Two-Up, Two Weeks, Three Great Lakes, Our 35th Anniversary Ride.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Samspade, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. Samspade

    Samspade Been here awhile

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    If you want to read about iron butt mileage, long days in the saddle fighting fatigue and bad weather, breakdowns, or epiphanies wrought through self reflection, this ride report probably isn’t for you. If, however, you want to read about a pleasant two week ride with lots of sightseeing around the upper Great Lakes, you may like it. I’m not sure if a ride that averaged a little over 150 miles a day qualifies as “epic.” That being said, this year’s trip did cover 2300 miles, started from the south side of Tennessee, and went to the top of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and many points in between. For my wife Laura and me that qualifies as epic.

    When Laura and I go for a ride we aren’t looking to cover as much ground as possible. Our goal is to have fun and see the sights. While I enjoy days where you just ride and pound out the miles, my wife does not. Our Ven diagram of motorcycle riding overlaps at touring back roads and small towns, staying in mom and pop motels, and spending time at interesting stops along the way. Laura is a school teacher which means our window of time for a longer trip falls in the summer. And since neither of us likes to ride all day in the heat and humidity around home (Tennessee) during the summer, we have had to figure out ways to give us what we both enjoy with as little of what we don’t as possible. Compromise isn’t always a bad thing. Maybe that’s one thing that has helped us stay married for 35 years (this ride was our 35th anniversary celebration).

    We go on a lot of weekend and day rides. Three years ago we branched out and spent a week on and around the Blue Ridge Parkway. But last year’s ride was our first really long trip together by bike. That trip, with a couple of our oldest friends, took us from Chattanooga to Niagara Falls, Toronto, around Lake Ontario and the Thousand Islands region, through the Adirondacks, Cooperstown, and Corning, NY (trust me on this one, go to the Glass Museum). The wife in the other couple has a similar travel style to Laura’s. So my friend and I rode up via Dayton (Air Force Museum) and Cleveland (Indians game) while the wives flew from Chattanooga to Buffalo. We then spent eight days and 1000 miles touring as couples, dropped the wives back at the airport, and spent another couple of days riding the back roads of eastern Ohio and Kentucky on our way home. We all had a good time and no one vowed to never do that again.

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    Laura & I in Kingston, Ontario

    This year it would just be Laura and me as all of our friends that ride were tied up. Since the trip was in July, we would be going north to get out of the heat. Because I have a job, our maximum time available was two weeks. Our choice for destination was either Maine/Nova Scotia, or Lower Michigan/Wisconsin/Upper Peninsula. In the end the Michigan/Wisconsin loop made more sense time wise so that became the plan.

    A couple of years ago we picked up a lightly used Harley Electra Glide Classic for two-up touring. In the time we’ve had the Harley it’s accumulated an additional 13,000 miles and never failed to get us where we were going. For this trip it was time to get new shoes. So 2-1/2 weeks before departure I had a new set of Dunlop American Elites put on. Naturally, two weeks before departure, I went for a weekend ride in the mountains and came home with a 2” bolt in the brand new back tire. And as my luck with mechanical things tends to run the independent mechanic who put those tires on had just left on a three week ride out west. Fortunately the local Harley dealership had the same tire in stock and a free install deal to boot. With the bike ready, we spent the last few nights before leaving packing the bike, giving our couple of acres a good mowing, and studying Weather Underground like there was going to be a test on the information.
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  2. Samspade

    Samspade Been here awhile

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    Packed up and ready to go.

    Day -1 (6/28)

    As Friday was a work day for me, our trip officially began on the last Saturday in June. The plan was simple. We had a hotel reserved in Dearborn for Saturday night. I would ride up, Laura would fly, and we would meet at the hotel.

