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I don't want to be a troll living under the bridge

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by 1994klr250, Mar 22, 2020 at 5:15 PM.

  1. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    Southeast michigan
    Living in Michigan my entire life I only started exploring the Upper Peninsula (UP) since 2011 and I've been back every year since then. October is my favorite time of the year to explore the UP. So much solitude and very few people. This ride took place in the second week of October 2015 and I'm just now writing about it with the recent events happening, since I have time. I'm taking the 94 klr 250 again for another run to the UP. All loaded up heading northbound via dirt roads.

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    Can't wait to get further north for more fall colors.

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    I took the milk crate this time around, best luggage for a klr! :lol3 With a fresh set of Pirelli MT21 tires I was ready for any type of terrain.

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    I rode M119 the tunnel of trees, probably one of my favorite roads in the Lower Peninsula. Great views of Lake Michigan.

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    Ah the Mighty Mac! I love crossing the Mackinaw Bridge, surprisingly the MT21 tires aren't too bad on the steel grate in the center lanes on the bridge. I've crossed it before with these same tires and It's not all that scary!

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    I made a quick detour over to Wilderness state park to check on a campsite for the night over there, but I wanted to get to the UP and spend my first night no longer under the bridge being a troll. :rofl

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    So over the the bridge we go. I wanted to get across the bridge before it got dark for the night.

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    Made it across just gotta pay my toll so I won't be a troll!

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    #1
    tjzondrz, JB2, B10Dave and 8 others like this.
  2. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    Southeast michigan
    Probably one of the best signs to be able to see!

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    Made my way over to Straits State Park and got a campsite for the night just as it started to get dark.

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    It's nice having a view of the bridge right from your tent. I never get tired of this view.

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    Up early the next morning I head west on route 2 with one final view of the bridge. It's a crossing that every motorcycle rider should attempt at least once.

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    Stopped by the cut river bridge and took a look around. First time I had gone underneath of it.

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    Itching to get some dirt under my tires I need to get off the pavement and find some fall colors.

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    Yes, success. I can't find area's like this in Southeast Michigan, the UP is a unique place.

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    The little klr had just over 50,000 miles on the original engine when I left to go on this ride. It never missed a beat.

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    #2
    tjzondrz, JB2, Black Rhino and 17 others like this.
  3. Edoz

    Edoz n00b sauce

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2018
    Oddometer:
    499
    Location:
    Tulsa,OK
    That's pretty nice. I have spent the last 15 minutes or so checking out the UP on Google Maps, I think I'd like to take a trip up there some time. Maybe during the northern light viewing season.
    #3
    Chillis and 1994klr250 like this.
  4. pro69ss

    pro69ss Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    171
    Location:
    St Petersburg
    Better late than never . In for the ride . Th aks for sharing OP
    #4
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  5. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    Southeast michigan
    One of my favorite spots in the UP, Pictured Rocks. I've never done the boat ride to view the cliffs from the waters of Lake Superior, but I'll do it one day. Only so much time in one trip and I have miles cover and other scenery to see.

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    Miners Castle, I've visited this spot probably a dozen times and it never gets old. If you want the best light for view go during the last hour of the day if it's sunny for best lighting with the sun in the west.

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    Miners beach just around the corner, another quiet place at this time of year.

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    Back on the bike I made my way over to Canyon Falls. There are over 100 waterfalls in the UP, some are easy to get to others can require a serious hike to find.

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    I can never get enough of the fall colors, depending on the lighting every tree looks different. The smell of fall in the air with the cooler temps makes for some great riding through the forest.

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    #5
    tjzondrz, JB2, red bud and 13 others like this.
  6. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    16,129
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    Terrific report. I thought I was the only one writing reports from rides a few years ago. With extra time remembering the good times and riding is a great way to pass the time.

    I plan to ride across the Mighty Mac this fall. I noted the campground you mentioned with the great view of the bridge. I might just have to camp there.

    It's always such a bonus when I note things from reports so I can make an effort to see those things too.

    Thank you.
    #6
  7. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,657
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Stunning colors! This is a little late, but 3 years after we crossed paths in Alaska. Has it really been so long?
    #7
    1994klr250 and klaviator like this.
  8. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,568
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Fantastic looking area!
    #8
    1994klr250 likes this.
  9. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    Southeast michigan
    Hey Dave! Yes it has been that long, 2012 was the year I rode to Alaska on my F800GS and I met you and your wife at Adventure Cycleworks in Fairbanks. I can't believe it's been 8 years already, where does the time go. I've read many of your ride reports and I have to say you have some of the best on Advrider. Stay tuned for more, the fall colors of UP in Michigan never fail or disappoint.
    #9
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  10. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,147
    Wife’s got kinfolk up there. Dafter, Brimley, Sault. The water’s darn tasty, the air clean, and the sky a pretty blue.
    #10
    1994klr250 likes this.
  11. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    Southeast michigan
    So my goal for the first day in the UP was to make it to the Keweenaw Peninsula, so a Peninsula on a Peninsula! :lol3

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    The Keweenaw gets alot of snow here. Here's snow gauge park with the meter showing snow levels from previous years.

