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U.P.Trail report

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Hope you get to the keyboard faster than Don did. Tore up my knee, can't ride, reading isn't like riding but holy crap, gimme something, anything.

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Sndmn, Nice pic!

YZman, every time I read your latest signature, I laugh out loud. However, Wolfy's comment comparing day 2's start to a "goat trail" still makes me laugh the most.

tc - sucks about the knee. I hope you heal fast. Here's a few pics from July 4th after dialing in new suspension settings

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v310/dirtr1der/Riding%20pics/WaterskipJuly06.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v310/dirtr1der/Riding%20pics/Waterlogged.jpg

This is me and a friend trying to assess where this soup came from. I was standing up in 3rd gear trying to avoid the open water. I missed the water, but what looked like wet sand was 12 inch deep pea soup. Needless to say, my bike went from 30 to zero in about 10 feet. The last thing I rememebered was looking into my headlight before face-planting into the hard sand I thought I was riding on. Broke both handguards, bent clutch lever, broken helmet visor, and broken ego. Otherwise healthly tho.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v310/dirtr1der/Riding%20pics/Mysteriouslydeepmudhole.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v310/dirtr1der/Riding%20pics/Mysteriouslydeepmudhole2.jpg

:thumbsup:

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Lets see. This trip started taking shape last winter. I had already planned on dong the MCCT the last week of June and this would be my second week of vacation that I was going to take in July. The Six Days was also staging at Newberry so it worked out that we could help out marking trails with the WMTR.

Preparation started with the MCCT ride. This was a valuable learning experience on how to travel on a bike. Everything from bike prep,what to pack, tent selection to getting some Seal Line socks.

First thing I had to do was get my sub frame fixed. Riding with a rack is nice to carry your stuff but I think the way they connect to your bike is a week link. I ended up breaking the weld on both sides of my seat on the MCCT ride and needed to beef them up. I cut out some aluminum supports and had them welded.Frame repair

Next thing to do was get my maps setup. I ended up going to a local Kinko's to print my maps off of the CD. I also laminated them there and cut them to fit in my map holder. I bought this:Map holder

Looked like this on the bike:Map on the bike

Next was deciding on a new GPS.My Rhino 120 wasn't going to cut it. I ended up getting a Garmin 60cs. This is the model that has been recently discontinued so the prices on them had dropped to around $250 on evilbay. I then called Cycoactive to order a electrical hook-up only to find out that they were backorder. It finally arrived Thursday which gave me the following day to get it setup.

gps

Next up was getting my KTM to street legal snuff. My son would be driving this and I didn't want to give a CO any reason to give him a ticked seeing how he's only had his license for six months. All the junk was added. Horn,hi-low beam, break-light, lotty dotty. Also made my son get his cycle endorsement. Added a a Clarke oversize tank at the last minute. Bikes were now ready and set up to go.

We left Sat. morning around 11:30. Headed up to Newberry to meet up with the guys from WMTR. We made it to the hotel where we found Joe chillen. Scott and Andy( Andy only goes by Spanky) came in next. They got there early and were out riding. Chris and Justin showed up next. They had also been out on the trail. Well we all went to dinner and decided on our marking strategy. There was a storm that went through a week earlier and there were allot of trees down. We started marking at around 10:00 am the following morning. Holy crap! This turned into trail maintenance. I drove with a chainsaw on the back of my bike. We ended up having to clear trees. I would guess around 12-13 of them. Needless to say it took six guys over six hours to mark 60 miles of trail. Twenty miles of it were snowmobile trail

Sweep went much quicker . I think we were done in about three and a half hours.The WMTR sweepers

Spanky,Chris,Richard,Scott, Justin, Joe.

Monday was a layover day between marking and sweep so we did a little bit of sight seeing.The falls Whitefish Point

After Tuesdays sweep we all split up. Chris decided to ride his bike home. Holy crap! A 250 mile dual sport ride. Scott and Spanky loaded up there bikes and headed back also. Justin took off to spend a couple of days at Drummond. Richard and I headed west...

More to come.

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................. Justin took off to spend a couple of days at Drummond.