    The trip from our house outside Chattanooga to our hotel in Dearborn was a shade over 600 miles. In order to save myself a couple of hours on Saturday’s ride, and to spend a little time with a couple of the grandkids, I left after work on Friday and rode to our daughter’s house a hundred miles north. This would save me the aforementioned time, and it also allowed me to take back roads for half the ride to Dearborn.

    Day 1 (6/29)

    It was relatively cool when I left Saturday morning and as I rode through rural Kentucky. However, it started getting hot about the time I hit I-75 just south of Berea.

    Riding the interstate does not make for an eventful ride (at least you hope it doesn’t). Still, you meet some interesting people when you stop and the bike always opens up the conversations.

    Stopped at a rest area in Ohio drinking a bottle of water, an older Aerostar van pulls in a couple of spaces away. No chrome or whitewalls on the van. Sure enough, a Mennonite family gets out and heads for the restrooms. The grandfather stays by the van and asks me how my ride is going. We talk for a few minutes and then he tells me about him and his best friend buying cheap motorcycles in 1978. From Indianapolis they rode to Daytona, across the panhandle, and all the way to San Diego. It was a great story. I was glad I got to hear it, and to be reminded to never judge a book by its cover.

    By late afternoon I was in northern Ohio and ready to be where I was going. 90 degrees and bright sunshine is a recipe for falling asleep. So I turned on some music in my helmet, cruised through Toledo and arrived in Dearborn around dinner time. Day 1 complete.

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    #2
  3. Samspade

    Samspade Been here awhile

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    Day 2 (6/30)

    You might ask why would we start our trip together in Dearborn, Michigan? That’s a logical question. The answer is The Henry Ford Museum. Contrary to what some of you are thinking, this isn’t a museum about Fords. This is a museum dedicated to innovation in all areas, from farming to aviation, machine tools to civil rights. I had heard it’s one of the top museums in the country and I heard right. A few highlights:

    This is the chair Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot! The first thing I thought was how did the museum get its hands on this? Second thing; is that his blood? (Answer is yes.)
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    The limousine that JFK was in on that fateful day in Dallas. Believe it or not, Johnson used this same car for several more years. Although he used it with the removable hardtop in place as it sits in the museum. It’s strange to stand next to something like this and think that history changed a few feet from where you’re standing.
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    This is a snowplow locomotive from Canada. Laura isn’t short (5’8”), it’s really that big.
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    A personal favorite of mine, a Bugatti type 41 Royale. One of only 6 built.
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    We spent the day at the Henry Ford/Greenfield Village. I know, a non-riding day and another letdown to the hardcore ADVers. But we had a great time, saw some incredible things, and it was a part of our motorcycle trip. Tomorrow we ride (finally).

    Attached Files:

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  4. Samspade

    Samspade Been here awhile

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    Day 3 (7/1): Dearborn to Grand Rapids, MI (158 miles)

    This was a hot day. Southern Michigan, once you get away from Detroit, is farm country. Laura is a farm girl and usually loves riding through miles of crops. But the heat and lack of anywhere shady to pull over and relax left us both drained.

    One thing we noted, whereas farms in the south are a mixture of livestock and/or crops, almost every farm we saw in Michigan was crops. Maybe the harder winters make cattle farming impractical? Or maybe, as I theorized because of the presence of a large travel trailer or motorhome at virtually every farm, farmers work the long hours required through crop season and then head for warmer climes for the winter? These are the sort of conversations that go on in your headset when your wife is a farm girl and you’re riding through farm country.

    The highlight for the day was our lunch stop in the village of Chelsea. Did I say village? My bad. In 2004 the residents voted to change their status from village to city. The city of Chelsea, MI has a population of about 5,000, a couple of good restaurants, and a main employer that made it a must stop for my wife. Towering over one end of downtown are giant silos with Jiffy in large letters. Turns out that Chelsea is the home to Chelsea Milling Company, makers of Jiffy Cornmeal Mix. This information didn’t mean a lot to me but delighted my wife no end. We had to walk to the end of town and see the plant just so she could take pictures and tell all her friends that we’d been there.

