Upper Peninsula Adventure Trail (UPAT - 1250 miles)

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

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    US 41 - a great ride.
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    US 41
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    We turn onto a trail that takes us up the back side of Brockway Mountain.
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    Top of Brockway.
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    Overlooking Copper Harbor.
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    Interesting wayside.
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    Fantastic ride down the shore road.
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  2. Head413

    Head413 Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Copper Harbor, MI
    I live here and your pictures make me yearn to go out and ride. Next year I hope to get some solid miles in, on and off road.
  3. c-zulu

    c-zulu Works with Turds

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    This RR brings back such great memories, always top notch reporting Bryan.. :clap
  4. WOXOF

    WOXOF Just wander'n

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    Fantastic Job Cannonshot :thumb

    I was thru the UP in 2007. It appears I missed a lot. Time for a return trip.
  5. RockyNH

    RockyNH Older Than Dirt!

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    Great! Thanks, I was afraid I missed it! Your Keewenaw, Copper Harbor, mining country photos are FANTASTIC and bring back memories..
    Fort Wilkins
    Calumet
    Laurium

    This RR is great... looking forward to the next section!

    Pat in NH
  6. Garry

    Garry Bleeds Orange...

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    What an awesome RR! I need to load up my DRZ and head up there for a week. Thanks so much for sharing. This is really cool :thumbup

    How many days did it take to do the loop? I'm guessing 6 (~200 miles per day), but maybe it's more with the stops to visit historical sites and whatnot.
  7. ThumperDRZ

    ThumperDRZ Bouncing off Rocks!

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    Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!

    Awesome Fall pictures Cannon......:thumb

    One Day I'll make it......
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Navaid guides you into the harbor without hitting rocks.
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    This 1853 Eagle Harbor school was the site where the Knights of Pythias was formed. A teacher that worked here started the organization in 1860.
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    This organization once had close to a million members in the US and Canada. Abe Lincoln liked it and thought it was good for the country post civil war.
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    Another one of those devices for grooming snowy roads for horses and sleighs.
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    Monks that make jam.
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    At the site of this falls and partial wooden dam (left side) there once was a fuse factory that made 50,000 feet of fuse a day for the mines.
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    1915 highway bridge.
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    1990 highway bridge next to it.
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    This small county has highway signs that look like this. Nice touch.
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    This courthouse, built in 1866, is still in use. By the way, there were two divorces in this county in 2005, seven in 2006, and eight in 2007. Can a lawyer make a living here?
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    This is the Sheriff's Department and Jail. The Sheriff lives there and his wife cooks meals for the inmates.
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    When the miners came to town, there were often problems. Sometimes there were lethal fights between the Methodist Cornwall miners and the Irish Catholics. The town built a sturdy jail in the attic of this place. There was one very large and very troublesome miner that the town had a hard time with. Eventually they ordered a 200 pound ball and chain. When he would come to town, they would attach the ball and chain before he got too drunk. After leaving him in a park, they were surprised to find him in a bar with a drink on one hand while carrying his ball in chain with the other arm.
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    We take to a nice trail out of town that runs toward Phoenix.
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    Back by the Bammert Blacksmith shop.
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    Phoenix
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    The old town and mine site.
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  9. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Perhaps we'll get a chance to ride together up there. The peninsula is so nice, we seem to get there a few times each year.

    Good times Ted! Enjoyed having you along on the Trek.

    There is so much great riding in the UP, street or dirt, someone could spend a lot of time there for sure!

    So much interesting history in Calumet and Laurium! I think I cover some of that in the next installment.

    I can do the loop in four long days, but I have visited these places many times so I make better travel time. For a first timer to this loop, plan for six days and take your time. You'll probably finish it in five, but why rush?

    Gary, I hope you make it up there this year. With the self-guided track, it would be much easier to put together a Missouri posse to come up and ride this. The fall colors are great, but it is beautiful most anytime you can make it.
  10. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    I ran out of light so I borrowed some pictues I took prior to this ride.

