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Author Topic: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey  (Read 2151 times)

Offline Bajakirch

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Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« on: August 16, 2014, 10:36:37 AM »
Pre-Ride

In 2013, I embarked on what I consider to be my first long-distance motorcycle ride, a circle tour of Lake Michigan. Up to that point I’d done plenty of day rides, and even a camping weekend at the AMA races. But I’d never really traveled more than a day from home.

That trip went so well that, almost immediately upon returning home from it, I began planning to circle Lake Michigan’s big brother, Superior. That presented more of a challenge, not only because the trip would be nearly twice as long, but because I’d be spending a good portion of the trip in Canada.

To keep things affordable, I planned to camp as much as possible, moteling it only if weather dictated.

Another difference from the Lake Michigan tour was that this year I had a buddy. Several months back, a riding friend, Tom, expressed interest in accompanying me for his first big motorcycle adventure. I generally like to ride alone on longer trips, so I thought long and hard about it before finally agreeing that it was worth a try. Together we planned our route and schedule.

The night before departure, I laid everything out and wondered how I’d fit it all on the bike – even with the Concours’s big side bags and top box.


All my worldly belongings for 6 days.

Top Row:  Folding camp chair, bag containing tire repair kit and extra tools, tank bag with map pocket and state/provincial maps, first aid kit, bag containing miscellaneous camping supplies (backpacking cot, plastic tarp, rope), cook kit in mesh drying bag (aluminum mess kit, single-burner camp stove, 2 cans of butane fuel, coffee cup, fire starters, coffee, spork, mini-spatula, paper towels, dish detergent, lighter, 2 backpack meals), string bag containing Camelback bladder.
Middle Row:  Ziploc bag with power cords/adaptors and batteries; Ziploc bag containing owner’s manual, insurance card, registration paperwork and photocopy of my driver’s license; stock toolkit; 2 fleece sleeping bags; duffle bag with clothing; tent.
Bottom Row: Fleece jacket, TourMaster rain pants, Frogg Toggs raincoat

That was it. If it wasn’t here, I’d make do without it.
It took about an hour of packing and repacking before I had things where I wanted them for the trip. All I ended up strapping to the pillion was my camp chair and a dry bag containing my tent and camping supplies bag.


Adventure awaits!
Get on your bikes and ride!

Offline Bajakirch

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2014, 10:37:12 AM »
Day 1
Madison WI to Mercer WI
Miles: 280




The first day of my epic motorcycle journey…and I had to go to work.

A shortage of vacation time plus an important client meeting in the morning meant I had to toil for half a day before taking off. I rode the bike in, parked it in the lot, and looked longingly at it out the window all morning. But as soon as 12:00 hit, I was off to meet Tom for lunch. After a quick but very unhealthy meal – what better way to start a vacation? – we took off from Madison for the long, straight, mostly slab route north.

About 2 hours in, we stopped for gas. There were ‘popcorn’ showers showing up on radar and we discussed our wet-weather plan. We decided to ride on and pull over if significant rain looked imminent. We left the rain gear in the bags.

Just north of Wausau there were definitely rain clouds in the area, but they looked small and we decided to press on. Coming around a curve, we rain into what can only be described as a curtain of water. The rain came down in buckets and traffic slowed. There was even some hail. Out on the interstate, with no exits or shelter in site, we simply had to ride on. My torso was mostly OK, because I’d chosen my waterproof TourMaster Transition 3.0 jacket for the trip. But I went with the mesh pants and my legs were quickly drenched.

Luckily, the storm was as short as it was intense and, in less than 5 minutes it was over. That would prove to be the last drop of rain we saw on the road for the rest of the trip. By the time we stopped for a leg stretcher (and ice cream) in Minocqua, we had pretty much dried out.

We continued on to the northern Wisconsin town of Mercer, where Tom’s aunt and uncle lived. They’d offered to put us up for our first night. We rolled into Mercer, known for the large number of loons in the area (the birds, not the people) and made a quick stop for photos in front of the locally famous ‘Claire’.


Claire, the Loon. Get it?