    After our stop in Chelsea it was back onto hot, shade-less roads through more farm country. We finally got to Grand Rapids (amazing how a 158 mile trip can take 6 hours) and found our B&B. The Leonard on Logan was just what we needed after a stiflingly hot day of riding. A turn of the century mansion in a downtown historic district. Nothing like a good dinner and a comfortable room to re-energize after a tiring ride.

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    The Leonard on Logan
    #4
  5. Samspade

    Samspade Been here awhile

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    Chelsea Milling Company
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  6. Samspade

    Samspade Been here awhile

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    Day 4 (7/2): Grand Rapids, MI to Ludington, MI (100 miles)

    As the title of this thread suggests, this ride was one of our vacations for the year and also a celebration of 35 years married. I won't get philosophical about marriage, why some last and some don't. I'll just say that I'm very fortunate to have gotten the wife I have.

    I hear a lot of guys wish that their significant other would go for a ride with them. There are a lot of reasons why that doesn't happen and I wouldn't pretend to know anyone else's circumstances. I don’t claim to be the sharpest tool in the shed (actually I do claim it but nobody believes me), but I have learned a couple of things about my wife. Laura goes on long rides with me because she knows I love to travel by bike and she wants to spend time with me (one of the few people who I can say that about). So I always try to plan our rides based on her comfort (why we have a big Harley touring bike) and both our interests to ensure she will want to do it again.

    One of the things Laura really enjoys is looking at houses. Especially historic ones. Grand Rapids was a planned stop because the mileage between Dearborn and our ultimate destination, Ludington, MI. was a little too far for a days ride on back roads. Given the heat, it was a good call. One thing I didn't know, but Laura did, was that Grand Rapids is home to a Frank Lloyd Wright house that is open for tours. And, by coincidence, that house was across the street and a couple of doors down from our B&B.

    The Meyer May House was built in 1908-09 and had two owners before the Steelcase Corporation purchased it in 1985. The house was restored to its original specifications and is now open for tours Tuesday and Thursday mornings and Sunday afternoons. The rest of the time it is used by Steelcase for functions and client entertainment.

    Once again things fell into place perfectly. We got up Tuesday morning to thunder and rain. Not a great way to start a motorcycling day. But we had a world class breakfast thanks to the Leonard on Logan chef, and by then the rain was a light drizzle. We walked over to the Meyer May House and spent a little over an hour on the tour. When we came out the sun was shining and the heat and humidity of the previous day were gone.

    By late morning we were packed and ready to roll with 70 degree temperatures and the soft, cloudless blue skies that follow a cold front's passing. Ludington here we come.

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    Meyer May House

    Ludington is a small city of 8000+ a little over halfway up the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. There's a lighthouse, a good-sized harbor, and a large beach. There is also the SS Badger.

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    Parked at Ludington Beach

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    The Lighthouse
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  7. Samspade

    Samspade Been here awhile

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    Day 5 (7/3): Ludington, MI to Green Bay, WI (100 miles)

    The SS Badger is the last coal fired steamship ferry in operation. From their website:

    Facts
    [​IMG]

    About the Car Ferry
    The S.S. Badger offers the largest cross-lake passenger service on the Great Lakes and an authentic steamship experience. The relaxing four-hour, 60-mile cruise takes passengers, autos, RVs, tour buses, motorcycles, bicycles, and commercial trucks across Lake Michigan between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

    Dimensions:
    • Length: 410 feet, 6 inches
    • Width: 59 feet, 6 inches
    • Height: 106 feet, 9 inches (7 stories)
    • Weight: 6650 tons displaced
    Amenities: Outside deck areas, deli-style snack bar, buffet-style dining area, private staterooms, upper deck lounge, aft end lounge, video arcade, children's playroom, gift shop/ship's store, free quiet room/museum, two free TV lounges, free movie lounge!