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    US41 runs up the center of the Keweenaw to Copper Harbor, the last 15 or so miles before is a blast on the bike.

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    Made my way up to the top of Brockway Mountain Drive in time for sunset and there was plenty of other people thinking the same thing. It can be a bit windy up top.

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    #11
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  12. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    Southeast michigan
    Wish the lighting was a bit better for sunset, but the clouds won't break. I'll have to come back in the morning for sunrise.

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    Sunset is early at this time a year, made my way over to Fort Wilkins State park and set up camp for the night.

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    Little did I know but the next day would yield some of the best fall colors in the UP I have ever seen. Pictures just don't do it justice...

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    #12
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  13. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    Southeast michigan
    I'm a early riser in the morning especially if there is a good view of the sunrise. I woke up and broke down camp in the dark and rode the 10 or so miles back to the top of Brockway Mountain to catch the sunrise coming up over Lake Superior.

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    There was a crescent moon above the horizon with the dim glow of daylight just starting to break to the east.

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    Feels like such an accomplishment to be up and on the bike in time to see the sunrise. I spend many mornings seeing the sunrise while at work, but being in northern Michigan and on the bike makes it that much better.

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    Can't wait to see what the day holds, the weather is already looking better for the morning without a cloud in the sky.

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    The low angle of the sun lights up the fall colors with a nice effect. Time to start exploring the dirt roads of the Keweenaw.

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    I made my way down off the mountain and followed the Lake superior shore line on M26 towards Copper Harbor.

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    The pavement ends a few miles outside of Copper Harbor on US41, it's 1990 miles from here to Miami Flordia. Last time I was out here I made a wrong turn down a dirt road and couldn't find what I was looking for.

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    It doesn't take long for the dirt road to narrow down into a canopy of trees.

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    #13
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  14. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    Southeast michigan
    One of the spots I wanted to check out was high rock bay. The dirt roads aren't marked very well, so it's easy to make a wrong turn. My GPS was acting up as well, but with a little bit of perseverance I made it to high rock bay.

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    The coastline here reminds me a lot of the coastline of Maine.

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    The other spot I wanted to check out was the Rocket Range. The US Air force launched rockets off the tip of the Keweenaw back in the late 60's and early 70's.
    The concrete pad is still there and as well as a steel rail with degree markings.

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    More of the rugged coastline of Lake Superior, the pad is actually fairly close the the shoreline.

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    Getting hungry for some breakfast I decided to ride back to Copper Harbor. I took a few different roads on the way out and was greeted with some wonderful colors.

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    This probably one of my favorite pictures from the whole trip. The colors of the leaves where amazing and the forest smelled so good in the crisp cool morning air.

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    #14
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  15. RCEMT-P

    RCEMT-P Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Northern MI
    So jealous. Great trip and report. I'm only 1.25 hrs from the bridge, just dont have the nuts to travel like that alone. Maybe someday soon.
    #15
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  16. roaddog12

    roaddog12 Wait,what? Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2020
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Winters CA
    Wonderful pictures and a great report
    Thank you for sharing
    #16
    1994klr250 likes this.
  17. wd72588

    wd72588 n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7
    Thanks for sharing your fantastic pics. Next time your up there Horseshoe Bay is a must see and fun to find. Also my pic for the best camping spot in MI is on the beach at Keystone Bay. Get your permit at the Fort on your way by.
    Cheers. K
    #17
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  18. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,940
    Location:
    Central Mn
    My ride chums and I are also quite fond of the U-PEE.
    Hope things get a bit more back to normal soon.
    I need some of these:

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    #18
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  19. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    Southeast michigan
    I made it back to the beginning of US41 and luck would have it someone was there to take my picture next to the sign! :clap

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    I made it back into Copper Harbor and grabbed some breakfast before heading back up to the top of Brockway Mountain for some more pictures now that the sun was fully up in the sky.

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    The view of Copper Harbor from Brockway Mountain Drive is impressive to say the least.

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    There's plenty of pull offs to enjoy the fall colors on the way up to the top.

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    I really like this picture with the mixture of all of the colors, evergreens, reds, orange, yellow. Fall is the best time of year.

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    Up North is the Good Life!

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    #19
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  20. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,225
    Location:
    Southeast michigan
    I spent a little while on top of Brockway Mountain in the late afternoon while I just enjoyed the stunning scenery. I had another destination in mind for the day so I starting making my way down the Keweenaw and made a quick stop in Calumet. The reason this is copper country.

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    The lift bridge between Houghton and Hancock, it's the only way across.

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    As I made my way south I found some of my favorite roads. Those off the beaten path dirt roads, the colors always seem so much more vibrant when you get off the pavement. Maybe it's because you are so much closer to the trees.

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    Two track trails my favorite!! :D

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    #20
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