UH OHHHHH!!!! :ride:

Last time Justin tried this he ended up getting his Chevy buried on the island and spend the night in the woods :ride:

Kinda funny too because he got it stuck on a 2-track right were the 6 days riders were coming across on the trail. He was right in the way blocking everything :cry:

But on the good side he got a great view of the riders as they came thru :thumbsup:

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UH OHHHHH!!!! :ride:

Last time Justin tried this he ended up getting his Chevy buried on the island and spend the night in the woods :ride:

Kinda funny too because he got it stuck on a 2-track right were the 6 days riders were coming across on the trail. He was right in the way blocking everything :cry:

But on the good side he got a great view of the riders as they came thru :thumbsup:

He told me that story. Funny stuff. He said had to come and get him out with a come along. :ride:

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After Tuesdays sweep we all split up. Chris decided to ride his bike home. Holy crap! A 250 mile dual sport ride. Scott

So how is Huby gonna get his gear home (I asume Justin is bringing it home for him) Or did Chris just show up with his bike, wearing his riding gear, some sardines, and a bag of funionions

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He told me that story. Funny stuff. He said had to come and get him out with a come along. :ride:

There is a video floating around somewhere of the 2 of them sitting in the back of there truck recording all the riders coming thru and working there way thru the woods, off the trail, around there truck. :thumbsup:

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So.... We headed to Marquette to spend the night. I thought about hitting the trail but it was a little late and I figured a good nights sleep was in order. We awoke Wednesday to cloudy skies. So I checked out and headed to Sawyer International Airport. We decided to park the truck there while we were gone.Its just south of Marquette about 10 miles. By the time we get there its now a steady drizzle. Oh great I thought. Nice way to start out. So we unloaded our bikes and took off. We left around 9:30.Sawyer

We picked up the Center cut trail in Gwynn. It was actually a little tough to get on the trail here. There are multiple trails coming together here and we spent about 15 minutes on the wrong one. It was paralleling the correct one. When I came upon this I realized it was time to re-examine the map and gps. Two track

Once we got on the right trail it all looked familiar to me. I go bow hunting in Ralph and have used this route to get to the Bass Lake trail. We hopped off the center cut road and picked up 581 and headed toward Ralph. I wanted to to stop and surprise a guy I know. Damn , he was out. It was about 11:30 at this point and decided to get breakfast. There is a really good spot to stop at by Norway Lake. Its on 581 just south of where you pick up Co Hwy 2 west toward Leeman. I highly recommend it. I've been here several times and have never been disappointed.No name restaurant

So we ate and took off. Not much to talk about here. They were working on CoHwy2 and it will soon be a paved road. Your on paved rd from here to Chrystal Falls. Pretty boring actually. There was a section of of 69 that we had to stay off of because of a detour. That could of been dirt but I don"t know. So we gassed up again and headed out. All snowmobile trail to Iron river. Fairly uneventfully ride. This about the most interesting thing we saw in this section.underpass

Got to Iron River. I saw this and thought it was a little different.Iron River

Headed out of Iron River and again its snowmobile trail. Road up to Watersmeet and gassed up the bikes. The only thing worth mentioning here is the deer that pooped out. Scared the crap out of me. The vegetation here is thick so you really can"t see to far off the trail. There are some nice scenic areas here and you cross allot of rivers and streams.Bridge How much longer is this orv route ?

Next stop was Marenisco. Gassed up again and off we went. This section of trail was actually pretty descent. Its old two track but its not used very much. We stayed on this until we reached the top of Lake Gogebic. At this point we got off the trail and headed to the Porcupine MTS. As of now we had been on our bikes for 6-7 hours and I was less than impressed. The next time I do this I will skip this section and budget the extra time for the Keewenaw. Oh, by the way. If your buying gas by credit card ,get yourself a BP card. Nine out of Ten gas stations are BP.

Headed north to the campground. Pulled into here for the night.Park

We were both pretty grimy and couldn't wait to shower so we rinsed our heads real quick.Lake Superior ... and set up campcamp Off to the showers.

We took off again in search of dinner as we had not eaten during the day and decided on this place. restaurant By all means if your in the area skip this place. Cook a can a beans over the fire ,anything. So we leave the "Poor excuse for a restaurant" and turn our focus to picking up some firewood. We stopped at a store on the way back that advertised $5.00 an armful. I told the guy I had a bike and just wanted a couple of pieces. Still, $5.00 an armful. Oh well, went back to camp and lit up a fire. Jr stayed back while I went sight seeing.Sunset

Mountain view

Off to get some sleep...