Onward to our destination for the night. After a short ride on some nice twisty roads, and about a mile of gravel, we arrived at Deb and Mike’s place on the shores of picturesque Wilson Lake.






After dropping our gear, we jumped back on the bikes. We had two important tasks to accomplish: 1) Get dinner. 2) Buy beer.

The latter (and, arguably, more important) of two we knocked off right away at the local grocery store which, somewhat surprisingly, had a great selection of craft beers. Then we moved on to a local restaurant, The Pines, known in the area for its fish. I ordered up a fried haddock sandwich and was not disappointed.


Filet-o-Fish, go pound sand.

Back at Hotel Deb & Mike, there was just enough daylight left to squeeze in a quick putter around the lake on Mike’s pontoon boat.



We returned to the house to enjoy some limited edition beers we found at the store – stuff we’d have a hard time finding in ‘The Big City’. We also got to know the two dogs and two cats, one of the former who, frankly, kinda creeped me out:


I kan haz yore SOUL?!
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Offline Bajakirch

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2014, 10:37:55 AM »
Day 2
Mercer WI to Grand Marais MI
Miles: 300




Day 2 dawned beautifully, and we began with a sausage and egg breakfast prepared by our hosts. As such, we got a bit later start than originally intended, hopping on the bikes and rolling up the gravel road at around 10:00.

Tom, who had ridden in the area a few times, led to one of Wisconsin’s official ‘Rustic Roads’, Hwy H (#100) http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/scenic/docs/rustic-nw.pdf, which proved to be a most excellent way to start the day:  miles of twists and turns through the forest and amongst the lakes of northern Wisconsin.

Soon, we crossed the border into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Our plan was to make it up to Copper Harbor, at the tip of a peninsula jutting out into Lake Superior. Not only does Copper Harbor offer interesting sites to see, but the road heading in and out came highly recommended.

By early afternoon we’d made it as far as Houghton, so we stopped for lunch at a Pizza Hut.


My mouth was faster than my photo-finger.

At this point we pulled out the map and GPS and re-evaluated. It would still be another hour or so to Copper Harbor and another hour to get back to, roughly, where we were. Not to mention the time we’d spend checking out the sites. Our concern was that, by the end of the day, the farthest east we’d likely get was Marquette. This would leave us with a lot of ground to make up if we wanted to get around the lake in our allotted time. So we made the call to leave Copper Harbor for another trip and press on east from Houghton.

We stopped for a break and dinner in Munising, visiting the same restaurant I’d stopped at on my Lake Michigan trip. In penance for my unhealthy meals so far, I decided to be good and ordered a chef’s salad. What came can only be described as a serving bowl filled with lettuce and, apparently, whatever they could find in the kitchen.


So much for a healthy meal.

The motorcycle gods were obviously speaking to me, and I gave up on the idea of eating healthy for the remainder of the trip.

After dinner, we were left with a decision – call the day early and find a camping spot in the Munising area, or press on to get some more miles under our belt. We chose the latter, thinking that we’d ride the less exciting half of Michigan’s Highway 58 to Pictured Rocks State Park and pitch our tents in one of their many campgrounds.

We arrived at Pictured Rocks around 7:00 p.m. and I led down the first campground road we encountered. This turned out to be 3 miles of gravel, down some pretty steep switchbacks. I was pretty white-knuckled by the time we arrived at the campground…only to find it full. Dang. Back up the same switchback route, another 3 miles.

The next campground road we came to seemed identical to the last, so we passed it by. At this point, I was getting concerned about riding these forest roads in the twilight, so we decided to press on to Grand Marais, where I was pretty confident we could find a nearby campground with better access. This had us riding the best part of twisting, winding Highway 58 near the end of the day, when the deer would likely be most active and we had been riding all day. Not my first choice for safe riding, but sometimes that’s just how things roll.

We arrived in Grand Marais alive and unharmed. We parked the bikes and I walked to a nearby gas station to get the skinny on local camping.


The harbor at Grand Marais.

Luck was with us, and we learned of a large campground located just a few blocks away. It was pretty full, but we located an unoccupied tent-camping site. We had just enough fading light to set up our tents. On advantage to heading north in the summertime – more daylight.