    When the copper market fell during the depression, times were tough out here. One program that helped out was the Works Progress Administration. This program of relief for work allowed one job per family. Unskilled workers were paid 34 cents an hour while skilled forkers got 49 cents. One WPA project was this stone ship named the Kearsarge. By the way, there have been four Navy ships named Kearsarge between 1862 and the present and none of them were like this one.
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    Note the mine drill for a deck gun. There were a lot of other WPA projects out here. Some we will visit. The Gipp Memorial was one. There were also 5,000 men on highway work as well. 8-10% of the WPA jobs were for women. They included sewing, canning, and some writer's projects.
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    This exclusive club, which is still running today, is where all the big mining execs went to relax.
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    Supposed to be a good museum.
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    On the peninsula, snow can be a problem (up to 390 inches worth).
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    Calumet Electronics took over some old mine buildings to build circuit boards.
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    Firefighters museum in an old firehouse near the theater.
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    You could ride around these towns for a couple of hours checking stuff out. There is a walking tour available for old mine stuff.

    This mining company did not outlaw saloons as some others did.
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    When this theater was built, it was far better than anything even in Detoit. It opened in 1900 and has been nicely restored.
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    I thought the street lights with the faux power lines was a nice downtown touch.
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    Laurium lays claim to "The Gipper".
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    Incredibly, Gipp's remains were recently dug up to get a femur to use for DNA analysis. Some woman claimed to be his grand daughter - an alleged product of his college days. There was no match.
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    Apparently these mining towns produced some football players. The Hunk played for da' Bears.
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    The dramatic story which was the subject of a movie with Ronald Reagan.
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    The Laurium Manor was built in 1908. It is now a B&B. They give tours.
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    As I mentioned, you could ride around Calumet and Laurium for hours looking at old stuff. Much of what you see in this photo is still around.
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    A lot of these old buildings are still in place.
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    The mining office - now the National Historic Site headquarters.
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    Warehouses still in use. By the way, H&C used engineers for their large long span industrial buildings. They used architects for housing and other more routine facilities.
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    Drill repair shop.
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    Early company housing (cabins).
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    These incredibly valuable old growth white pines were devoured by the mines.
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    A lot of premium wood is buried inthe mines.
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    This company did a lot for their workers. They provided libraries, schools, taught english to immigrants, built pools and bath houses, provided medical services, and even provided land for churches and fraternal organizations.
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    At one time they had 50 steam power systems running things around here.
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    Rail operations were important. Lots of rail paths to ride now.
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    Silver was a by-product.
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    Introduction of the one man drill caused a bitter strike in 1913-1914.
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    Henry Ford was paying $5/day in Detroit so some workers pulled out.
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    The National Guard was called in to preserve order.
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    During the strike, the workers held a Chirstmas Eve party for children at the Italian Hall. Someone (likely not a striker) called "Fire" and caused a rush that killed 74 people - 59 of which were children - all that were trampled to death. The Italian Hall has been torn down but the doors were kept in a museum. Woody Guthrie wrote a song about it.
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    Another 9200 pound slab of native copper scrubbed off by a glacial and left until a few feet of glacial till.
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    This slab of native copper is displayed at the airport terminal. Glaciers scrub these hunks of copper out of the strata and drag them along polishing them up a bit. After a while they leave them buried under a little till to be discovered sometime in the future.
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    This is Quincy #2. The shaft is 9,260 feet deep (1.75 miles). It used the world's largest steam hoist. The hoist could lift 10 tons at a speed of 36 mph. The hoist sits on the largest concrete slab ever poured with 3200 yards of concrete. The mine gives tours down to the 7th level. Water has risen that high in the mine and drains out an adit holding the water to the 7th level.