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..... Woke up fairly early, packed up, chatted with a few passer byers and headed out. We decided to take 64 toward Ontanogan and then pick up some back roads down to take us down to 45. This was.a mistake. We started coming across dead ends and two tracks that were now closed off. We wasted some time and ended up riding Firesteel Rd to where it crossed the trail. We ended up on the Bill Nichols ORV trail. Man this is nicer than 90% of the black top in Oakland County. There was a couple of scenic gorges that were bridged over.bridge

Otherwise this was like riding a road. We followed this for quite sometime and just decided to ride the last 15 or so miles on asphalt into Houghton. Problem is. When these snowmobile trails pass through towns they also intersect roads,driveways,businesses and you have to stop at each crossing. Not a really big deal but it was becoming tedious.

Coming into Houghton

Going across the bridge into Hancock felt a little weird. Its the steel type and your knobbies give you that wiggly feeling. We headed up to Calumet where we were staying in a Hotel for the night. This worked out well as it was next to a Honda dealership and I wanted to change my oil in the DRZ. There was a feild next the dealership and they were nice enough to loan me their oil pan and took my used oil from me. We got cleaned up and headed out to the Quincy Mine. We decided to take the mine tour. The mine tour was neet. I now know for sure I could never have been a miner. We then went to get dinner. We went to the Library resturante. Nice place to eat. A little pricey but the beer is brewed on the spot and pretty tasty. Finnished dinner and headed back to do some exploring. Just driving around is pretty cool.

road

who knows what this is.- a mine ?

Where else can you find a working wooden refrigerator.fridge

Time was catching up to us and we know we had plenty to see on Friday so we called it a day and headed back.

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The Keewenaw... First mistake I made. If your riding the Keewenaw for the the day ditch your pack and the stuff your carrying on your rack. They don"t take care of their snowmobile trails as well as they do elsewhere on this trip.Finally some water holes, whoops, obstacles, trees ,branches. Anything would work at this point. Two days of riding smooth trails were getting to me. Don"t get me wrong. I"m still having a blast sightseeing and spending time with Jr. but my a$$ was getting sore from the seat.some water

This trail provided speed, moved well and provided enough stimulation to keep you awake.Mining

We came across this guy and decided to watch. Pretty ingenious how these tree cutters work.harvester

We continued east and started to come across some nice scenery.copper harbor

copper harbor 2

Whats wrong with this picture ? I have everything on my bike. Inside that yellow #30 seal line bag is two tents, two bedrolls and two air mattresses.Headlight bag was carrying misc. items,keys,wallet cell phone. socks and a tee shirt. Fender bag had my tire changing tool for both bikes and a spare tube. Next time a rack goes on the KTM.

PIC 3

PIC.4

We ate lunch here. Nice place.Diner

More on the Keewena when I get time...

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I thought you guys were doing the hotel thing? Whats up with those tents?

Trail was looong and flat huh??.......did you have to keep poking JR in the ribs to keep him awake? He musta been going bonkers!

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Great posts, sndmn. I recognize most of those places in the Porkies and Copper Harbor. Did you stay at Ft. Wilkins SP???

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...Ate lunch and after about a picture of ice tea we took off again. We headed out to the point.eastern most point of trail

There were several side trails we could have ridden around here. We hit a couple of them. As many as time would allow. Jr was complaining about a worn out rear tire so we called earlier to a Yamaha dealer in Hancock about a tire. Said they had one and that they closed a six. So that was our time frame.

Some trail:trail

We were now riding the south part of the trail.

trail

We were running out of time and headed to Hancock to pick up a tire.We got to the dealer with twenty minutes to spare. 5:40 according to his wall clock.I asked about getting the tire filled with air as I was next to his building with the bike and would be right back. He said they closed at six.

Hancock bike shop-specializing in service after the sale

tire change

So I do my quickest ever tire change. I go up to his door at 6:04 according to my watch and the door was locked. I knocked and nobody answered. The guy new I was only 30 feet from his door and he didn"t wait for me. I had some co2 bottles so I used them. Service after the sale