Not shown: Tom’s tent…we’re not THAT close.

The night that followed was possibly the worst I’ve ever slept while camping. First, it was the teenage girls at the next site yakking until 12:30 a.m. Then, at 1:34 a.m., some ass-hat on a loud ATV rolled into the campground and started yelling to his buddies. From then on, I woke up just about every hour until I gave up and crawled out of bed at 5:30. Ugh.


Day 3
Grand Marais MI to Marathon ON
Miles:  368




Tom was soon up too, having a night similar to mine. We took the opportunity of a still-quiet campground to walk around and visit the lakeshore.


Sunrise over the Grand Marais lighthouse.

I made some coffee and we both had a granola bar for initial sustenance. Then we packed up camp and got on the road by 8:00. The intent for the day was miles; we wanted to be up near the northeastern corner of the lake by the end of the day. Plus, we had a border crossing along the way, with no idea how long that would take us.

We veered south from Grand Marais, away from the lake as there are no good roads – at least, not for sport-touring bikes – east of the village. This led us to sedate Highway 28 all the way to Sault Ste. Marie.

It was early Saturday morning. We were trying to put in some big miles. The road was wide, straight and flat. These were our excuses when we met a member of Michigan’s State Police.


Super trooper.

After checking our licenses to make sure we weren’t wanted fugitives and giving us a stern lecture on our speed (72 in a 55), the trooper softened and started asking about our bikes. Turns out he’s a fellow rider (3 bikes) and we stood on the side of the road for 15 minutes or so just chatting. In the end, he gave a recommendation on a restaurant in Sault Ste. Marie for breakfast and suggested we visit the Soo Locks. After learning I was a fellow ‘boy in blue’, he even gave me his personal cell phone number in case we had any problems before crossing the border.

It was probably good we got our speed in check early in the trip, with a ‘friendly’. Without it, we may have been traveling at similar speeds in Ontario, and very well may have come into personal contact with one of the many Ontario Provincial Police units we saw. Word was, they were less forgiving.

We rode off – at a more civilized pace – and rolled into SSM a short time later. Taking the trooper’s dining recommendation; we stopped at the Maple Creek Restaurant for brunch.


Healthy eating be damned…I’m on vacation!

Then we rode a few miles into downtown SSM and parked the bikes near what turned out to be a nice park situated alongside the Soo Locks. These locks serve as the sole access from Lake Superior out to the Atlantic Ocean (via Lake Huron and eventually the St. Lawrence Seaway).

The Locks provide a nice multi-level viewing area where you can get a good overview of the facility and, if your timing is right, watch the Locks in action. Ours was.






From the viewing platform we could also get a good view of our next destination – the International Bridge leading into Canada.


You are now leaving Sault St. Marie, MI. Welcome to Sault Ste. Marie, ON.

As can be seen from the photo, traffic was backed up on the bridge. So we ambled around the Locks park area a bit. Once back at the bikes we prepped for the border crossing by making sure our passports were readily available.

The line was certainly shorter by the time we reached the bridge, but we still ended up sitting in the hot sun on the bridge for 10-15 minutes. The border crossing went smoothly and, once across, we pulled over into a shady parking lot to hydrate, check our directions and cool off.

Then it was off, heading north out of SSM ON on Highway 17. This road not only hugs the Lake Superior shoreline all the way to Thunder Bay, but is also part of the Trans-Canada Highway that runs all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Our first stop was at a big tourist store in Agawa. Water in, water out, as they say, but we also wandered around the various stores offering everything from pottery to rocks to local delicacies. There were a lot of bikes parked in the lot, but the one that caught my attention was a fully kitted-out Honda Africa Twin. Not a model that’s often seen in the U.S.

Walking back to my bike, I overheard the rider saying he was from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was on his way to Alaska.


Adiós y buen caballo, mi amigo.

By the time we got to Wawa ON we were ready for another break. Plus, our poor night’s rest was catching up with us. We pulled over at a tourist stop, sat at a picnic table, and both of us took a short nap. We may have looked like a couple of vagabonds, but the snooze helped a lot and we both felt better getting back on the road.

