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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-11-2015, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Circle tour is in the books...

So I'm no Ruger, but figured I'd give it a go.
Our trip would take us around Lake Michigan as well as a short ride along Lake Superior. My old boss put the trip together and mapped out our route. He actually traveled much of it on Google before our trip. Quite a handy program. A total of 7 would be on this trip. 6 men a 1 women. 6 would ride together the first day, and the 7th would meet us the next day. As Chicago can be a busy place, we decided to take the ferry. the trip would last 7 day's with a rain day built in.
Kick stands up at 10;30 am with three of us leaving Dearborn and heading down Michigan ave. We met the rest in Saline and headed West onto I94. Weather was looking sketchy, so we donned our rain gear and headed out. We were heading towards Battle Creek and hit rain. Pretty heavy at times but we soon were out of it and it cleared for the rest of the day.
We stopped at a brewery for lunch, then headed north. One more stop for a quick snort, and onto Muskegon.
Our hotel was fine, though the clerk was less then helpful. After a fine dinner it was off to bed. We would be meeting up at the Ferry in the morning for a departure at 10:15am, but not all of us would be going on the ship...

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-11-2015, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Before continuing, thought a little info on the riders was due. First, my old boss, Dan, rides a Goldwing with a trike kit. Great looking bike. Next up my brother Al, on a Yamaha 1100 Silverado. My brother in law, Dave came along on a 1500 Vulcan classic. His sister, Jan rides a Honda shadow 1100 and a friend of his from Texas, Todd shipped his Vulcan 2000 up here for the trip. He has a cottage up north that he spends his summers at as Texas can get a bit warm...last up my cousin, Tom on a decked out Goldwing. He's up north as well and would meet us at the ferry. And myself on a Vulcan 1600 classic.
I did some research and found there are two ferry's that ply the waves of Lake Michigan. The SS Badger is the largest and leaves from Ludington. We chose the smaller Lake Express as it left from Muskegon and landed in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Turns out they were having a special for motorcycle. $2 was all it cost, regular $40, to ship the bikes. Too bad a trike isn't considered a bike. It cost Dan $60. Boy was he mad.
Back to the story. Seems Todd was working on his pump at the cottage when he fell in hitting his shin. Must have broken the skin as he developed cellulitis. He went to the hospital and received IV antibiotics and was given oral meds for the trip. Friday morning arrived with his leg swelling. Once across the lake he would have a long ride home if things didn't get better, so he chose to bug out and headed to a hospital. We would meet up later and kept in touch throughout the trip.
The trip across took 2.5 hours and it was a great day. After arriving in Milwaukee it was off to lunch. I'd found a place that had a free shuttle to the Harley museum but it was closed. So after lunch we drove to the Museum. They have a large area just for bikes to park. We were out numbered by Harleys but we held our own.
As we were leaving Milwaukee behind, our group got separated as we jumped on the express way north. Too far apart for our Blu tooth to function and cell phone was spotty...

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-11-2015, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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We were separated as we entered the expressway but thinking I knew where to go I wasn't worried. But, things don't always go as planned. We were able to meet back up after some time and we continued onto Berlin Wisconsin. Originally our destination was Osh Kosh but there were no hotel's available.
Turns out Berlin is a nice little town. The hotel was right next to a great Mexican restaurant with outstanding Margaritas and a short walk to town with cool little bars.
After a great nights sleep, had a room to myself, it was off to Iron Mountain, Mi. It was to be our longest ride so far as it was to include a tour of an Indian reservation. The day was bright but cool so it made a comfortable ride. Dan was having trouble with his phone which he was using to guide us. After several starts and stops, we headed for lunch.
Off again and phone troubles started back up, so we decided to go straight to Iron Mountain. Another cool town though this one had a Walmart. Beer and chips were on the menu for this nite. There was gazebo and picnic table out front and the weather was perfect.
The next day's destination would be Newberry with side visits to Marquette , Munising and Grand Marias.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 09:23 AM
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I was just thinking about this trip the other day and wondering when it was going to happen. apparently it already has. lol

ok, Birddog, so far so good....don't stop yet.

