. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Sweeeeeeet!!! Here we go again...:lurk

    Man I got to get UP for a ride.

    HF :thumbup
    #11
  12. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

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    Thanks for posting CS. Always enjoy your reports.
    #12
  13. statsman

    statsman Long timer

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    I remember going over the International Bridge in a car back in the 1970s.
    At that time it was the hollow steel mesh.
    I remember thinking I would hate to do this on a motorcycle.
    I'm very happy to see it is a solid bottom now.
    #13
  14. Flyboy52219

    Flyboy52219 Adventurer

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    Can't wait as this is my neck of the woods. I know the thumb well so I will say it is often overlooked when someone talks Michigan. It has some rich but not so talked about history. Looks like you may have crossed using the ferry in Marine city? Also may have passed through Wardsville Ontario? Talk about stepping back in time to Mayberry. I believe the battle of the longwoods was there and they reenact it every so often. Can't wait to see this report.
    #14
  15. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    A little tourist loop through SSM (ON).
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    The canal area is a national historic site for Canada.
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    Used to be the US had the only lock running. In 1870 Canada tried to pass some militia through the US lock as they needed to get out west to put down an uprising. The US wouldn't let the militia through their territory to use the lock. The troops had to un-ass the ship and march overland while the ship went through. This prompted the Canadians to build their own lock around 1895.
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    Nice buildings.
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    This device is used as an emergency barricade to stem the flow of water through the lock.
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    It pivots so that the barricade can be swung out across the lock.
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    Once in place, these are dropped to stem the flow of water.
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    Now someone might be asking, "do they really need something like that?" Indeed they do. In 1900 some ship hit the lock and busted it open. The rush of water took out the main gates and flushed a couple of vessels through the lock.
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    Within a few hours they had things tidied up with the swing dam in place.
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    Remember the Algoma Central that started out hauling ore from the mine to the port? Now they are in the excursion railroad bidness. This is their tourist terminal downtown.
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    They keep their rolling stock over by the mill.
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    Edison power house resting in the fog on the US side. There is enough drop between the lakes, and enough flow of water, to generate some significant juice.
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    Ship in the fog.
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    The Norgama is now a museum ship. It used to be a package freighter that served the lake towns that weren't served by roads or railroads. In fact, railroads would run some of these ships to continue their lines beyond the end of their tracks.
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    Roberta Bondar was a Canadian astronaut that flew on the shuttle. I believe her official title on that mission was "passenger". Just kidding. Roberta is a pretty cool chick once you get to know her. She was a neurologist that headed up a team of researchers at NASA for years. She also was a photographer, author, skydiver, pilot, and enjoys many honors. The folks in her hometown of SSM named some facilities downtown in her honor.
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    Ran into a few bears along the way. These fishing bears were kind of a fun addition to the river front.
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    I have to admit that the Canadians I interacted with were very friendly. Of course, these are generally the people that would approach you in the first place. Always enjoy my time in Canada. :thumb
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    The Yankcanuck is a 1960s ship that was built to haul steel for the mill. It has been in and out of service over the years.
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    The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Center is worth a stop. It is in an old seaplane building where they used to service government planes. Nice ramp to run the plane out of the water, up onto the ramp, and then into the building for maintenance.

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    The site is still a seaplane aerodrome.
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    The Ermatinger site is kind of interesting. The house was built in 1814. In 1828, the guy that built it moved to Montreal. The house has had many uses since including court house and post office.
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    This powder magazine was built in 1819. In 1894, an American industrialist took it over and lived there. When this was in its original location, the guy could see all his enterprises from his home (the magazine) including a hydro plant, a pulp and paper mill, a steel plant, and a rail and marine network. I'm guessing he wasn't a smoker.
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    This is one of five forestry research centers that the Canadian government runs. Apart from ecological issues, timber products are big business.
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    When I am in Canada, I like to make the Tim Horton stops. I really like their coffee. Tastes great and is magically at the right temperature to get through a large cup at the pace you prefer. Canadians must love Timmy's too. Seems like there is always a line at the drive-throughs. This joint was getting a remodel job. The temporary facility in the parking lot was so jammed I skipped it and went to another one further down the line.
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    SSM has minor league baseball.
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    They also have the world's largest baseball (which suspiciously looks like a steel mooring buoy that was repainted).
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    This dairy has a fun display of elated cows in front of their shop. Being from "The Dairy State", I had to check it out.
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    #15
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  16. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    My work is never done. :evil

    Thanks for following along!

    Thanks for joining in!

    Thanks! Hope this one entertains and offers some useful info for others as well.

    This one was no problem to ride (unlike the Mighty Mack steel grates). However, when the lines are long at the border stations, one can be stuck in traffic up there in the wind for quite a while.

    I enjoyed the thumb. Lots of interesting stuff in that area. We'll have to see what we turn up when we get there. :D

    I agree that there are a lot of things that get overlooked because they aren't in the usual visible mainstream. It is nice to be able to share some of this stuff for others that might be interested in. :thumb
    #16
  17. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Administrative Announcement

    The cold, hard facts about Lake Huron quoted from this site.

    <!-- OVERVIEW---------------------------------->Overview
    Lake Huron is the second largest Great Lake by surface area and the fifth largest freshwater lake in the world.

    It has the longest shoreline of the Great Lakes, counting the shorelines of its 30,000 islands.

    Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater island in the world.

    Georgian Bay and Saginaw Bay are the two largest bays on the Great Lakes.

    Early explorers listed Georgian Bay as a separate sixth lake because it is nearly separated from the rest of Lake Huron by Manitoulin Island and the Bruce Peninsula.

    Georgian Bay is large enough to be among the world's 20 largest lakes.

    Huron receives the flow from both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, but water flows through Lake Huron (retention time) much more quickly than through either of them.

    Huron was the first of the Great Lakes to be discovered by European explorers.

    Shipwrecks are scattered throughout the lake, with five bottomland preserves in Michigan and a national park in Ontario designated to protect the most historically significant ones.

    The Lake Huron basin is heavily forested, sparsely populated, scenically beautiful, and economically dependent on its rich natural resources.

    References: Lake Huron brochure, 1990, Michigan Sea Grant

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    <!-- OVERVIEW---------------------------------->Figures
    LENGTH: 206 miles / 332 km.

    BREADTH: 183 miles / 245 km.

    AVERAGE DEPTH: 195 ft. / 59 m.

    MAXIMUM DEPTH: 750 ft. / 229 m.

    VOLUME: 850 cubic miles / 3,540 cubic km.

    WATER SURFACE AREA: 23,000 sq. miles / 59,600 sq. km.

    TOTAL DRAINAGE BASIN AREA: 51,700 sq. miles / 134,100 sq. km.
    DRAINAGE BASIN AREA BY STATE/PROVINCE:


    • Michigan: 16,100 sq mi; 41,700 sq km
      Ontario: 35,200 sq mi; 91,100 sq km
    SHORELINE LENGTH (including islands): 3,827 miles / 6,157 km.

    ELEVATION: 577 ft. / 176 m.

    OUTLET: St. Clair River to Lake Erie

    RETENTION/REPLACEMENT TIME: 22 years
    #17
  18. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

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    Woo Hoo! :D
    #18
  19. Hotspice

    Hotspice Satellites not acquired

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    :lurk
    #19
  20. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Long timer

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    Thanks Cannon.

    I have a room reserved in Copper Harbor in late August........gonna head out on the FJR. Cant wait!

    I love the great lakes and have been around all but Erie.... well need to loop around Lake Ontario too.

    Thanks for your cool pictures and details.
    #20