Upper Peninsula Adventure Trail (UPAT - 1250 miles)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cannonshot, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. WOXOF

    WOXOF Just wander'n

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    That for this RR. Really enjoy the GDR report. Now I have something to look for to when I visit my cousin in MI

    by the way, what saddle bags does Klay have on his bike ?
    #41
  2. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Super Supporter

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    Ortlieb.
    #42
  3. WOXOF

    WOXOF Just wander'n

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    Thanks Klay :thumb
    Do you like them?
    #43
  4. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Super Supporter

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    They're excellent, and have lasted many years.
    #44
  5. WOXOF

    WOXOF Just wander'n

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    Thanks :beer
    #45
  6. Pinktoad

    Pinktoad Been here awhile

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    The scenery is just beautiful. You're making me want to ride up there again.
    #46
  7. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    This section has some deep sand sections, wicked when really dry, so I put in an entertaining go-around for big bikes. The go-around has a sporty series of corners in the woods.
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    The primary route.
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    #47
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    The sand gets a little more troublesome in this section of the primary route.
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    We ran up on what was probably another wolf right here. It took off pretty quickly and I didn't look at the tracks so I can't say for sure.
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    We were in an area where the biologists had been trapping (to collar) wolves earlier this year. Of course, coyotes are adaptive enough that they sometimes occupy the spaces between wolf pack territories so there is that possibility. Wolves have a strict policy about knocking off competitor canids (including other wolves) that they catch in their territory. http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/mammals/wolf/dogdepred.htm

    Coincidentally, two years in a row I happened to route the CannonTreks right down a wolf trap line.
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    #48
  9. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Broke it/Bought it Supporter

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    Beautiful.
    #49
  10. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Well, I don't see no pack of wolves between you and the UP keeping you two from riding this. :lol3
    #50
  11. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in

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    excellent as usual :thumb we have been blessed with great riding weather lately...glad you could enjoy it with relative solitude.
    #51
  12. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    A ride along (not on) the beach at Lake Michigan.
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    Watch out for traffic on these narrow roads. There isn't much, but it can surprise you.
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    Mackinac Island
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    The straits.
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    A quick "CannonView" of history in this area.

    Around 1620, some French guy cruised through looking for a passage to the Far East. That didn't work out too well, so the French ended up with a thriving business in beaver pelts instead. They set up trading posts at Sault Ste Marie and Mackinac Island.

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    Around 1668 Father Jim Marquette showed up. He was a pretty mobile explorer and did the usual stuff of trying to convert the Indians, etc. There is a statue of Jim in St Ignace. He died in Ludington on his way south (probably waiting for that slow coal fired car ferry).

    It is said that the French treated the Indians like neighbors. Later, when the British showed up, they treated the Indians like conquered people.

    The French had a good thing going, but were fearful of British attack. They moved their operations in the Mackinaw Straits from Mackinac Island to Fort Michi . . . . Michilima . . . Michilimack . . . (deep breath) . . . Fort Michilimackinac (whew) near present day Mackinaw City. In fact, there is a reproduction of the fort there for tourists.

    The British defeated the French in Montreal in 1760. The Brits moved into that one fort with the long name (by the bridge) in 1761.
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    It took a while for the paperwork to catch up, but the area was officially ceded to Great Britain after the French/Indian War (1763).

    The Indians that used to hang with the French were getting sort of ticked off about some new policies the British implemented and the lousy attitude they felt the Brits displayed toward them. In 1763 the Indians started kicking some ass in an effort to run the British out. They captured that fort with the long name and killed hundreds of British in the region. In 1764 the Brits negotiated a new contract with better policies toward the Indians which resulted in a temporary peace.

    The area became a US Territory with the 1783 Treaty of Paris, but the Brits didn't clear out the area until 1797 with the Jay Treaty.

    The area remained a big fur production center and John Jacob Astor established the American Fur Company on Mackinac Island in 1808. Astor made a fortune in trading furs, real estate, and opium. By the time he kicked in 1848 he was worth $115 billion (today's dollars) making him the fourth wealthiest person in American history.By 1830, the fur trade (and game animals) had declined due to over-harvesting.
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    Michigan became a territory in 1805. At different times it included Wisconsin, parts of MN, IL, Indiana - the usual deal.

    In the 1830s, MI was preparing for statehood. Obviously it had to shrink down to do this. In fact, one proposal did not even include the Upper Peninsula. Due to some "misunderstandings", Michigan and Ohio got into a pissing match over a strip of land near Toledo. Both laid claim to it. This conflict, called the Toledo War, took place in 1835 and 1836. To make a short story long, let me explain further. It wasn't really a war, but both sides raised militias and enacted laws that penalized anyone in the disputed territory from submitting to the opposite state. (Trivia: The Governor of Michigan was a 25 year old at this time.) The militias lined up on opposite sides of the Maumee River but never really fought each other. I think they spent their time mooning each other and flipping off the other side. The Ohio congressional delegation was messing with Michigan by keeping them from getting statehood until this was resolved. Finally President Andy Jackson stepped in and worked a deal. Ohio got the Toledo strip and Michigan got the Upper Peninsula as a consolation. Wisconsin was still a territory and couldn't say a thing about it. At the time, the UP was described as a "sterile region on the shores of Lake Superior destined by soil and climate to remain forever a wilderness". Michigan finally got statehood in 1837. Michigan got the last laugh when copper, iron, and timber operations took off in the UP.

