CannonRide Through Iron County

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Cannonshot, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    This is a two day ride that takes in some fabulous scenic, twisty, and rolling roads as we tour some of the areas in northern Wisconsin and the Western UP that once were big in hardrock iron mining. It also covers some of the history of the area that includes a range of activity from early explorers, lumbermen, and even a shoot-out with John Dillinger. It is intended for big bikes and runs about 350 miles.

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    As always, I'll share a GPS file for others to use.
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    A GPX file of this ride can be downloaded here.
    #1
  2. OldSilverFox

    OldSilverFox Let's Go!

    Joined:
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    Bryan
    Looks like you have been busy again. Looking forward to your RR. I'm sure it will be great as usual. One problem. You're posting rides faster than I have time to complete them.
    My bucket list will never be empty. Is the Silver Dollar in Hurley?
    Thanks.
    #2
  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    :lol3 Sorry. I had this one ready to pull the trigger on since early spring. I just never got to it. With cold weather and my fall hunting setting in, I figured I'd better get on it.

    Yes, the Silver is in Hurley. Silver Street is pretty famous there . . . but more about that later. :D
    #3
  4. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Location:
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    This route is based out of Eagle River, WI, which is handy for those who attend the Central ADV Rally.
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    The first segment takes in a great ride on a winding and rolling county highway.
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    I was seeing more turkeys on this trip than I was seeing deer.
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    Wisconsin has a designated Rustic Road program that awards a patch for motorcyclists that take pix of their bike at 10 Rustic Road signs.
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    These Rustic Roads are usually a pretty nice ride.
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    This one takes in a few shoreline roads along area lakes.
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    We continue on to Little Bohemia.
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    I covered this pretty thoroughly in my Gangster Tour report, so I won't spend a lot of time on it here.
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    Part of the movie "Public Enemies" was shot here.
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    Still some movie bullet holes around.
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    When the FBI raided the place, John Dillinger went out this back window and escaped down the shoreline.
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    In the mean time, the agents shot the place up.
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    These are bullet holes from that shoot out.
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    As I mentioned, covered the details about this stop in my Gangster Tour report report. But since we were riding right by on this route, I thought I'd include the sport on this ride as well. The lodge is a nice spot to stop for lunch.
    #4
  5. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Iron County has a lot of historic sites.
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    Manitowish is the site of what once was a logging mill and logging railroad.
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    Once the inexhaustable supplies of white pine were exhausted, there were still some nice stands of hardwoods left in the north woods. Pine logs could be floated away on rivers. Hardwoods would sink. Henry Roddis put in a logging railroad with spurs to logging camps to use to transport hardwood out of the area. It ran until the 1930s.
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    There isn't much left here now.
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    Roddis would probably be proud to know his railroad grade is still an important (winter) travel corridor.
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    Some attempt at inukshuks?
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    As we run down the "Pinery Road" we come to an area where the Emerson brothers swet up a logging operation. In 1904 a big tornado came through and flattened a bunch of timber.
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    The Emerson boys thought they would take advantage of this "windfall" and hauled a bunch of logging and milling equipment through the swamps and timber 25 miles from Park Falls to here. They set up a mill and a small logging town in 1905.
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    A forest fire took out the first operation and the Emersons rebuilt. They had a town with a half mile long street with homes for loggers, a school, post office, town hall, but not saloon. The Emersons were not drinkers.
    No booze allowed in town.

    This photo shows one of the brothers in a fur coat in 1908. One brother and three other familiy members were killed by lightning while fishing nearby. That kind of finished off the operation.
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    There are still people processing forest products nearby.
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    This property has several interesting buildings including a French-Canadian logger's cabin and a guide's cabin for caretakers to stay in. People would hire caretakers to live on their property to keep squatters out of their vacation homes.
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    This resort goes back a few years, although there is a modern building here now. Used to be people would get off the train in Manitowish and then ride in a buggy or a car about four hours on primitive roads to get here.
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    This might be what is left of the original lodge.
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    Invasives are a real problem.
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    Springstead Lakes Road turns to gravel but is sporty and scenic.
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    It frustrates us a bit when some people object to putting off-highway motorcycle trails into working forests . . .
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    I guess a trail would spoil the landscape? :dunno
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    Another designated Rustic Road in the National Forest.
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    #5
  6. USAIR

    USAIR picking and riding

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    Nice ride and great photos.
    How does one go about getting your gps files?

