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  • Trip around Lake Superior

    Trip report complete!!!


    A few weeks a go I took a little trip around Lake Superior. What a nice ride, and weather was near perfect. Left the St. Louis area and followed the Mighty Mississippi to my first camping spot. Along the way I made a stop at American Picker's in LaClaire Iowa.



    Next stop was my camp spot. I was going to camp at state parks in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan. But all of these states charge $10. per night plus camping fee's to out of state campers. Or you can buy a yearly pass for around $30-$35. per year. That made me cross the river in to Iowa and a $12. camp spot. This Iowa state park (Pikes Peak) was wonderful. It was located just south of McGregor Iowa.

    Dinner that night was hotdogs and chips. What I like about traveling alone is... your never alone. After I set up camp and had a fire going a couple came riding in on the bicycles. After some small talk I ask what was for supper? They replied freezed dried something... Having plenty I had my new friends over for dogs and chips. They even brought over a bottle of wine.. Perfect..




    Day 2 was to meet up with a friend from Kansas City, Kansas. I did spend a hour or so at Aerostitch in Duluth Minn. Cool place, as I have been there before. They sell motorcycle related gear, and make in the USA riding suits. After that stop I found out my buddy was about 1 1/2 hours behind me. I found a nice little cafe on the shore of Lake Superior for a late lunch. Fish taco's.. I'm a little far from home to eat raw fish, but what the heck.. I'm on vacation. And it was very good.....



    After lunch I was able to meet up with my buddy. He was in need of a bite to eat and we found this place..Tom's Logging Camp. It is great to see these places are still around.



    After his lunch, we road about 120 miles to our camping spot in Grand Marais Mn. We stayed at a city owned campground. Had a nice meal at a local pub and it was lights out. Campgound was a welcome site, as my butt was dragging and a good night sleep was in order.

    Next.....

    Woke up with some rain in the middle of the night, but by morning all was well and my tent was dry. After packing up and on the road at 6am. We road to the border and had a cup of coffee and filled the tanks for the last time with cheap fuel. I have a Aux fuel tank on my Wing, and carry a little over 11 gallons. This gives me almost 400 miles between fill ups, and only one fuel stop in Canada at 1.52 a liter ($6.00 a gallon).

    We ate breakfast in Thunder Bay, and the weather was cool but sunny. The Gerbing electric's felt good and I was glad I packed them. We rode all the way to Wawa, along the way we seen moose, bear, dear, and three otter crossing the road. The three otter (Moe, Curly, and Larry) made me smile. They crossed head to tail with there backs bowed up. I had to slow down to keep from running over them. The two black bear are always great to see in the wild. The second was bigger than any black bear I have ever seen, larger than any I seen last year on my Alaska trip.

    When we pulled into the town of Wawa there it was... My favorite place in Canada... Tim Hortons.... I love that place. Wish we had one here in Missouri... After a cup of coffee and the best donut around we planned for the night. My buddy was having a hard time sleeping and wanted a room... I wanted to camp.. So we split for the night, and I went to the local camp ground. Our plan was to meet at Tim's for breakfast.

    Wow, I should have followed his lead. It was cold that night..28 deg. But I made it through the night with only one scare. I ask, like always the campground owner if they have had any bear problem. There reply was not in there park, but had seen several across the road. I have slept with the bears often, and use common sense. Put your food, and anything that has a smell away from camp. Around 3am I heard the sound of the trash can lid hitting the ground. I was out of my sleeping bag, slipped my boots on, grabbed my flashlight and bear spray and unzipped my tent. After popping out of my tent with the light in one hand and the spray in the other. Looked around and did not see anything. I walked to the road and seen the trash can and the lid was on the ground. When I walked up to the can a 300 pound racoon popped his head out and made me jump. I love the wild, always a surprise out there.



    You can see the can in the above picture. Nice campground, hot showers and great owners.

    That morning I am at Tim Hortons waiting on my buddy... 45 minute late another bike pulls up and tells me his Beemer would not start and where to find him. It only took a few minutes and a jump and we are headed back to Tim's for more coffee and donuts.. Did I tell you I really like Tim Hortons..