    Staterooms: 40

    Propellers: Two cast steel, 4-blade propellers, 13' 10'' in diameter and weighing 13,800 pounds each

    Anchors: Two Stockless anchors weighing 7,000 pounds each

    Engines: Two Skinner Unaflow four-cylinder steam engines rated 3,500 horsepower at 125 RPM (total 7,000 horsepower). The Badger's propulsion system burns domestic fuel, and is designated as a mechanical engineering landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

    Boilers: Four Foster-Wheeler "D - type" coal-burning

    Average speed: 18 miles per hour (15.6 knots)

    Number of crew members on each trip: 50-60

    Capacity: 600 passengers, 180 automobiles, tour buses, RVs, motorcycles, and commercial trucks

    Number of crossings per season: Approx. 450

    Years in service: Built and launched in 1952; began daily service on March 21, 1953

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    SS Badger

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    Waiting to Board

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    Leaving Ludington Harbor

    We left the docks at 9am sharp. There were a deck and a half of cars, several trucks with trailers, about 10 bikes, and a couple of semis in the vehicle area. If you're on a bike bring your own tie-downs. The bikes park on grating along the outside of the lower vehicle deck. There aren't dedicated tie-down points, just some steel angle and flatbar that runs along the outer wall of the hold. Note that the crew doesn't offer any assistance securing your bike. Take a minute to look things over and make sure you've got a good plan as the seas can get rough.

    As soon as we cleared Ludington Harbor the fog settled in. Visibility was less than 1/8 mile. It also got considerably colder out on the lake itself.

    We struck up a conversation with another couple who had tied up their Harley next ours. Joe and Karli are from the Minneapolis area and were on the final leg of a week long ride along the south shore of Lake Superior and the eastern shore of Lake Michigan (side note: for all the grief Harley's get on this forum, you sure see a lot of them out on the road racking up a lot of miles). Joe is a machinist and it was interesting to hear his perspective on the changes in manufacturing over the last couple of decades in their part of the country (I've spent most of my working life in manufacturing and metal working). Once again the adage proved true. It's the people you meet, not the places you see, that make a trip special.

    After four hours we arrived in Manitowoc. Docking was interesting as the Badger doesn't have bow thrusters or any sort of gearboxes on the propellers. To reverse the props they shut down the steam engines and fire them back up in reverse rotation. Manitowoc harbor is tight for a ship the Badger's size. To make the pivot so they can back into the dock, the captain drops an anchor at a point where it will spin the bow around and then act as a brake as the boat slowly back up to the dock.

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    Arriving at Manitowoc

    Disembarking was easy. Unstrap the bike (which hadn't moved on our gentle crossing) and ride it back down the ramp. The crew gave bikes priority after the semis were unloaded and we were off the boat and out of the parking lot in about 10 minutes.
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  8. Ozarks Rider

    Ozarks Rider I'd never join club that would have me as a member Supporter

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    Well done. Enjoying the ride!
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  9. Samspade

    Samspade Been here awhile

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    Day 5(cont):

    As we left the ferry there were a couple of familiar faces in the crowd. Our friends Jim and Julie were waiting for us at the side of the parking lot.

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    Leaving the Badger

    Jim and Julie have been friends for over 20 years. We were neighbors when we all lived in Wheaton, IL and our boys played soccer and went to school together. Twenty years ago we moved back to Tennessee and they moved back to Green Bay. Every few years we get the chance to get together and, hearing that we were going to be in their neck of the woods, they insisted (though it didn’t take any arm twisting) that we stay at their house for a couple of days and then the four of us could travel to Lake Superior together.

    Jim is an avid rider. He’s also 6’11” tall. Several years ago I suggested he look at the 1200GS as bikes he is comfortable on are not that plentiful. He gave the BMW a try and now owns two (one for Green Bay and one for their place in Nebraska). Our original plan was for them to join us on their GS and explore Door County. However, Julie’s back wouldn’t let that happen. So (hardcore riders stop reading here) we loaded the E-Glide on Jim’s trailer and the four of us piled into their SUV for the short trip to Green Bay.

