1. Adventure Rider Print Magazine!
    We're doing a print magazine this November - 128 pages of high quality adventure riding stories, photography and interviews!

    Click here to purchase a copy for $9. Limited copies still available.
    Dismiss Notice

Adventure in the Midwest: Ride Lake Superior

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TommyBBQ, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Somewhere in the US
    What I Packed:
    [​IMG]
    So, I think I packed pretty smartly for this trip. Last fall I learned a lot. I brought a bivvy-sack (4 piece modular sleeping system, US Military issue) last year but no tent. I learned that I didn't need a lot.
    This year I am bringing my bivvy-sack again, my Black Diamond Vista 3-man tent, and that is the extent of the camping gear.
    The tent fit nicely inside my left saddle bag. Which was awesome. I bought it years ago to stick inside my Happy Trails boxes on the KLR but it never quite fit in there.
    Here is the rest of what I’m taking:
    -(1) Toiletries
    -(1) Baseball hat
    -(1)Flashlight that attaches to the bill of said hat
    -(7) Socks and undergarments
    -(4) pair pants
    -(7) T Shirts
    -(1) Aerostich Roadcrafter
    -(1) Sweatshirt
    -(1) Kanetsu electric vest
    -(3) Pair riding gloves
    -(1) Pair flip flops
    -(1) Pair boots (lightweight)
    -(1) Toolkit
    -(1) Qt Synthetic Oil
    -(1) Helmet w/ Sena 20s
    -(1) Charging cords to plug into bike
    -(1) Battery pack to charge equipment when away from bike.
    -(1) Pair sunglasses
    -(1) Sunscreen and big spray
    -(1) Pipe, 3oz tobacco
    -(1) Garmin 60CSX (loaded w Cannonshot’s Waypoints) (I plan to use it if needed)
    -(1) iPhone
    -(1) small towel
    So... after writing all this, I did bring a lot!
    We arrive soon, so it’s time to find a hotel. See you soon!
    #21
    TonyKZ1, Swilling and c1skout like this.
  2. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,326
    Location:
    Lake Wobegon
    In for the duration. Considering doing this loop.
    #22
  3. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Somewhere in the US
    No Room At the Inn
    This falls in the theme of lack of preparation: we're almost to the U.P. and there's no hotels in Sault St. Marie. We assumed there would be. And we find this out as we're crossing over the bridge at Mackinaw City. Just in time to lose cellular reception. We continue heading north.
    So should we stay at a campground? We still haven't figured out where to leave the Odyssey and the trailer for the week.
    Here's what we know. We picked Sault St. Marie as our launch point because it was the closest point on the circle tour to us.
    And we are planning to make it to Marquette after the first day.
    The Ride website recommended riding the lake clock-wise. That way you aren't turning left across traffic and you're not looking at the lake from an additional lane away. So maybe we could start a little to the west.
    But we get a moment of reception and find a hotel... but it's in Sault St. Marie, Ontario, not Sault St. Marie, Michigan.
    The Northlander Motel. Actually. It seems worth crossing the border in order to get a fresh start, a hot dinner, and find a place to leave the trailer.
    So Northlander it is!
    [​IMG]
    Welcome to Canada!
    Oh, but before we cross the actual bridge, we stop at a gas station: 6-pack of a local IPA and a bottle of gin.
    The attendant says beer is more expensive in Canada. I'm glad we stopped. In fact, we enjoy one in the parking lot. Salute!
    Later, when we get to the Northlander, we realize it's a mom and pop joint - but very clean. Well kept.
    The staff is nice too, and they deliberate about letting us leave the trailer.
    So we park around back... and go for dinner. We'll start first thing in the morning... Sunday morning.
    [​IMG]
    #23
    Scot66, TonyKZ1, Swilling and 2 others like this.
  4. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,298
    Location:
    Out There Somewhere
    I'm in for this. Me and a group of buddies, some from England replanting this very circuit next year.
    :thumb
    #24
  5. spokester

    spokester Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,814
    Location:
    SE USA
    Made the same trip in 1995 and 1996 two up on a 1959 Panhead. Trailered up from SC to the Kewanna Peninsula. The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down...:kumbaya It's called Marathon and you'll feel like you've run one by the time you arrive. Have fun!
    #25
    Swilling likes this.
  6. Northstar Beemer

    Northstar Beemer Face Plant

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    468
    Location:
    Frozen Prairies USA
    I'm subscribed. As a former Minnesotan, I can say I've ridden the North Shore (Highway 61, which Bob Dylan made famous) and parts of the South Shore in Wisconsin and Michigan. 'Never done the whole loop. This should be educational.
    #26
  7. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    37,229
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    You guys picked a great place to take a ride! Looks like a fabulous trip. Glad the report was useful to you as well. :thumb
    #27
    drumdog likes this.
  8. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,607
    Location:
    Northcentral PA
    Soooo....I'm a legend!!!
    Huh.
    :D

