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Thread: Added Two New States to List

  1. #1
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    Default Added Two New States to List

    Back during Brown County, I approached Dave, "Redman", about potentially heading up his way for a sightseeing trip through Michigan and then started making plans. At first, I was only going to Grand Haven to see the piers he posts so many pictures of but then I started talking to others and the trip grew to all of the lower part of Michigan. This first idea involved three days and would include the M-22, M-119 - Tunnel of Trees, Mackinac Bridge and then home. Then, I started asking co-workers about areas in eastern Michigan and was told if I was going to the bridge I had to continue north to Sault Ste Marie. That of course led to more research and the 3 day trip turned into a week that would ultimately cover most of the UP and south into Wisconsin.

    After scheduling the vacation time and necessary approvals, I headed north on July 3rd arriving in Grand Haven late in the afternoon and meeting up with Dave. A quick ride to a local beach burrito place and then we spent some time around the piers.

    Grand Haven Seagull Sculpture by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    Grand Haven Lighthouse by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    Dave North Pier by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    Sunset Lighthouse by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    Sunset South Pier by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    Grand Haven Pier Lights by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    I need to log into work now so I'll come back to this later this afternoon.

    Cowboy Up or Quit. - Run Free Lou and Rest in Peace

    1981 GS550T - My First
    1981 GS550L - My Eldest Daughter's
    2007 GSF1250SA Bandit - My touring bike

    Sit tall in the saddle Hold your head up high
    Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky and live like you ain't afraid to die
    and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride - Chris Ledoux, "The Ride"

  2. #2
    Redman's Avatar
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    Hey, Scott, You will let me add pics to the story of your visit, eh?

    Last edited by Redman; 07-13-2021 at 04:40 PM.

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  3. #3
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    .
    Here is Scott, saying: I am interested in that sea gull sculpture. The one right behind you Dave. Dave, I would like to take a picture of it. Its right behind you. Move Please.



    Rode out of town, up and around to the pier on other side of the river, so can look at south pier & lighthouses in direct low sun. . . . or, wait for a splash to occure with view of nothing but water and sun in background.



    (unintended funny appearance of looking at people on other pier) (actually looking in direction of the inner light beacon tower).

    Then later for sunset, went back around into town to go down the beach to have sunset behind the pier(s).


    After sunset, had a nice ride out of town along the lakeshore/dune.

    Had a fun 4 hour. Ride, eat, ride, photo walk on north pier, ride, photowalk on beach, ride.

    Could have done more the next day, ride inland or more along lakeshore, but I had family things going on the next day (the 4th). And Scott needed to go direct to M-22.
    . . . . . Next time . . . . .

    .

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    Last edited by Redman; 07-13-2021 at 10:30 PM.

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  4. #4
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    And so Sunday morning, 4th of July, I jump back on the bike headed north to Traverse City. M-22 was a fun road but as in any touristy fun area, traffic can cause havoc during the ride so it was a little slow going in some areas.

    M-22 Stop by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    My major goal for the day were to see some of the lighthouses along the coast line so I stopped off at Point Betsie and Old Mission Point.

    Point Betsie Lighthouse by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    The sign is a little misleading in that the 45th parallel is actually slightly away from the lake shore and not right here at the sign.

    Mission Point Lighthouse by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    The next morning, I started off to find M-119 and the Tunnel of Trees with the expectation that I might see some rain around Mackinaw City but not realizing it would hit me as early as it did.

    If you decide to travel this way during the holidays, keep in mind that even a smaller place like this can run a couple of hundred dollars. It was still a nice place to stay.

    Restwood Motel Cottage by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    If you haven't been there, M-119 is traveled in both directions but is so small that I saw cars go off in the ditch as they passed me or other cars. The rain that hit also flushed dirt and small gravel into the road at several corners but still manageable despite one incident where the back end got loose on me.

    M-119 Tunnel of Trees by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    Fortunately, the rain let up as I rode into Mackinaw City and had my first glimpse of the infamous Mackinac Bridge:

    Mackinac Bridge and Lighthouse by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    Lunch at a great little pizza place in town hit the spot (ALOT OF Pizza even for small size) and I was back on the road to Sault Ste. Marie.

    I brought my GoPro for this part of the trip but discovered I left the power cord AND both batteries back home so I couldn't record the ride along the 200 feet of metal grate I managed to do before chickening out and moved onto the paved right lane.

    Mackinac Bridge by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    Cowboy Up or Quit. - Run Free Lou and Rest in Peace

    1981 GS550T - My First
    1981 GS550L - My Eldest Daughter's
    2007 GSF1250SA Bandit - My touring bike

    Sit tall in the saddle Hold your head up high
    Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky and live like you ain't afraid to die
    and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride - Chris Ledoux, "The Ride"

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    So the rain held off for the rest of the ride into Sault Ste Marie although I made the mistake of staying on the highway for longer than I should and only jumped over to the Mackinac trail for the last 30 miles. Rode downtown to visit the Soo Locks where I was treated to a few ship transits from Lake Huron to Lake Superior. I didn't realize the difference between the heights of the two lakes were as extreme as they are but notice the lamp post height on the 1000 foot American Century cargo ship as it transited through:

    Lake Huron Level:
    American Century Lake Huron Level by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    Lake Superior Level:
    American Century Lake Superior Level by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    The intent for Tuesday was to ride across the Upper Peninsula to see 4 waterfalls and a castle so off I went to search first for Tahquamenon Falls. I was sure glad I carried cash with me on this ride as this park has a fee just to get into it. I guess the water is brown because of the minerals in the ground.