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    Four Friends on a Lake Michigan Beach

    Day 6 (7/4): Door County

    Independence Day was a non-bike day (I know, we’re slackers at the ADV thing). After breakfast the four of us loaded up in their SUV and headed for Door County.

    For those that don’t know, Door County is the large peninsula that separates Green Bay from Lake Michigan. If, like me, you religiously read Peter Egan’s columns in Cycle World and Road & Track you’ve read several stories of Door County. His descriptions of the picturesque towns and small harbors along the bay put it on my radar. And Cannonshot’s excellent ride report (A Cannonride Through the Door) put it on the must see list. Although his ride report specifies 4-5 days to visit, we only had one. So if you really want to understand what Door County is like read the master’s treatise and consider my couple of pictures an appetite whetter.

    Speaking of appetites, we passed through Sturgeon Bay aiming for Egg Harbor for lunch. It's a shame they were having their 4th of July parade about the time we got there. Looked like a great place to stop for a while, but not with most of Door County lining the streets.

    North of Egg Harbor we stopped at an orchard (did I mention there's a lot of agriculture up there) for a drink and snacks. Of course our friends ran into some of their friends who told us about a place for lunch in Sister Bay.

    Fred and Fuzzy's Waterside Bar and Grill turned out to be a unique place. Hard to find and right on the water, the only building is the bathrooms. The kitchen is in a tent and all the tables are outdoors. Fred has an interesting staff. All his employees are eastern European college aged kids who come over for the summer and work. At the end of the summer they spend two weeks sightseeing and then go home. I guess if you provide housing and transportation for your staff you always know they'll be at work when they're supposed to. Good food, good service, and a beautiful location make for a great lunch. We just wondered what they do when it rains?

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    Fred & Fuzzy’s

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    Door County Beach
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  10. Samspade

    Samspade Been here awhile

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    Thanks.
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  11. Samspade

    Samspade Been here awhile

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    Day 7 (7/5): Green Bay to Munising, MI

    Doc’s Harley-Davidson sits on Hwy. 29, 18 miles west of Green Bay at the Shawano County line. Doc is a legend in Harley circles having successfully raced top fuel drag Harleys for over 30 years. Most Harley dealerships are nice places to stop and visit when you’re on the road. Doc’s takes everything to a different level. Besides the bike dealership there are a restaurant, a zoo, and a bike and car museum. It’s easy to kill a couple or three hours there and that is exactly what we did.

    Jim and I mounted up and took an early morning ride over for breakfast. The Restaurant was open, but not the dealership so we took a quick tour of the zoo while we waited for our wives to get there.

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    Doc's Restaurant

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    Inside the restaurant. Every style of engine Harley has made is on this bike. Believe it or not this thing runs and gets ridden in parades.

    After getting stuffed for breakfast we wandered over to the museum and spent some time looking at the fine collection of 50’s, 60’s and 70’s cars and bikes. As we looked at the all original ’66 Toronado, we had a philosophical discussion trying to understand how GM could build such fantastic cars during the 60’s and early 70’s, and then build such forgettable—I don’t want to say junk, but I can’t think of another word—almost overnight. In the end we decided it wasn’t any one thing, and it wasn’t unique to GM. It just seemed to us that there was about a 10-15 year period where car development went backwards. You really have to wonder what cars would be like today if it weren’t for that setback.

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    The Museum
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    I’m not really a souvenir person. I bought a hat in Denali a few years ago, and a t-shirt at the Baseball Hall of Fame last year. But I didn’t get anything when we were in Iceland a couple of years ago (even though it was one of the best trips we’ve ever taken). However, Doc’s was unique enough to make the list. So I bought my first ever Harley t-shirt while we were there.