Wawa is also where I discovered my only major problem on the trip. Before departing I’d called my cell phone company (Verizon) to inquire about cell service in Canada. They put me on an international calling plan -- $15 for 1000 minutes of calling and unlimited texting. Well, Wawa is where I discovered it wasn’t working. And it was kind of hard to call customer service without a working cell phone. Tom, who hadn’t bothered with international calling, had a useless phone as well. For the rest of my time in Canada, my only contact home was with email when I could get wi-fi.

[Upon my return, I called Verizon to find out what happened. Apparently the person that set me up was new, because she never entered my phone’s sim card number into the system, nor did she send me the International Calling Instructions that I was supposed to get. They took the $15 off my bill, but I was still a bit miffed they wouldn’t do anything else to make up for my inconvenience.]

There’s not a lot in-between town in this area, so when we reached the wide-spot-in-the-road known as White River, we stopped for dinner. Sitting in the restaurant, a woman approached us to ask about the bikes. She introduced herself as Marg Lang and she was on her way back to Calgary from the big BMW MOA rally in Minnesota. Turns out she’s something of a mini-celebrity in BMW circles, known as ‘BMW Marg’. She was currently on her F650, which she would be trading out at home for her sidecar rig that she would take to a hack event in British Columbia. After that, she planned to ride down to Arizona to pick up a new BMW. Back home, I looked her up and found a short mention of our meeting on her blog: http://bmwmarg.blogspot.com/2014/08/visit-with-family.html. I could tell it would have been fun to hang out with BMW Marg longer, but we had more miles to put on.

Eventually we made it to Marathon ON. The next town of any size was another hour or so away, so we decided we’d bed down in Marathon for the night. We found the Penn Lake Campground located in a nice park just outside of town and set up camp.


See, two tents.


Marathon ON’s Penn Lake.

Looking at the map, I noticed that Marathon was almost directly north from Grand Marais. Little did I realize, that morning standing on the beach at Grand Marais, I was staring across the water to our evening’s destination.
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Offline Bajakirch

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2014, 10:38:41 AM »
Day 4
Marathon ON to Thunder Bay ON
Miles:  242




Overnight we experienced a light rain shower that proved to be the last rain we would see on our trip. After coffee and granola bars, we were packed and on the road by around 9:00.

The stretch of highway we road that day was probably THE most picturesque spot I’ve ever ridden a motorcycle. The route from Marathon to Nippigon was mile after mile of gently winding highway, with forested granite cliffs to our right, and beautiful lakeshore islands to our left. Pictures cannot really do it justice.


In Canada, even the graffiti is friendly.

That thin strip just visible behind my bike is the road we’re following. Gorgeous.

But…

This wonderfully scenic locale is also where we experienced our only close call with nature. More on that in a bit.

With towns spread pretty thin, we decided to veer off the road and grab lunch in the tiny fishing village of Rossport. There we found a quaint restaurant with a view of the harbor.


Serendipity Gardens provides calm before the coming excitement…

We were back on the bikes again around 12:30 and continued with the breathtaking scenery.

Then it happened.

Maybe 20 or so miles east of Nippigon, Tom was leading. We were staggered, with him near the centerline and me a safe distance back, near the shoulder. Suddenly I saw something come out of the ditch and nearly strike Tom’s bike as he rode by. First, I was thinking, “What’s a dog doing way out here?” Then I realized it wasn’t a dog…it was a wolf. An effing wolf! And no, it wasn’t a big coyote or a feral german shepherd – I’ve seen wolves in the wild and I know the differences.

All of this went through my head in a microsecond, followed quickly by, “Oh, sh*t! I’m gonna broadside a f**king wolf!” I began slowing using both my front and rear brakes. The wolf began to step off the shoulder directly into my path. If it came in front of me I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to stop in time. I must have hit the rear brake a bit hard and my rear wheel broke traction. This caused the bike to start slipping sideways. The one thing I wanted to do even LESS than hit the wolf was high-side and end up lying unprotected on the road in front of a strangely acting wolf.