    Tahquamenon Falls MI by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    Then onto Sable Falls for the next visit. I was a bit worried about getting here though as almost every side road is gravel and not paved. Fortunately, the road I turned down was more hard-pack dirt so I quickly made my way across without a huge problem

    Sable Falls MI by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    When I left Sable Falls, I'm glad I ignored my GPS though because it tried to take me down a very heavily graveled road that I know the Bandit wouldn't have liked. Instead, I rode along the Au Sable Point Trail, otherwise known as H-58, and I'm telling you that if it isn't part of Michigan's top 25 motorcycle roads than it needs to become part of it. That road is nothing but continuous curves as it follows the Lake Superior shoreline (don't see the Lake from the road at most spots though). It's not a technical road by any means and is a total blast.

    I stopped for lunch at a little place called Bear Trap Inn where the rest of my day became miserable. After an hour wait just for a grilled cheese and fries, I had to decide whether I wanted to just get wet and make a direct run to my hotel or still go see the other two falls and castle only to drown thanks to the incoming thunderstorms I could see on the radar.

    Sadly, I chose to just get wet and made my way to L'Anse Michigan.

    Cowboy Up or Quit. - Run Free Lou and Rest in Peace

    1981 GS550T - My First
    1981 GS550L - My Eldest Daughter's
    2007 GSF1250SA Bandit - My touring bike

    Sit tall in the saddle Hold your head up high
    Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky and live like you ain't afraid to die
    and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride - Chris Ledoux, "The Ride"

  6. #6
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    Fortunately, I only caught the edge of the storm so I dealt with heavy rain and not lightning for that 120 mile ride. Still, it left me worried about the next day so I changed my plans and skipped going out to the last waterfall I wanted to see near the Wisconsin and Michigan border. Instead, I decided to drop straight south and stay the next night in Sheboygan WI. In fact, looking at the radar projections the next morning made me believe I might get lucky and miss most of the weather. Little did I know how wrong I would be.

    But first, packed up the bike and headed for breakfast at a great little place on Main street. How many motels have you stayed in where there's a screen door on the room? None for me until this trip:

    Motel Room with Screen Door by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    I love the lighthouse mural in the background

    Main Street L'Anse MI by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    I just had to see another waterfall so I made my way to a roadside stop off of US 41 where I found this gem:

    Canyon Falls MI by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    I wish I had more time to go further down the trail for a better view of it. Walking back up the trail along the Sturgeon River to the parking lot found this beauty too:

    Small Falls on Sturgeon River MI by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    And who in their right mind wants to know long of a hike to Marquette it is? But this sign tells you it's a 85 mile hike if you want

    Canyon Falls Trail Sign by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    And guess what, 20 miles after I left this little park I ran into the hardest rain I had to date. Not only the hardest but the longest one as I had fun trying to see for the 200 miles into Sheboygan. I even took curves on US-8 at slower than the recommended speeds because of the cats and dogs pouring down on me. I even turned on my grip heaters to keep the hands warm and hopefully dry the gloves but it wouldn't help. So once I got to the hotel, I fired up the hair dryer a few times and hoped the next day would be better.

    Cowboy Up or Quit. - Run Free Lou and Rest in Peace

    1981 GS550T - My First
    1981 GS550L - My Eldest Daughter's
    2007 GSF1250SA Bandit - My touring bike

    Sit tall in the saddle Hold your head up high
    Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky and live like you ain't afraid to die
    and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride - Chris Ledoux, "The Ride"

  7. #7
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    Breakfast the next morning brought the 1950s back to life at a little place called Harry's Diner. If you are in that area, just know he doesn't skimp out on the food especially if you order his hash browns, meat, and scrambled eggs bowl.

    Elvis at Harry's Diner by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    Harry's Diner by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    Then, off to Manitowoc WI where I caught the SS Badger ferry back to Michigan. This ship is the last coal-fired steam-powered ferry in the United States and was a blast to ride. Yes, it was a long 4 hour ride but it was a lot better experience in my opinion than taking the high-speed Catamaran back.

    As the ship came into the harbor:

    SS Badger entering Manitowoc Harbor by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    SS Badger and Manitowoc Lighthouse by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    and after all of the 20 or so motorcycles were loaded onboard:

    Bikes loaded on SS Badger by Scott Baker, on Flickr

    I finally arrived in Ludington MI and back to Grand Haven. Dave and I met up the next morning for breakfast and a short ride before I left for home.

    The original plans were for a 2,000 mile ride but I settled for 1,852 and still put Michigan and Wisconsin on my list of states I rode through by the time I rolled into the driveway. I'd like to go back to see some of the other waterfalls so maybe next year?

    Cowboy Up or Quit. - Run Free Lou and Rest in Peace

    1981 GS550T - My First
    1981 GS550L - My Eldest Daughter's
    2007 GSF1250SA Bandit - My touring bike

    Sit tall in the saddle Hold your head up high
    Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky and live like you ain't afraid to die
    and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride - Chris Ledoux, "The Ride"

  8. #8
    bwringer's Avatar
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    Nice!

    Man, I need to figure out that whole "taking a picture once in a while" thing. I get hyper-focused on the here and now and what's next, and never remember to snap a pic.
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  9. #9
    cowboyup3371's Avatar
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    Thanks Brian. It gets hard for me to do at times as well. I have to force myself to slow down and think about breaking out the camera at some points

    Cowboy Up or Quit. - Run Free Lou and Rest in Peace

    1981 GS550T - My First
    1981 GS550L - My Eldest Daughter's
    2007 GSF1250SA Bandit - My touring bike

    Sit tall in the saddle Hold your head up high
    Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky and live like you ain't afraid to die
    and don't be scared, just enjoy your ride - Chris Ledoux, "The Ride"

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