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    After Doc’s we rode back to Green Bay, put the GS away, and loaded the Harley back on the trailer (I know, I know, but we wanted to spend time with our friends). From Green Bay we traveled the western shore of Green Bay and Lake Michigan to the Upper Peninsula. Our final destination for the afternoon was Munising, MI. Tomorrow we would get to explore Lake Superior from both the shoreline and the water.
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  12. Samspade

    Samspade Been here awhile

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    Day 8 (7/6): Munising/Lake Superior

    Munising, MI, population 2400, sits at the south end of South Bay. Just outside the Bay is Grand Island which is bigger area wise than Munising. For such a small town with so few people, the traffic was surprisingly congested. There were people everywhere. The hotels were expensive and full. The restaurants all had lines. There was even a constant line at the walk up DQ?

    Turns out Munising is the gateway to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. From Wikipedia:

    Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a U.S. National Lakeshore on the shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, United States. It extends for 42 miles (67 km) along the shore and covers 73,236 acres (114 sq mi; 296 km2). The park has extensive views of the hilly shoreline between Munising and Grand Marais in Alger County, Michigan, with picturesque rock formations, waterfalls, and sand dunes.

    Pictured Rocks derives its name from the 15 miles (24 km) of colorful sandstone cliffs northeast of Munising. The cliffs reach up to 200 feet (60 m) above lake level. They have been naturally sculptured into a variety of shallow caves, arches, and formations resembling castle turrets and human profiles. Near Munising, visitors can also visit Grand Island, most of which is included in the separate Grand Island National Recreation Area.


    We woke up at the Munising Motel to a pleasant 61 degrees and a strong west wind. Our original plan was to spend the afternoon charter fishing on the lake. But our captain called during breakfast and said it was too rough. So we booked a Pictured Rocks boat tour for late in the afternoon and hoped it would calm down by then.

    Since we had the day to kill we loaded up and took H-58 east toward Grand Marais. This is the coast road that parallels the Pictured Rocks Lakeshore. There are stunning views of the lake as most of the shoreline is 100'-200' off the water. For the hikers, there is a 42 mile trail that follows the lakeshore from Munising to Grand Marais. Our crew of four stopped at Miner’s Castle rock and the Log Slide Overlook on our way to Grand Marais for lunch.

    Miner's Castle
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    Log Slide Overlook
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    The Log Slide Overlook, just outside Grand Marais, is a 300' high sand dune. Loggers used to pull their logs to this spot and roll the logs down into the water (that would have been something to see) where they could be rafted together and towed by boat to the lumber mill in Grand Marais. If you're so inclined you can slide yourself down the 500' dune face to the water. But as the signs warn, the few minutes it takes to get down translates into more than an hour to get back up.

    After a leisurely lunch in Grand Marais we made the long drive straight south to Highway 28 which runs east and west across the middle of this part of the UP. This was the quick way back to Munising as it was getting late in the afternoon and our 5:30 tour boat wouldn't wait.

    One note on the UP. The closest thing Laura and I could think of to describe the UP is Alaska without the towering mountains. Miles of wilderness without many people or signs of civilization. Not many roads, and a lot of those that are there are gravel. And few services outside the small towns that pop up now and then.

    By the time we boarded our tour boat the wind had died down considerably and we had a very nice two hour tour of the Pictured Rocks. I'll let pictures tell the story.

    Abandoned lighthouse on Grand Island.
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    The Pictured Rocks.
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    #12
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  13. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Simply outstanding!
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  14. Samspade

    Samspade Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the kind words.
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  15. KCuv

    KCuv Adventurer

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    I've got an open invite to anyone traveling through buffalo to stop for a cold beer. Nice trip so far!
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  16. Samspade

    Samspade Been here awhile

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    Day 9 (7/7): Munising to Mackinaw City (191 miles)


    Warning: Lots of words.


