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Thread: Upper peninsula tour with a little bit of Milwaukee, Springfield IL, and the arch

  1. #1
    andy45320
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    Upper peninsula tour with a little bit of Milwaukee, Springfield IL, and the arch

    Well, took a week off work, headed up 75 to spend a couple days with my folks before going for some touring in Michigan with not much planned. 7 days and 2480 miles later, had a lot of fun so thought I would share:

    Day 1 - M-22, Sleeping Bear Dunes

    M-22 IS the best road in Michigan....road a couple that were close near outskirts of Lewiston, southwest of Alpena, but M-22 is nice! Took it from the city down to north of Empire, with a stop off at the Sleeping Bear Dunes which I caught nearing sun down...just beautiful.

    Also went to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse...highly recommend against it unless you are a lighthouse nut...$8 bucks for a state park entrance and you don't even get a tour, that costs extra.


    Day 2 - Mackinaw bridge, Soo Locks, Pictured Rock lakeshore
    Took M-31 up to 75, smooth most of the way but more traffic than I like. Stopped in Mackinaw City for some lunch and then over the bridge. Signs said high winds but I didn't even notice them. Road the green metal inner lane which was a butt pucker moment when you look down


    Shot up to the Soo locks. Didn't feel like sticking around 30 minutes for the next boat which was tiny, but they installed cameras since I was last there so you can now sit indoors and wait for the boats...hi-tec

    Next stop was going to be Pictured Rock lakeshore...had no clue about this place, so tool M-28 and then up to Grand Marais thinking I could ride in and thru...wrong. Most of the main road is "rough" planks and gravel, or so I learned when I stopped at the visitor center. 50 miles and time wasted but live and learn again
    Back on M-28 (which was mostly smooth but had some construction spots) to Munising and stopped at the Miners falls and then another 12 miles to the only road accessible view for Pictured Rocks...or so I thought. When I got to the overlook deck on Lake Superior, the first words on the sign said..."The rocks are best view from boat tours from..." Live and learn part 3. Still a pretty neat sight. Miners Castle reminded me a lagoon with the water so shallow and clear.

    Stayed pretty cheap in Margette and ate a nice steak at Timber Creak steak house.

    Day 3 - Delaware Mine, Copper Harbor and Brockway Mountain Parkway
    Took M-41 up to the Copper Harbor area with first stop at the Delaware copper mine tour. I would probably pass on this one...honestly not much there to see and paying $10 bucks for a self-guided tour...read as tourist trap. Finally up the rest of the 41 to where it ends. Had a sign reading 1990 miles to Miami, FL Unfortunately, road to the Copper harbor lighthouse is not MC friendly, so just took some photos from the bay shore.
    Lunch at a one of the local joints and then up the number 1 ranks road by MI DOT engineers, Brockway Mountain Parkway. This road is definitely a seasonal road...not a smooth ride that I was hoping for but it produces some breathtaking views of the town the lake and the mountainous areas. The leaves were already changing which would attest to the how cold things get up there

    I already want to go back to do a day or two stay out on Isle Isle Royale National Park.
    Took M-26 back down past Eagle River which was a nice road with some more views along the way. Called it a day down in Iron Mountain, MI on the border.

    Day 3 - Harley Powertrain plant tour
    Rather than heading back the same way home, I thought I would hit some bigger city tourist attractions along the way. Road slab through Green Bay and then Milwaukee. First off....what the hell is wrong with Milwaukee drivers? I had not one, but two psycho road raging soccer moms driving in the left lane, both talking on their cell phones go ballistic when I had the nerve to flash my lights at them to try to get them to move over after tailing them for 5 minutes. Worst drivers I have seen so far...not to mention way too much traffic for my liking in Milwaukee.

    The above picture I call "Enemy at the gates" Finally managed to find the Harley plant and got in just for the last tour which only runs till 1 PM. Pretty cool, would only recommend to see it if you are in town looking for something to do, but would not go out of my way for it. Many machines, but not unlike any other assembly plant. What was cool was outside they had priority bike parking up front, and the employees parking strip was packed with hogs no less which I thought was very cool. Got the hell out of Milwaukee and stayed in Rockford, IL for the night.

    Day 4 - Lincoln tomb, museum and St. Louis gateway arch
    I always wanted to go atop the arch so used it as my excuse to completely bypass Chi-town. Since I saw his boyhood memorial in Indiana this year, thought I would stop in Springfield, IL to see Lincoln's tomb and the new museum that opened this year. Museum was okay, I did not care for some of the flare and side shows, was more interested in the relics from Lincoln himself which they had.