    This small icebreaker is stationed in St. Ignace. This class of ships is named after bays hence the name Biscayne Bay for an ice breaker. There is a much bigger ice breaker that works the Great Lakes, but this one is handy to have around. It has a hull lubrication system that uses air bubbles and water to help this thing work through the ice better.
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    This bridge was put up in 1957 and is larger than the Golden Gate. There used to be ferry service here instead. It is a real treat to ride the steel grates on a bike.
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    Motels in this area are plentiful and in the off season are quite inexpensive.
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    #52
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  13. OldSilverFox

    OldSilverFox Let's Go!

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    Cannonshot
    Wonderfuls pics of the UP in the fall. You have done lots of excellent work to put this all together. I have ridden 2 up on a Lake Superior tour but while in the UP noticed a lot of roads that looked inviting for something smaller than a Goldwing. I just got back from a bit of off road/woods trails near Barrie Ontario and had a blast (not on the Goldwing). I was planning a trip out west to Utah to ride some of the roads in the National forests backcountry but I think the UP would be great and a lot closer to SW Ontario. I'm anxiously looking forward to more details.
    Two thumbs up for all your great work. :super
    #53
  14. kzoo

    kzoo Adventurer

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    Man; did we luck out there!:lol3
    #54
  15. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Super Supporter

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    #55
  16. kzoo

    kzoo Adventurer

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    #56
  17. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Over the years, there have been some movements to make the UP a separate state ("Superior") even as late as the 1970s. The attempt that had the most serious chance of success was a movement in earlier years where parts of northern Wisconsin and the UP wanted to join together to form their own state. This had a lot to do with significant taxes but few return benefits from the developed downstate areas. The most recent comment on this subject was a guy in Ontanagon County that put up a billboard outside his trailer house declaring it the "Governor's Mansion of the 51st State".

    The Upper Peninsula of Michigan makes up about 1/3 of the total land mass of the state but only has about 3% of the population. Some say there is a lot of room in which to move around.
    #57
  18. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    A winding and sporty forest road.
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    Still a little early morning fog.
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    A dim side road.
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    Lots of construction projects in the National Forests (pavement, culverts, roads). Must be stimulus money.
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    Another dim forest section.
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    There is a grouse in the right track in this picture. When I moved forward I flushed three at once. Over the course of four days I jumped easily more than 80 grouse (must be a peak year). It sounds like a lot, but I covered a lot of miles in prime habitat so it isn't really that remarkable.
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    There are two culverts to watch for on this stretch. It is possible to bottom out on both of them.
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    #58
  19. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Moose tracks on the road.
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    I should mention a couple of things about moose. If you encounter any, best to give them a lot of room. Someone that thinks they can scoot past one might find themselves getting knocked down and stomped. Bull moose have even attacked railroad locomotives.

    Moose attacks are more common than bear attacks. Keep in mind that they can weigh 1,500 pounds.

    If you run up on a moose, back off. Don't honk at it or otherwise antagonize the animal. Sometimes moose bluff charge to drive you off. Sometimes they knock you down and stomp you with their hooves. If you get knocked down curl up in a ball and protect you neck and noggin. Also, just when you think the moose has run off, they sometimes come back for another run at you. Best to get clear of the area.

    We ran up on a couple of moose earlier this season.
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    Raco Field is an abandoned airstrip that was installed during WWII to help protect the locks at Sault Ste Marie. It is now part of the National Forest.
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    The runways are in remarkable shape.
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    A company that does cold weather automotive testing leases the runways for their winter work.
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    For a while this place was a Bombarc missile base.
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    Of course, everyone knows that Raco has a secret underground installation and that it is being maintained to use as a FEMA concentration camp when the revolution comes. :loco

    "Michigan:
    • Kincheloe Correctional Facility (Formerly Kincheloe AFB with B-52 sized runways). Has five large prison buildings able to house 5000+. The facility has about 500 prisoners at this time. Location: 20 miles south of Sault Ste. Marie (Soo Locks) at the eastern end of the Upper Penninsula of Michigan.
    • K.I. Sawyer AFB Large construction program has been going on under the name of "Operation Gateway". High security is in place with a large portion of the base closed to civilian view. Location: 20 miles south of Marquette, MI in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan.
    • Raco Field Raco field is an interesting facility. The above ground runways form a perfect triangle. Few buildings appear on the surface, but ventilators can be seen. Civilian workers report that a subsurface facility exists. No publicity exists indicating what the role of Raco Field is, although something is there. To observers, it is an "inactive WWII base." Location: 15 miles NW of Kincheloe Correctional Facility on Hwy 28.
    • Bark River A large construction operation is ongoing in the Bark River, MI, area. Locals are tight-lipped. The facility is off the main highway in a wilderness area. While most of the locals say that the construction is associated with the ELF (extreme low frequency) project of world-wide communications, others suspect FEMA is involved. (Note: the ELF grid is located 100 miles NE of the Bark River area) Location: 20 miles west of Escanaba in the upper penninsula of Michigan.
    • Bay City Sits on Saginaw Bay which connects to Lake Huron. This facility has high fencing, barbed wire and guard towers.
    • Grayling Camp Grayling Michigan National Guard Base. Detention facility. Guards towers, razor wire.
    • Southwest area of the state FEMA Detention facility
    • Central part of the state FEMA Detention facility
    • Detroit FEMA Detention facility"
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    #59
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  20. Krabill

    Krabill Long timer

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    Great pictures as always :clap



    I'm going to have to think about this one for my annual Michigan trip next year.
    #60