Got the tire fixed and went across the street for a sandwich. All filled up and ready to head out. We decided that we would head to Big Lake campground to stay the night. There were suppose to be a group from the ADVRIDER sight. So we head south out of Houghton. I can"t tell you how lucky we have been with missing the rain. Anyways we danced south through puddles in the road but it never rained on us. Around 8:00 or so we could see the clouds moving in. By 8:30 we realized that we were going to get into some sh$t in a hurry. By 9:15 someone turned out the lights and the light show started. No rain yet but looking ugly. Richard wanted to pitch our tents in the Baraga Plains parking lot and hang out under the porta johns if needed. We pressed on until a car passed us. I asked if there was a campground near and she pointed me in the right direction. We get to the campground started getting our stuff unloaded and our luck ran out. We put our tents up in the rain. Got in our tents and it stopped raining 20 minutes later. Oh man, our clothes and boots were wet now. I decided to go look for the other guys. I walked around and couldn't locate any other riders.It was close to 11:00 now and I was ready for a good nights sleep when all of a sudden music. I mean LOUD f- :thumbsup: music. Seems there was a softball tournament nearby and a group from L'anse was in the campground. These inconsiderate SOB,Basteds jammed that music until 4:45 in the morning. Holy crap. Askel, one of the riders I was looking for informed me later that he was camped next to them and at 3am he couldn't take it anymore so he hooked up and took off.

Awoke the next morning and headed to L"anse. for breakfast. The girl in the gas station suggested a restaurant with an AYCE breakfast buffet. Needless to say we both made it a challenge and did our best. After that we took off on the last stretch to get back to the truck. This was pretty descent road to travel. I didn"t mind it at all and really sort of got caught up in the moment. The trip was nearing its end. After having spent the whole week with Jr and not knowing if we could ever do this together again I wanted to savor the moment. We stopped to relax and cool of in the shade for a couple of minutes when a guy and his wife came by and got out of his truck. I asked him to snap a picture for me.

pic

He then asked if I could here the water running. No. He then led me down a path were the water was running pretty good

pic .

Turns out that during the timber days they use to dam up this area . After they had it full of logs they would blow the dam and it would release enough water to carry the logs down stream.

We road through there keeping our eyes peeled for moose but we came up empty. We worked our way toward Gwyn and decided to hop onto the Bass Lake trail. Perfect spot too. It was right were you have those loose rocky hill climb sections.If you know the trail you know what I"m talking about.We picked up the trail again and headed into Gwynn. Funny we were only 10 miles from where we needed to be and I ran out of gas and had to go to reserve. We had no trouble finding gas on this trip.gas in Gwynn

We headed up to Sawyer from here.We pulled into the parking area. We were tired but ready to do it again.Sawyer

Added bonus:Loose Moose

was in town so we headed over and said hello to a couple riders.

Laffery

Fredette

Funny,This the only other rider we saw on the trail the whole week and we run into hima second time.

The big guy

Would like to have stayed but didn"t have the time. If I had been thinking I could have unloaded the bike and done some riding right there.

Would I do this again . Yes I will. Its a nice way to do some fun relax full riding. Good sightseeing trip. Probably geared to the older rider but take your kids and enjoy the time you"ll have with them.

We were lucky. We no major issues at all. Buuuuut we got lucky. When I went to start my bike to clean a few days ago it wouldn"t start. Umm kicked over way to easily. Turns out my one intake valve was shut. I went from a 280 shim to a 255. :ride:

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We put our tents up in the rain. Got in our tents and it stopped raining 20 minutes later. Oh man, our clothes and boots were wet now. I decided to go look for the other guys. I walked around and couldn't locate any other riders.It was close to 11:00 now and I was ready for a good nights sleep when all of a sudden music. I mean LOUD f- :thumbsup: music. Seems there was a softball tournament nearby and a group from L'anse was in the campground. These inconsiderate SOB,Basteds jammed that music until 4:45 in the morning. Holy crap. Askel, one of the riders I was looking for informed me later that he was camped next to them and at 3am he couldn't take it anymore so he hooked up and took off.

Hah thats funny. I was reading your post and thinking...noooo couldn't be the same group........ I was just reading over on ADVrider about a UP gathering that went south. He was talking about a LOUD group of softballers and there backup gas generator he nicknamed "Clangor" as it was loud as hell.

Turns out it is the same group you encountered. Same night as well. Whats the chance of that...too funny.

I cant believe that dealer hosed you like that. He couldn't wait 4 minutes for you to air up your tire. What a tool. :ride:

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Ummmm, it may be the eastern most point of the trail, but I think not.

If you were at the old missle launching site or the park like place nearby you were at the eastern most point. From this area you can look to the east and see an island with a lighthouse on the south side of it... a mile or two out.

Yes, there is a missle launching site out there.... NASA and UofM did some research out there in the '60s and '70s I beleive - there is a marker.

I can't remember if TallBoyWRF went out there with me... I kinda think he did.

I've been riding out there off and on since the early '70's.

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