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    This mine ran from 1846 to 1945 with some operations going into the 1970s. For a while, it was the world's leading producer of copper. This mine had large pure masses of copper.
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    It is now part of a National Historic District that covers several sites in the UP. (Sort of like a National Park.)
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    Water pump?
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    The nearby technical college offers a unique program in restoration of historical sites.
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    These wooden ore cars are back up to the boiler house.
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    Notice the rails still run to the second floor but the trestle is gone.
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    Like I mentioned earlier, sometimes you are riding along and you happen upon some mine works. This headframe has an ore car abandoned with it.
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    The executives from back east thought that the miner's homes should have electricity and water. Managers here didn't see the need. The execs from the east won out and homes for miners were better in this company. The idea was to keep miners from jumping to another mine.
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    Thing started off in tents and got better and better as the years went on.
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    Looking back toward the Quincy Mine from Houghton.
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    Edit: I rolled into Houghton-Hancock thinking I would have no problem getting a room mid-week at this time of the year. Turns out the university was having career week and there was not a single room available anywhere in town. There was a possibility of a room all the way down in Baraga. I worked the issue for a while and was lucky in that I found the last room left in Lake Linden out on the peninsula.
  11. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    A railroad grade ORV trail is part of most of this section.
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    It is suitable for big bikes.
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    Some buildings from the Champion Mine. This was a shop building. They used to build mine equipment here. They even cast their own gears for use in the mine.
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    This headworks was spared when the mine closed because the township needed it to maintain their water supply.
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    The angle on part of the building shows the angle of the shaft.
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    No shortage of mine rock around here.
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    Mine office.
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    Mine executives lived up the hill from the mine.
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    As you move down the hill, the company housing changes a bit.
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    A place to camp.
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    Railroad grade trail.
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    The Firesteel Trestles go over three branches of the Firesteel River.
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    There are a lot of mine shafts around. The Adventure Mine gives tours. In fact, part of a mountain bike race runs underground through a section of the mine.
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    Mass City
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  12. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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  13. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    We take a sometimes rugged path for a while.
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    Caledonia Mine.
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    We ride through Rockland. It burned in 1892.
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    These cabins were company housing for the Victoria Mine.
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    20 people once lived in this cabin. 11 single men lived upstairs and a family of 9 lived downstairs.
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    Downstairs, the mother died during child birth, so a 13 year old daughter had to take over household operations - support for 20 people.
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    11 people lived upstairs.
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    A picture of the mine. The red X is the mine captain's house.
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    Although most of the other stuff is gone, the house still stands.
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    There is a reservoir nearby.
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    A Canadian engineer put in a simple air compressor to provide power to the mine. The only moving part is a gate to let water flow in. As water flows into the underground caven it draws air bubbles in. The bubbles rise in the chamber and the air is pressurized. Flows and blow-offs keep pretty constant pressure. THis compressor stayed in use until the present dam was put in and the whole apparatus went underwater.
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    Some of the blow-off plumes.
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    Victoria Dam
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    The current mile+ long water pipe next to a section of the old wooden one.
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    The current hydro pipe moves water at 840 cfs - enough to fill 14 million olympic sized pools a year.
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  14. MarkinMichigan