I eased up on the rear brake enough to stop the skid and the bike straightened out. I was still carrying a lot of speed and I got back on the rear brake, only to have the rear tire start sliding and going sideways again. Once more I eased off and straightened out.

And then…I don’t really know what happened. It’s kind of a blur. My best guess is that the wolf heard the screech of my tires and backed off onto the shoulder again. All I know is that I made it past without further incident.

I slowed the bike down and turned on my right turn indicator to hopefully get word to Tom that I wanted to pull over. He saw and understood. There was a vehicle turnout just a few hundred yards up the road, so we pulled off to talk…and so I could get my hands to stop shaking.

In talking with Tom, it appeared the wolf actually was either attacking or chasing his bike. He said he looked down and distinctly saw the wolf’s teeth bared and it snapped at him as he went by. I don’t know a lot about wolves, but I do know that was a wolf I didn’t want to be anywhere near. So, after a few minutes I had calmed down and we were ready to ride again.

A final note on this incident. Just the night before, Tom and I discussed staggered riding. He noticed that, when I led, I tended to hug the centerline. Neither of us could recall if there was a preferred way of staggering the first rider. But I explained my theory this way:  We ride a lot on roads where unexpected things can come out of the roadside ditches (primarily deer, but other critters too). If that happens and the initial rider is near the centerline, it gives that rider just a split-second more reaction time. The second rider, who’s closer to the shoulder, then has a few seconds to recognize the danger and begin braking and/or evasive maneuvering. Without a better theory of his own, Tom started doing the same when he led.

This was exactly the formation we were in when the wolf incident occurred. And honestly, it worked exactly as I explained. If Tom had been riding closer to the shoulder when the wolf darted out, he very likely would have made contact. And, seeing the wolf go after Tom, I had the time I needed to slow down enough to avoid colliding. Just a thought for those riding in similar circumstances.

Our ride from there to Thunder Bay was uneventful, and we stopped by the Terry Fox Memorial for a break and to assess our plans for evening accommodations.


First a wolf, then a Fox.

Terry Fox is a Canadian hero. He lost his leg to cancer and vowed to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He made it to Thunder Bay before the cancer returned and eventually took his life. The memorial is located near the spot where his run ended.

We’d made good time and, after kicking around camping options, decided instead to reward ourselves with a hotel for the night. We picked up some coupons for the Victoria Inn at a local tourist shack and, by sharing a room, we figured we could keep things within budget. Rolling up, we knew we were in the right place.



I’d say we’re in the right place.

Dinner was low-key, we just walked over to a Joey’s seafood restaurant next door to the hotel. Then we retired to the hotel bar for drinks. We ended up having a great conversation with the bartender, who gave us lots of interesting historical information about Thunder Bay, and also talked about her trips down into the U.S.

We rolled into bed that night buzzing a little bit from hotel beer, but comfortable in our hotel beds
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Offline Bajakirch

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2014, 10:39:31 AM »
Day 5
Thunder Bay ON to Mercer WI
Miles:  319




The next morning we took advantage of our complimentary breakfasts – real restaurant food, not the ‘continental’ BS. We had things packed up and were off by 8:00.

Thunder Bay is only about 25 miles from the U.S. border, so it wasn’t long before we made our last stop on Canadian soil.



Then it was off to the good ol’ U.S. of A.


OK, second to last stop.

The border cross went smoothly and we soon found ourselves back in the land of the free and home of the brave.


Welcome to Minnesota, where we talk more like Canadians than the Canadians do.

Riding along Minnesota’s ‘North Shore’, we took an opportunity for one of our last scenic view shots.



We carried on, making a stop at some tourist shops in Beaver Bay to pick up some souvenirs for the folks back home.


Grammar? Ain’t that some kinda cracker?

We were making good time so we made a little side trip to the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. This is the home to one of the Great Lakes’ most picturesque lighthouses. We entered the park and found access to the lighthouse cost $9.50. Tom, being the upright citizen that he is, paid the admission fee. I, being a cheapskate and knowing we were only going to stay a short while, slipped through the entrance without paying.


Picture of an outlaw.