    Great video to start!
    Two different bikes. Two different personalities.
    Should be interesting!!!
    :lurk
    #28
    drumdog likes this.
  9. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Somewhere in the US
    Glad you liked the video. Colin does great work!
    #29
    colind likes this.
  10. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Somewhere in the US
    Cross Four Times?
    Sault St. Marie, Ontario is pretty much nothing like we expected. Quite frankly, as soon as you cross over and pass through the customs agent booth, the people look sketch. And the buildings look a bit worse for wear.
    And while we're talking about crossing: I really didn't know what to expect there. Of course we both had a passport, but how long would it take? And since we're spending the night in Ontario, that means we already crossed once, once again in the morning, and once over by Minnesota and Thunder Bay, and then once more a week from now. Crossing wasn't that bad. Maybe a ten minute delay. It's Saturday night at 6PM. By the time we're looking for dinner it's getting late. So we eat at Shogun Sushi, which isn't maybe 300 yards from the Northlander. It's good. For ~$20 Canadian they have all you can eat sushi. But we opt to order from the menu.

    Colin: "Hey Tom, want to just ride counter-clockwise? We're already in Ontario."
    Tom: "We'll be further from the lake."
    Colin: "I don't think it's going to matter much. I doubt traffic will be bad to turn left across, and when the week is over we can tour those locks we crossed over on the bridge."
    Tom: "Sure. Let's do it! Unconventional!".
    Colin: "Cram it to the man!"

    So we start planning a new day one. When we get back from Dinner, the Motel host has changed, and I think her name is Paula or Peggy, or Patricia, but she's very excited to tell us about her ventures north, and recommends a place called the Pictographs up at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

    Colin and I get back to the room: have another IPA. Sure! Why not make that our first stop tomorrow.
    #30
    drumdog and chudzikb like this.
  11. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    663
    Looking forward to your report. When we did the circle tour we did it CC too.
    #31
  12. Gham

    Gham past expiration date Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,613
    Location:
    Auburn Hills,MI.
    Okay,I'll tag along...good job so far guys.
    #32
  13. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,904
    Location:
    Fly over zone
    Great trip. Looking forward to the rest. I did this trip several years ago. I hit the border crossing up above Duluth very late in the day. The border guards there didn’t like my looks. Kept me there fir over an hour. Checked to see if I actually had toothpaste in the tube. It was dark by the time they released me. Ended up putting up the tent on the beach, almost within sight of the border. Was a bit nervous riding after dark in moose country.
    #33
  14. Bob599

    Bob599 Bob599

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    The land of Beer and Cheese (Hartland WI)
    Just did the Circle solo last week in August. 4 days total and just over 2,000 miles from my home in Hartland, WI. I went counter clockwise as well. One of the best rides I have ever taken. I will do this trip every year for the rest of my life! I also used Cannon's ride report for reference and inspiration.
    #34
    TommyBBQ likes this.
  15. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Somewhere in the US
    :imaposer:lol2
    Worst story ever!
    #35
  16. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,904
    Location:
    Fly over zone
    Well, it wasn’t really that bad. Made for a long day though.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #36
  17. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Somewhere in the US
    It's 7:00 AM!!! Reveille Reveille Reveille! I'm too excited to sleep. We get some breakfast (Tim Hortons != Bob Evans BTW) and get the bikes down off the trailer.
    [​IMG]
    Some last minute checks and we're off.
    [​IMG]
    Doesn't Colin's helmet remind you of a type of runt? Like the banana and the orange had a baby.
    Town goes to straight wilderness in no time, and Colin tells me over the intercom that he's at 2 out of 5 bars (of fuel). The next stop seems to be nearly 150 miles away. Hard to believe. So we are relieved when we come across a gas station/hardware store/deli/lumber yard on the left.
    [​IMG]
    Gas full, we're heading back up the road. Beautiful scenery.
    #37
    MizzouRider, Gham, drumdog and 2 others like this.
  18. Bruincounselor

    Bruincounselor North Plains Drifter Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,899


    Eman's - I used to live 2 blocks up the hill. Wife took belly dance from her. Ate at Louis' all the time; so much that they catered our wedding. Giro omelet with feta and French toast. Thanks for the memory.

    Superior is a Great trip.
    #38
  19. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Somewhere in the US
    Too Much To See:
    A few miles up the road, I begin to think we'll have two natural struggles on this trip.
    First, there's too many places to pull off and look around. That'll slow us down too much.
    Second, there's things that you apparently HAVE to see. Like Darting Moose. Look at this sign. It's not like the school crossing signs, where they look kind of passing. Nope. This is a 2000lb bunny ready to hop right into our bikes - or over them.
    [​IMG]
    I say apparently because these signs are everywhere.
    The first place we relent and go see is this river coming down from the mountain.
    [​IMG]
    The picture doesn't do it justice. It looked like one of those bear-habitats at the zoo, only 20 times as large.
    [​IMG]
    Okay, off and up the road some more. Through our intercoms, I can't help but yell out my excitement to Colin. This is going to be a fun trip! Wahooo!!
    #39
  20. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,296
    Well, as you probably figured out, with moose, if you are looking for THEM, you will never see them...
    #40