    We road the day away with Lake Superior off the our right. It is a great place to go.. The next stop was in Pancake Bay and a real live trading post. This place was way cool, they had wood carvings, animal pelts and everything in between.



    After the last stop we are on the way back state side. The border crossing was a pain, and took about 30 minutes. We worked our way around the the U.P. of Michigan and to Paradise Mi. It is a nice little town and right on our way to Whitefish Point. Next stop the Whitefish Bay Shipwreck Museum, there has been way more ships down than I ever thought in Lake Superior.



    My buddy Chester..



    One Big Boat!!!

    Later that evening we found a nice campground on Lake Michigan. It was just north of Manistique Mi. Is was very nice, and only $12. bucks. But there was a bonus... Someone left us maybe 20 sticks of firewood... Perfect!!

    The next morning we were up early and on the road around 5:30. Stopped for breakfast, and blast for home. My friend and I stayed together to around Rockford Il. He split off and headed for Kansas City, I went south headed to St. Louis.

    Wow, vacation sure goes fast... Next trip in September... Will have 12 days to ride out west....

    Smitty
    2012 GL1800....2012 Aluma MCT..2005 KTM 400exc
    Alaska 2011.. Trip of a life time..$2500. dollars..10,000 miles, two sets of tires, one deer strike, all in 14 day's.. Perfect !!!

  • #2
    Re: Trip around Lake Superior

    Sounds good! Keep the pix coming!
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Re: Trip around Lake Superior

      Very nice report Smitty, standing by waiting for more. Grand Maris is a great place was there in 2005.
      Gary

      2005 Honda VTX 1800,2001 Honda Shadow VLX, 1970 Honda Passport 70
      2013 Ural Patrol -1989 Holsclaw cargo
      MOPH, American Legion, NRA
      IBMC,UMCI,ADV,PGR
      sold 1981 Honda Goldwing 1100
      sold 2005 Electra Glide
      sold 1974 Yamaha 500DHC
      sold 1978 Yamaha Enduro 175
      sold 1970 Honda trail 70
      sold 1965 Honda 100

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      • #4
        Re: Trip around Lake Superior

        Good report Smitty, American Picker's in WI looks fun.

        To comment on the costs of staying in some State Parks, Indiana isn't cheap either. I tried to make reservations for an over-nite stay on a trip one. For three of us, each on our own bike, one popup camper and one tent,... With all the little fees it was more than a motel room. (almost $100) Each bike needed a fee 'to enter' the park another fee for a third person on a camp site and the third bike couldn't be parked at the campsite. All this PLUS a camping fee!
        We didn't stay there,... never will.
        TNtraveler

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        • #5
          Re: Trip around Lake Superior

          Originally posted by TNtraveler View Post
          [B]Good report Smitty, American Picker's in WI looks fun.

          To comment on the costs of staying in some State Parks, Indiana isn't cheap either. I tried to make reservations for an over-nite stay on a trip one. For three of us, each on our own bike, one popup camper and one tent,... With all the little fees it was more than a motel room. (almost $100) Each bike needed a fee 'to enter' the park another fee for a third person on a camp site and the third bike couldn't be parked at the campsite. All this PLUS a camping fee!
          Regretfully staying in Michigan State Parks isn't cheap either, especally for an out-of-state camper ...
          BUT ...
          There are lots county, and city park campgrounds that ARE less expensive.
          Even many of the private campgrounds can be gotten for less money than the S.P. campgrounds ....

          Take Cycle-Moore in northern Michigan for instance ... If you arrive on a motorcycle, $7.00 a night gets you a grassy campsite with electricity, picnic table & fire ring.
          AND hot showers at no additional cost.
          Oh ... did I mention they also have a motorcycle repair shop & store near the enterance to the campground?

          Can't beat that ...
          sigpic
          I've done so much with so little for so long ... Now I can do nearly anything with almost nothing.

          .

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          • #6
            Re: Trip around Lake Superior

            Came in handy for Tim last year eh? I like that aspect about that place...and if ya get stranded at least you are stranded where you can get your bike fixed...and stay for cheap!
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Re: Trip around Lake Superior

              Great report! Love the pics - looks like a great trip!