    A few years ago I planned a solo 9 day ride to Lake Superior while Laura was out of the country. The highlight of that trip was to be a visit to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point. Circumstances interfered and my time got cut from 9 days to 5. With so little time I just went for a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway and hoped to get up to Whitefish Point some other time. Today is that time!

    Shipwrecks have always fascinated me. One minute you’re sailing along, everything blue skies and sunshine. But then, out of nowhere--sometimes building up over hours, sometimes days, or often in an instant--tragedy strikes. Some survive, some do not. Some make it through because of planning and preparation, some by pure luck. And some of the ablest sailors go down with the ship. Whatever the outcome your world is forever changed, divided into before and after. A shipwreck is an almost perfect microcosm of life.

    The bank thermometer across from our hotel said 47 degrees when we got up at Munising. Even with the warm jackets we brought that’s cold. We took our time at breakfast and slowly packed the bike afterward. Our friends Jim and Julie headed back to Green Bay. It was about nine thirty when we finally got on the bike and left Munising. The thermometer said 55 as we pulled out of the motel parking lot.

    We took Hwy. 28 across the UP. Long, straight, lots of trees and not many signs of civilization. Our break-the-boredom game was to guess how many miles before the next curve. Finally, after 82 miles, we got to Eckerman Corner and turned north on 123. Another 33 miles and we were at Whitefish Point and the literal end of the road. We pulled into the almost empty parking lot and got our first look at the museum.

    The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is located at the original Whitefish Point lighthouse and lifesaving station. There is a newer building that houses the shipwreck exhibits, along with the light keeper’s house, a building dedicated to the lifesaving activities that took place there, and the lighthouse itself. The buildings have been well taken care of and the history is focused on the people and their stories, not just facts and figures. Laura's favorite was the story of the longest serving light keeper and his family as told in his granddaughter's diary and throughout the light keepers house which was furnished just as they had it.

    The centerpiece of the Shipwreck Museum is the Edmund Fitzgerald. We all know the story because of the song. And the song does a great job of telling the story. But the details are much richer than can be expressed in a few lines. It was an epic that played out in modern times and gives us a good picture of the stories that accompanied hundreds of other shipwrecks on those lakes. As you stand on the shore of the point, Lake Superior to your left, Whitefish Bay to your right, you get a sense of the hope the crew had, and how quickly that hope turned hopeless. From the song:

    “The searchers all say they’d have made Whitefish Bay
    If they’d put fifteen more miles behind her.”


    The last exhibit we visited was a 20 minute documentary on the Fitz and how her bell came to be in the museum. For those that don't know, an exact replica bell was cast and engraved with the names of the 29 crew members. With the families on hand, the original bell was removed from the wreck (600' deep) and the new bell permanently placed on the deck as a final memorial.

    By mid-afternoon we had seen everything at the museum which was now packed with people. So we loaded up and rode to Paradise for lunch. And with that I checked the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum off my bucket list.

    Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
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    Whitefish Point
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    Bell from the Edmund fitzgerald
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    #16
  17. regnaDkciN

    regnaDkciN crown bearing @ 60k, clutch @ 69k,HyperPros @ 70k Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
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    160
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    Kennesaw, GA
    also the hometown of Jeff Daniels and Sanjay Gupta
    #17
  18. Samspade

    Samspade Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2015
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    East Tennessee
    I didn't know about Sanjay Gupta. The policeman at the gas station told us about Jeff Daniels. Apparently he still spends time there.
    #18
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  19. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    286
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    Lafayette, LA
    I visited Whitefish Point in Sept. 2018 as part of a Circle Tour of Lake Superior and I echo your thoughts. It's a must-see place. I used to think all shipwrecks were the result of bad weather, but many were caused by two ships colliding. Something unthinkable in this GPS age.
    #19
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  20. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
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    2,630
    Location:
    The mosquito-y Center of Canada
    #20
    Samspade likes this.