    Thanks
    Fred
    #6
  7. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks Fred! I'll post a link here once the tracks are ready for download.
    #7
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Ran into some bear hunters and chatted for a bit. The collar he is holding is used for direction finding the dogs and has a range of about 8 miles. They also have collars that transmit a GPS location.
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    These hunters are coming in from treeing and harvesting a bear about a mile back in the woods.
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    Dogs run the bears until they get them treed. Then the hunters move in.
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    Lots of women involved in the hunt.
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    These guys just drug the bear out from a mile back in the woods. No trails, just a difficult drag.
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    They wrap the bear up as tightly as they can in a protective wrap that makes the bear more rigid and easier to drag while protecting the fur.
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    Bear hunting truck - radios, dogs, etc.
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    A larger bear this crew harvested a week ago got hold of one of the dogs and shook it while holding the 67 pound dog in his mouth. When he did, his lower fangs tore open the dog's stomach. I guess the dog will be fine.
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    Claw wounds to the dogs often get infected.
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    This crew is pretty selective about what bears they harvest. If they see any sign of a sow with cubs they give it a pass.
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    They need to hustle to get the bear skinned and butchered to preserve the meat.
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    These rigs are interesting.
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    Back in the 1860s, logging white pine was big in this area. Logs could be floated downstream to mills. To manage this, about 100 dams were built in the Chippewa Valley. The Chippewa Valley had one sixth of all the white pine west of the Appalachians. It took about 30 years to clean out this inexhaustable supply.
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    Logs were harvested and hauled to water on rails or via wagons.
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    Chippewa Falls had one of the largest sawmills in the nation. Many of the logs taken from this area ended up there.
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    Floating logs was dangerous work.
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    Dams were built and the logs were stored in the water behind them. When it came time to move them, a dam was opened and the logs and water were flushed downstream to the next dam where the action was repeated.
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    This is the rebuilt Round Lake Logging Dam.
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    Gates were cranked open by hand.
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    Not much water flowing now though.
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    Another Rustic Road.
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    Smith Rapids bridge.
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    The Smith Rapids isn't very rapid at the moment.
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    #8
  9. gremor

    gremor RS'er

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    I love these RR




    :clap
    #9
  10. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

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    :lurk
    #10
  11. rj72

    rj72 Adventurer

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    Nice RR! Great pics. I love the covered bridges. That one was in excellent shape.
    #11
  12. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Fifield lookout.
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    Fifield used to have a sorting pond on the river. As logs were flushed downstream, they could be sorted by lumber company marks.
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    Park Falls has a mill (and of course the supporting dam).
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    Lots of water vapor.
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    The mill is stretched along the river. The wood yard is visible near the top of the photo.
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    Processing logs.
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    Eagle working the river.
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    Nice road along the river.
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    The Roddis Line (logging railroad) had one of their camps here. The site is full of artifacts from camp life. It is on private property though.
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    Downstream from the Turtle Dam that created the Turtle Flowage.
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    Logging companies worked to build this flowage. This meant they had to move a lot of fill to build dikes in certain places.
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    One of the jobs of the Roddis camp we just passed was to provide fill for the Turtle Dam.
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    Logging companies harvested the timber from the areas to be flooded.
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    Nice flowage.
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    #12
  13. Critic

    Critic More or less!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    West of the Illinois, heart of the state!
    Looks like another great ride, I already feel better.
    #13
  14. what broke now

    what broke now Petroleum Brother Supporter

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    Very nice!

    You have the makings of a nice history piece here, not to mention the motorcycling.

    Wasn't Weyerhauser in Wisconsin in the late 1800's?
    #14
  15. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    :wave

    The riding was the best part.

    Fred, who became the 8th richest american of all time, owned a huge tract of white pine in the Chippewa valley. He also formed companies along the way to handle logs and the like. He did all right in the timber business but eventually the enterprise drew some interest about anti-trust issues.
    #15
  16. Kelly_O

    Kelly_O Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Rifle, Colorado
    Nice RR! My family originated in Park Falls and Butternut. I haven't seen those parts since 1975. Thanks for the refresher, Kelly.
    #16
  17. Spartandude

    Spartandude Been here awhile

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    Houston, TX
    Wow, beautiful place. I love the history. Thank you for taking us with.:clap
    #17
  18. no

    no dreaming adventurer Supporter

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    right here on my thermarest
    :lurk
    #18
  19. kimzx1000r

    kimzx1000r Been here awhile

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    Sep 27, 2006
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    571
    :clap another great ride and report!
    #19
  20. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks, glad you are enjoying it.

    :wave

    Thanks! Pretty snazzy bridge for being in the middle of nowhere.
    #20