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Adventure in the Midwest: Ride Lake Superior

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

  1. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    135
    Location:
    Thunder Bay
    Great video. It doesn’t matter how many times I have been around there is always something new. The backroads of the U.P. have to be the best of the whole circle trip.
    #61
    spokester likes this.
  2. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Somewhere in the US
    I can't tell if Colin's enjoying the Street Glide. His Sena 10S just crapped the bed. It's been sketchy since we left. Not a ping on Sena. He's got a ton of use out of it, and rides rain or shine daily, about 40 miles. But it sucks not being able to communicate. We're hitting some beautiful country between Marathon and Thunder Bay. Beautiful! You know, in olden days, -yes, I just said olden days-, we could never talk to one another. We'd just either pass to get attention, put up an arm --- something, and it was a way of life. But being able to play music and chat when necessary over the intercom is quite nice. But not right now.
    He's on my big Harley, and I'm wondering if he's got the same first impression that I did two years ago: fear.
    I went from my KLR to borrowing a friend's Harley at night - - and immediately going onto Highway 1 in Monterey.
    We get to Rossport and it's tiny. Nothing there basically. Just as we cross an old railroad tracks I spot the mast-flagpole that the guy told us about.
    I flag Colin down and we turn left. Just a short ride down and we're in front of an old inn. Looks like it used to have a restaurant in the front. But it obviously doesn't now.
    Some dude is washing his boat out front. As we pull past the boat to park, I spot an old black BMW bike with a side-hack parked on the side of the inn. Looks like a world war II vehicle to me.
    The guy spraying the boat sees me looking at it. He walks over and starts to chat us up.
    What a great guy.
    He said he was a pilot in the Air Force... 14 years. He's been owning this place now for over 30 years. With his wife. His third wife. First two were from the states. But the canadian women, he's found, seem to be nicer.
    Calls President Trump "Trumpy Bear". Says President Trump gives everyone else nicknames, but doesn't have one himself really that's stuck. So he's on a personal crusade to see this one stick.
    It's quite humorous.
    I was expecting him to be like "what the hell's going on down there in the U.S.".
    But it's not really that way. He's just a good-hearted older feller.
    And his Beemer is a 1967. I can tell it's a boxer. I want to ride it. But I don't.
    So after talking to the gentlemen for quite a while, meeting his wife, brother-in-law, etc, he recommends the Serendipity cafe. So we leave the bikes parked and head in that direction on foot.
    During the walk I'm thinking, wow! 5 miles of islands surrounding this town. And there's a kayak-rental place right there. We should stay. Better yet I should come back with my mom. She'd love this place.
    I'm so hungry. Hope Serendipity cafe delivers on it!
    #62
    TonyKZ1, drumdog, colind and 2 others like this.
  3. colind

    colind Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    18
    Yeah, the Street Glide was a little imposing at first, and I never got comfortable enough to rail through the turns on it like you do, but I did like it! It was nice to have all that power. I think on a stock model, I'd have had a much easier time reaching all the pegs and bars while seeing over the windshield.
    #63
    TommyBBQ likes this.
  4. roger123

    roger123 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,427
    Location:
    VA Beach, VA
    Nice report, I grew up in Calumet, MI in the UP and my parents have house on the Big Lake there.

    I did this ride in ‘16 when I retired from the Navy.
    #64
    TommyBBQ likes this.
  5. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Somewhere in the US
    We made it to Thunder Bay this afternoon. The last 20 miles doesn’t really impress at all. 4 lane divided highway. Colin and I pull off towards downtown at the first opportunity.

    Reminds me of suburban Chicago. We make it to downtown and I spot the harbor. So we turn left that way. It sucks to have no intercom. We pull off in a construction zone and park it.

    The harbor is really cool. It’s got a town square with a splash pad kind of wading pool. Kids are playing. Sail boats are bobbing in the breeze. There’s a nice restaurant we figure we can get an icy cold beverage in. Then it dawns on me. There’s a Harley shop here. And Harley has SENA. They rebranded it of course. So I call them.