    MarkinMichigan Adventurer

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    Excellent!

    Thank you Cannonshot for all the effort! Lots of great info here that my brother and I will be using in the future. The UP is one of my favorite places. It is easy to see why. Can't wait to hit it on our bikes!

    Mark.
  15. XRochester

    XRochester XRochester

    Joined:
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    Awesome ride report and photos. I like your use of various focal lengths depending on the scene. You really nailed the photography. What is the pack you're using to carry your DSLR? I've tried to carry my D200 with 18-200 nikkor with limited success. Keep up the great work.

    PS - do you have a gps track log of that ride? i'd like to try it some day.
  16. ADW

    ADW 'tard bike restos

    Joined:
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    He's mentioned a few times during the ride report that he'll post it when the ride report is done.
  17. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Thanks, and I hope you guys have a great trip!

    Thank you. The camera bag is a Kata DT-213. Works very well.
    http://www.kata-bags.com/product.asp?p_Id=475&Version=photo

    I post the link to download it in this thread when I get to that point.
  18. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    ATV trail.
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    The White Pine mine was once one of the nation's largest. It goes back to around 1880, but really came into prime production after the government put some money in it around the time of the Korean War. The mine shut down in 1995 after producing 4.2 billon pounds of copper and 47 million ounces of silver.

    This mine did not have deep shafts. Instead it had one enormous underground cavity that grew to four square miles in size. It sloped downward to 2,800 feet in depth.

    This cavern has been filling with toxic brine, so now they are trying to fill it with Lake Superior water instead.

    For a variety of reasons, some environmental, the mine closed in 1995. There used to be 3,100 union employees working here. That had to hurt.

    This coppery refinery is left. They have been getting copper from a smelter in Manitoba and then they purify it here using lots of electricty. As I was doing research for this ride, I read an article that came out this spring that says the Manitoba smelter is going under so unless these guys get another source it is all over for them. I think it is all over.
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    This place also produces power for public use for a UP power company. Looks like that would go under too. The plant uses some coal that comes to Ontonagon by freighter. There are problems there that will probably end that. A major business there that used coal closed up. No more harbor dredging, no more coal shipments.
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    One positive story is that a company called SubTerra is using the mine's highly stable environment to grow plants in a controlled environment. One such plant is a tobacco strain that has seeds that may help treat cancer. They occupy 3,000 square feet at the top of the cavern and use a lot of grow lights. They like the genetic containment and the protection from bio-terrorism.
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    The company town is to the left and the refinery is to the right.
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    There was an environmental problem with tailings so they rerouted a river to flood the tailings fields. The big ponds are the result. They are trying to get this covered with vegetation.
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    Much of the town is closed up.
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    The shopping mall looks a little rough.
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    Gas and lodging are available.
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    The school is closed up.
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    What the heck?
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    Those windows look like they are tinted - smoke? :lol3
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    This was just around the corner. Interesting juxtaposition.
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  19. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    For someone that wants to skip some of the pavement on this section, there is an alternate route available. It is mostly dirt roads with the part west of Lake Gogebic being kind of two-tracky and damp.
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    The city is called Silver City because a guy discovered silver here. He sat quietly on his discovery for 17 years until a land grant to a proposed railroad expired. Then he dug in. In the end it cost more to get the silver than it was worth so the whole thing busted out.
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    There was a lumber camp just upstream at a local waterfall. The falls (Bonanza Falls) is sometimes called Greenwood Falls because of the camp. In the 1920s a fire came through and wiped that out.
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    The old bridge in town.
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    Outlet on Lake Superior.
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    Lodging here but no gas.
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    A B-17 crashed in the Porkies south of Lake of the Clouds. Once the Army was done with the wreckage a guy from Silver City went and drug a prop out of the woods.
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    The plane went down in the middle of the night in April 1944. The crew bailed out. The right engine and wing were on fire.
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    Nine of the 10 crew were found pretty quickly. One of those hung in his parachute harness from a tree for a couple of hours because he thought the snow beneath him was water. The tenth guy was missing for a while longer so the local mayor organized a search party. They found him the next morning.

    They took the crew to a local home. I'm not sure where they buried the survivors.
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    Enjoying the beach.
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    A nearby ski flying hill is visible from a lot of places.
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    Lake of the Clouds. Nice ride up there and a neat place to visit.
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    You can go into the Carp Lake Mine for a bit. There is a barrier inside. It is also a place where the bats that hang out in the woods all summer hibernate come fall.
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    There is an old mine along the way that you can hike back into to look at. Not much there. This was one of the richest lodes of copper bearing rock ever to be opened. Once this mine closed, another company followed this lode two miles east and opened the White Pine Mine. The White Pine became the most productive copper mine in Michigan with more that 4 million pounds of copper extracted in 43 years of operation. The Nonesuch opened around the time of the civil war and died out with fluctuating prices.
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    South Boundary Road
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    The stone for the Ramsey Keystone (railroad) Bridge was brought from Kaukauna (in WI at the top of Lake Winnebago) by the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad. The bridge was built in 1891 and rises 57 feet above the Black River.
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    Lots of old mine buildings around Wakefield.
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    Company housing for the mine.
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    This was once an open pit mine.
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    The mine as it looked in 1940.
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  20. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    You've outdone yourself again CS. I never expected to add Michigan to my must-ride list. Beautiful!