              Ride safe!
              KevinL
              Proud Parent of a US Marine
              1986 Aspencade W/Motorvation Formula II and Ozzie the Aussie
              1995 Voyager XII, 2010 Aspen Classic

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              • #8
                Re: Trip around Lake Superior

                thanks very much for the report and great pictures it makes it a whole lot easier if you see where you're going
                2007 Triumph Rocket III 2300cc
                Bunkhouse XL

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                • #9
                  Re: Trip around Lake Superior

                  Stopped into Tom's Logging Camp the last time I was through there. Pointed out some fantastic roads that had little or no traffic on them. Also gave me great suggestions on some good campgrounds off the beaten path that where reasonably priced.

                  Been to Aerostitch a few times myself, neat place but not much for me and my old bike. Nice pics so far!
                  uıɐƃɐ ʎɐqǝ ɟɟo pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ ʎnq ɹǝʌǝu ןן,ı

                  1940 Indian Scout "Peaches"

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                  • #10
                    Re: Trip around Lake Superior

                    Nice report, don't stop. I am waiting for the next leg of your journey. I am headed that way soon.
                    God Bless
                    Gary.
                    sigpic
                    Darkside # 751
                    May God keep us all safe, and full of love.
                    2016 Road Glide, and 2014 piggy back cargo trailer

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                    • #11
                      Re: Trip around Lake Superior

                      rest of my trip posted...

                      Smitty
                      2012 GL1800....2012 Aluma MCT..2005 KTM 400exc
                      Alaska 2011.. Trip of a life time..$2500. dollars..10,000 miles, two sets of tires, one deer strike, all in 14 day's.. Perfect !!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Trip around Lake Superior

                        Originally posted by smitty141 View Post
                        rest of my trip posted...

                        Smitty
                        I meant in Sept. I think you said you were going in Sept. You do a good job of trip reporting.So that would be the next leg of this years journey.
                        God bless
                        Gary
                        sigpic
                        Darkside # 751
                        May God keep us all safe, and full of love.
                        2016 Road Glide, and 2014 piggy back cargo trailer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Trip around Lake Superior

                          Great pics and ride report!
                          Steve

                          2017 Suzuki DL650A V-Strom 2005 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, 2002 Harley Road King Classic, 1976 Harley Sportster

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                          • #14
                            Re: Trip around Lake Superior

                            Originally posted by G wizz View Post
                            Regretfully staying in Michigan State Parks isn't cheap either, especally for an out-of-state camper ...
                            Take Cycle-Moore in northern Michigan for instance ... If you arrive on a motorcycle, $7.00 a night...
                            Cycle-Moore is nice. I've been there a few times for the September Guzzi Rally. Last year I stayed on for several extra days because the weather was just perfect, too good to leave.

                            As far as the State Park campgrounds -- Yes, they tend to be somewhat expensive because of the various "fees" that are attached. However, I try and remember that most states are struggling financially and raising their fees, particularly for out-of-state visitors, may be their only way to keep their campgrounds open to the public.

                            Ride safe.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Trip around Lake Superior

                              Originally posted by Chuck in Indiana View Post
                              Cycle-Moore is nice. I've been there a few times for the September Guzzi Rally. Last year I stayed on for several extra days because the weather was just perfect, too good to leave.

                              As far as the State Park campgrounds -- Yes, they tend to be somewhat expensive because of the various "fees" that are attached. However, I try and remember that most states are struggling financially and raising their fees, particularly for out-of-state visitors, may be their only way to keep their campgrounds open to the public.

                              Ride safe.
                              Chuck,
                              Ya mean they are going up AGAIN? I was speaking of two year ago. Indiana hits out-of-staters HARD. Also with what I called 'stupid rules'. The three of us couldn't stay on the same site. (had a m/c popup and a small tent) One of the bikes had to be parked in some kinda 'overflow lot'.
                              The total cost was about $100 for the three of us. NO WAY.
                              All in all. they just drove me away from ever wanting to stay at any state park in Indiana again.

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