    Have you ever noticed that after a long, long day... a single cold beer can fix your outlook? So now we are off to Thunder Bay Harley Davidson.
    #65
  6. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,607
    Location:
    Northcentral PA
    Terry Fox Monument?
    #66
  7. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Somewhere in the US
    No, but we heard about Terry Fox often in Ontario! We were at the waterfront park and Bight Restaurant and Bar.
    #67
    scootac likes this.
  8. TommyBBQ

    TommyBBQ More Road than Dirt

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Somewhere in the US
    <5 years left for me. Would have been done this year if I would have gone straight in.
    #68
  9. sbeadg

    sbeadg Found in Fogo Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    386
    Location:
    God's country aka W. Mass
    I've been there three times and haven't seen any, not that I'm disappointed!
    I may do this trip next season though. Looks pretty awesome.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #69
  10. sawzaller

    sawzaller Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    AZ
    UP tour is on my list.
    Keweenaw native here too ya, also USN but not retired. Been in AZ for a long time now and you don't come across many Yoopers in the wild around here. I met a few in AFG while travelling about the provinces. One from Calumet, no less. Tiny world. Ya Copper Kings, "bigger" school for the 3-county area conference back in the day.
    #70
    TommyBBQ likes this.
  11. kuchibashi

    kuchibashi LLB Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Oddometer:
    264
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Great video--been saving up my vacation time for this ride--looking forward to reading the whole report!
    #71
    TommyBBQ likes this.
  12. C Otter

    C Otter Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Really enjoyed your video. You brought a drone. You can pack much better than me!
    #72
    TommyBBQ likes this.
  13. guerrila

    guerrila n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2015
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Toronto, ON



    I live in Toronto now but I'm from Sault Canada. It uh...doesn't really put it best foot forward at the bridge crossing. But it's actually not that bad. Actually, we like to think the Michigan side has the more Breaking Bad vibe. Nice ride report. If you ever do it again and want to ride up without boring yourself to tears, the western side of Michigan is the way to go, through Saugatuk, Traverse City, Petoskey. Great place to eat in Pellston near Mackinac called the Douglas Lake Bar and Steakhouse....killer ribs and whitefish. And a million places in Traverse.
    #73
    TommyBBQ, colind and choppahead like this.
  14. guerrila

    guerrila n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2015
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Toronto, ON


    And fyi....this is Chippewa Falls on the Chippewa River....you should see it in the spring when it's really raging with the winter melt off. Or a few weeks ago after a solid week of rain https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo1IR3uFUpC/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
    #74
    TommyBBQ likes this.
  15. ronaprhys

    ronaprhys Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2016
    Oddometer:
    249
    Location:
    Michigan
    Some friends, my fiance, and I did the portion of the ride that you've done so far and enjoyed it greatly. We only made it to Thunder Bay, but it was lots of fun. We stayed in a B&B in Wawa (turns out it was run by the assistant mayor of the town? Nice lady) and the town wasn't too bad. If you head east of there, there's apparently a great set of roads that bills itself as Canada's tail of the dragon. For us, however, it was raining, so no dice.

    Did the pictographs and many of the stops you did, too. We stayed in a cabin about 20 minutes east of Thunder Bay, right on the lake. Very nice. I'd love to do the whole loop, though. Looking forward to the rest of the trip report.
    #75
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  16. varnerju

    varnerju Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2017
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    West Michigan
    Great video, impressive editing that you are able to boil down a week long trip to such a great short video.
    #76
    TommyBBQ likes this.
  17. choppahead

    choppahead Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    419
    Location:
    Lakeland Playland
    Great report. I worked summers at Pancake Bay, in the 70's and worked in Marathon, Terrace Bay and Thunder Bay many times over the years (pulp & paper industry). Having ridden the route on many bikes, I never tire of it. Looking forward to the rest of the report.

    We did the complete ride last year starting in SSM Mi and going clockwise. Copper Harbour was a highlight. As was Ouimet Canyon and the Riders Warehouse in Duluth.
    #77
    TommyBBQ likes this.
  18. Biffdotorg

    Biffdotorg Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Where the Tar Ends.... Fargo, ND
    Great video, the narration is gold!

    I have done the circle tour once on bike, and once in a car with my folks. We have also abused the UP on sled many times over. It's a whole different world from Summer to Winter!

    Nice work!
    #78
    TommyBBQ likes this.
  19. choppahead

    choppahead Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    419
    Location:
    Lakeland Playland
    :nod

    Used to love riding down to Traverse City to party on the weekend!
    #79
  20. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    663
    Copper Harbor was a high light for us too. We had the best meal of the trip there in a little restaurant at the tip.
    #80
    TommyBBQ likes this.