    Stopped at for some lunch feed at the famed Cozy Dog's on the old route 66. Had a corn dog, first time since I can't remember when and it was not too bad.
    Finally, shot the rest of the way down to the arch. Traffic was nuts through downtown, accidentally parked in the old cathedral parking lot. Feeling the guilt after I realized it, I went in a left a donation of 5 bucks
    Did let me get an aerial view of the bike for 630 feet on top of the arch. The spec by that bus is my bike.

    Ride up the arch was interesting....my with my mesh gear on and a little ripe stuffed in some men in black module with 4 other strangers

    Finally stayed in Effingham, IL, and made a straight shot home on I-70 the final day. All I can say is I wish I had another 7 days off to continue my journey Will have to live with a few short weekend trips until next year

  2. #2
    andy45320
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    A few more pics since there is a limit of IMG's




  3. #3
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    Very cool ride and pics and thanks for sharing. I am from down state MI and get to go up there a little here and there and you showed some places that I have never seen yet...thanks. Was there still construction on the Mighty Mac? was that why you rode the grates? I rode over that a couple of months ago on the GS while it was surging real bad. I did not have to look down to have my butt pucker at 20 mph with a cross wind and a bike that did not want to ride slow...hehehehe.

    Thanks again,
    Andy

  4. #4
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    That's a fantastic trip. My mother was from the Soo.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  5. #5
    REBECCAV
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy45320
    First off....what the hell is wrong with Milwaukee drivers? I had not one, but two psycho road raging soccer moms driving in the left lane, both talking on their cell phones go ballistic when I had the nerve to flash my lights at them to try to get them to move over after tailing them for 5 minutes. Worst drivers I have seen so far...
    Omigosh! Sorry to laugh, but I live in Milwaukee and it is SO true!! That and much worse. Ugh.

    GREAT pictures! Thanks for sharing them. I haven't been up that way in a while. It looks like you had a great time and some great weather.

  6. #6
    andy45320
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    Quote Originally Posted by pudgypaintguy
    Was there still construction on the Mighty Mac? was that why you rode the grates?
    Sort of ended up on the grates because slower semi's where all over in the right lane. I don't remember any constructions on/around the bridge. I don't think there is any good lane to be in for it, but the grate lane provides a nice view down if you can manage to take a peek safely.

  7. #7
    andy45320
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    Quote Originally Posted by boxergrrlie
    It looks like you had a great time and some great weather.
    Weather was awsome...I saw no rain the entire time. Thought I was going to get pelted in WI but things were just overcast...I was very lucky indeed.

  8. #8
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    Andy where did you start from may I ask? Are you in my neck of the woods?
    Andy

  9. #9
    andy45320
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    Quote Originally Posted by pudgypaintguy
    Andy where did you start from may I ask? Are you in my neck of the woods?
    Andy
    My trip started from my home, near Dayton, OH up to Alpena, MI...but that was a boring 460 mile slab ride up 75/23/65.

  10. #10
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    Wow...that was a real haul then. Next time if you are up this way let me know and I can take you around some pretty cool roads around here....

  11. #11
    andy45320
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    Quote Originally Posted by pudgypaintguy
    Wow...that was a real haul then. Next time if you are up this way let me know and I can take you around some pretty cool roads around here....
    Will do...actually it was not that bad of a ride to tell you the truth. It was the longest day I rode the entire trip, being the first day, I felt I could have gone further even. Big problem now is that it just added fuel to my desire to try for an IBA SaddleSore 1000

  12. #12
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    Cool Andy would be glad to have you up here...some cool rides. I am going up there at the end of this month...wife is out of town and the GS is my other woman...hehehe.

    I was thinking of doing a Saddlesore 1000 too. for you if you go to Atlanta and back you could get the gold version right?

  13. #13
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Cool Riding. I see you have learned anything to avoid Chicago traffic.
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  14. #14
    andy45320
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    Quote Originally Posted by pudgypaintguy
    I was thinking of doing a Saddlesore 1000 too. for you if you go to Atlanta and back you could get the gold version right?
    Actually, I had not thought much about where I would go, but after some thought and some mappoint, I think I would like to do a cirular route centered around home so I can bail out on short notice and can do it during a weekend. I have not clue on how strict they are with cirular routes...rules just say get reciepts in each turn.

  15. #15
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    nice report. great pics (especially like the one from the Arch). I have never been up in the Arch....how the heck does it work? Did you take the picture at the very top of the curve or what?
    On your next visit to Michigan - especially Northern Michigan - you MUST ride on 119 out of Harbor Springs. 20 miles of twisting in and out of the forest with some of the best views of Lake Michigan anywhere (to say nothing of the many beautiful homes/cottages scattered along the road.) I guarantee a life changing perma-grin experience to any and all who ride 119.
    Don't winterize; Rounderize!
    www.yearroundriders.com

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