I paid for my insolence by not being able to go into the lighthouse itself (posted guards..er, ‘docents’). Tom spent some time inside and took a lot of great pictures.

Next stop:  Duluth MN. Since I started planning this trip, I wanted to make sure I stopped by the Aerostich store in Duluth. Dunno why…I certainly can’t afford their gear. But it seemed like the right thing to do. We found the spot – their ‘international headquarters’ are a little unassuming.


Given the cost of their gear you’d expect something a bit less sweat-shoppy.

We entered the fairly nondescript door into their retail shop, which I only discovered by seeing others exit it.


Where’s the cracker barrel?

Inside, I found a surprisingly good mix of outlet store goods, Aerostich swag and basic motorcycling trip gear. While most things were out of my budget, I did find a deal on dry bags, and bought myself a new one for under $15. By mentioning we were on our way around the lake, we also received Lake Superior Circle Tour pins.

We asked for lunch recommendations from the store staff and they directed us to a place that allegedly served the best burgers on Lake Superior. We crossed the bridge into Superior WI and found the Anchor Bar and Grill.


Anchor aweigh…about 10 extras pounds after this trip.

I ordered up the olive burger and wasn’t disappointed.

Tom and I pulled out the map to plot our course for the rest of the day. The initial thoutht was to follow the lakeshore to Bayfield WI, then camp there at a campground I knew about. We realized that Bayfield was only 1.5 miles from Mercer, so Tom made a quick call to Deb and Mike. They quickly offered up their hospitality once again and we decided to forego a final night of camping. We modified our route, passing on the Bayfield visit and instead just rode straight to Mercer, about 2 hours away.

We rolled into Mercer right around 7:00. Mike and Deb ordered up some pizza from a local restaurant and we sat around and started working on our tall tales from the trip. I crawled back into the same bed that night realizing that we had officially completed a full circle of what, in reality, is an inland sea. The sense of accomplishment felt good.
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Offline Bajakirch

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2014, 10:40:22 AM »
Day 6
Mercer WI to Home
Miles:  240 miles




I was up early with the intent to get home relatively early in the day. Tom chose to stay a little later and make his way back in the afternoon. We parted around 8:15 as I rolled away solo for the first time on the trip.

My route back was very straightforward, with no meanderings. I did, however make one last stop just south of Mercer, at Little Bohemia Lodge. Many mistakenly consider this to be Al Capone’s Northwoods hideout, but in fact it was used by the Dillinger gang and was the scene of a fabled shootout with the FBI. They used it in the filming of the movie ‘Public Enemies’ a few years ago. There was some sort of private function going on, so all I did was snap a shot from the driveway.


A room with bullet holes costs extra.

I continued southbound and rolled into my driveway in the early afternoon. I planned on this trip running around 1500 miles, but I was a little off:



My early arrival gave me plenty of time to unpack the bike, put away the camping gear and get laundry going before my wife showed up. She arrived home to find virtually no evidence of the trip, other than a drying tent hanging in the basement.

A few afterthoughts, now that I’ve been home a while and have had time to reflect on the trip.

The Concours performed flawlessly for the entire trip. Other than a slight coolant leak (that I plan to track down during my winter maintenance), the bike easily matched Tom’s much newer – and more expensive – BMW R1200RT. I’ve had thoughts lately about replacing the Connie with something a bit smaller in a year or two. But I have to admit that I’m having second thoughts on that, as I’m unsure if something smaller would serve me as well for these sorts of big trips.

Camping is a great way to tour on a budget, especially if you already own the gear (or, in Tom’s case, know someone like me who will lend you what you don’t have). Setting up and breaking camp, taking up extra storage space and the vagaries of weather add a dimension that could, for some, detract from the trip. I’ve done a lot of camping in my day and I’ve got gear that makes it fairly comfortable for me. Even so, I appreciate the comfort and convenience of a halfway decent hotel when it’s in my budget.

Riding with a partner on a trip like this was a new dimension for me. I typically choose to ride solo because then I’m the only one I have to worry about or be considerate of. Tom and I rode well together and had absolutely no issues. There was talk of future trips, so I imagine he felt the same way. So the experience was a good one. I think I still slightly prefer riding alone, though future rides with Tom are certainly possible.

What’s next? Well, I’ve been thinking long and hard about that. Tom’s talked about going out to the Black Hills for a ride – anytime other than around the Sturgis rally. I’ve been thinking about a ride up and down the Mississippi River; not the whole distance, but from the WI/IL border up to the headwaters and back – that would complete my Wisconsin’s Major Waterways triad. If I had the time and the spousal support, I’d love to take a ride out to Americade in upstate NY, maybe riding the southern shores of the remaining Great Lakes one way and the northern shores on the way back – but that’s something that I’d be hard-pressed to fit into my available vacation time. I could keep it close to home, and just spend a week riding as many of Wisconsin’s Rustic Roads as possible. And there’s always the MotoGP races in Indianapolis next year…

I’m sure I’ll change my mind six times before I finally settle on something. Stay tuned.
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Offline aycaramba

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2014, 02:37:57 PM »
Great report.  But where's day 2?

Offline det-drbuzzard

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2014, 05:16:51 PM »
did you stop in terrance bay or wawa

Offline Bajakirch

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2014, 09:30:59 PM »
Quote
Great report.  But where's day 2?

Fixed. Thanks for pointing that out.


Quote
did you stop in terrance bay or wawa

Not Terrance Bay, but we made a short stop in Wawa before pressing on to Marathon.
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Online Captainkirk

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2014, 11:35:54 PM »
This was great, as well as entertaining and not a little humorous! Thanks for laying it out in great detail!
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Offline Hog Dog

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2014, 08:48:11 AM »
That certainly was epic Baja.  Great weather, scenery and riding for sure.  Glad no one crashed or got attacked by the crazed wolf.  Thanks for sharing your trip.
Lucky Lindy's evil twin

Offline the_big_h

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2014, 09:41:03 PM »
Great report, Baja. Thanks for taking the time to put together the report, nice job, and nice trip.

Offline CountryG

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2014, 06:26:55 AM »
great report.  I would love to do that trip some day.

Offline DesignFlaw06

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2014, 10:41:46 AM »
Looks like a great trip. You stopped in many of the same place we did on our trip.

I prefer riding with others, especially on big trips. If not for the safety factor, I enjoy having the company. Plus I find that having someone along tends to lend itself to doing new things you wouldn't have done solo. Never know what you'll see.

Regardless, nice report.

Offline Bajakirch

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2014, 02:30:08 PM »
Looks like a great trip. You stopped in many of the same place we did on our trip.

I prefer riding with others, especially on big trips. If not for the safety factor, I enjoy having the company. Plus I find that having someone along tends to lend itself to doing new things you wouldn't have done solo. Never know what you'll see.

Regardless, nice report.

That certainly proved to be true on this outing. The reason I had as many pictures as I do is because Tom sort of forced me to stop several times for photo-ops, or he pulled out his camera which reminded me to do the same.

I always have the best intentions of taking a lot of photos, but ofren forget or just don't want to bother stopping.

For a future adventure, Toms's hooked on the idea of a 'bubble camera' -- kind of like a GoPro that films 360 degrees at all times.
Get on your bikes and ride!

Offline Dan

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2015, 05:51:20 AM »
Missed this fantastic ride report last year.  Epic journey indeed, nice report, good photos and fun to read.  Thanks, Baja.

Offline det-drbuzzard

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Re: Lake Superior...An Epic Motorcycling Journey
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2015, 05:06:00 PM »
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Great report.  But where's day 2?

Fixed. Thanks for pointing that out.


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did you stop in terrance bay or wawa

Not Terrance Bay, but we made a short stop in Wawa before pressing on to Marathon.
my trip around Superior was during my first IBA ride, early last june. for the most part it was cold and rainy, not much time for pic's either. we saw a few wolves a black bear and a few moose in Canada coming back through Michigan tat night I counted 27 deer and I know I missed a few. the longest stop in Canada was at the Harley dealer in thunder bay. next time I hope to ride it at a more leasurly pace

 

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