if it goes vroom or boom, I LIKE IT!
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-13-2015, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Hit the rode at 8am and headed north to Marquette. It being Sunday traffic was light and weather still cool. Marquette is probably the largest city in the U.P. and has plenty of stores and pubs. Found a brew pub downtown a stopped in for a quick one. They had several choices, but the coconut brown caught my eye.
Off to Munising. The wife and I had visited here 2 years ago and remembered an outstanding restaurant just west of the city. As we approached, there was a huge black cloud up ahead. Didn't look good so we ducked into the Brownstone restaurant for lunch. The rain passed as we were eating a fine lunch, and we were back on the road.
Munising is home to pictured rocks. The lake shore has high cliffs with colorful rocks inset in the cliff. The road along it is called pictured rock lake shore drive. It's about 25 miles long and has 198 turns. It was a ton of fun. The only problem was Al wouldn't speed up. He was slowing me down. Wanted to scrap my floor boards. We stopped in Grand Marias, Mi for a beer at another brew pub. It's a beautiful place right on Lake Superior, but not a lot to do.
So we headed to our next stop, Newberry. It's a hot spot for snowmobilers, but not so much in the summer. Had dinner then off to bed.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Monday dawned another great day. Had to visit a hardware store as my trunk came lose during the trip. Since we had a short drive today, we back tracked to visit Tahquamenon falls just 30 minutes north. "The Upper Falls is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. It has a drop of nearly 50 feet and is more than 200 feet across. A maximum flow of more than 50,000 gallons of water per second has been recorded cascading over its precipice." Back heading south we jump on US 2 which heads east west along Lake Michigan. There are many pull off points with sandy beaches. Headed towards the Mackinaw bridge. It is 5 miles long with a grate in the middle lanes in both directions. As we approached the pay booth, the hope was that the outer lanes were open all the way. Alas, it wasn't to be. Since the bridge is 5 miles long, there is always work to be done. It's said when they finish painting it's time to start again. A few years ago a Yugo was supposedly blown off the bridge, though the driver had had several speeding tickets in her past. It was the first since 1957. It is the 5th longest suspension bridge.
Pulled up to the booth, payed my toll, put everything away, put the bike in gear and took off only to find the gate still down. The worker had to manually open it up. Off down the bridge and stayed on the paved portion as long as possible but we were forced onto the grate. Traveling about 35 it wasn't bad. You tend to weave abit, but made it through.
We arrived in Mackinaw city and stopped for a snort at the keys pub. While we were there, we found out my parents and sister were a block away, so we met up. Small world. Next, it was off to Legs restaurant which is at he beginning of the tunnel of trees.

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Windshield with Lowers
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Highway pegs

Last edited by Birdhunter02; 07-14-2015 at 09:15 AM.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdhunter02 View Post
Monday dawned another great day. Had to visit a hardware store as my trunk came lose during the trip.
duct tape does wonders!

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Originally Posted by Birdhunter02 View Post
Since we had a short drive today, we back tracked to visit Tahquamenon falls just 30 minutes north. "The Upper Falls is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. It has a drop of nearly 50 feet and is more than 200 feet across. A maximum flow of more than 50,000 gallons of water per second has been recorded cascading over its precipice." Back heading south we jump on US 2 which heads east west along Lake Michigan. There are many pull off points with sandy beaches. Headed towards the Mackinaw bridge. It is 5 miles long with a grate in the middle lanes in both directions. As we approached the pay booth, the hope was that the outer lanes were open all the way. Alas, it wasn't to be. Since the bridge is 5 miles long, there is always work to be done. It's said when they finish painting it's time to start again. A few years ago a Yugo was supposedly blown off the bridge, though the driver had had several speeding tickets in her past. It was the first since 1957. It is the 5th longest suspension bridge.Pulled up to the booth, payed my toll, put everything away, put the bike in gear and took off only to find the gate still down. The worker had to manually open it up. Off down the bridge and stayed on the paved portion as long as possible but we were forced onto the grate. Traveling about 35 it wasn't bad. You tend to weave abit, but made it through.
We arrived in Mackinaw city and stopped for a snort at the keys pub. While we were there, we found out my parents and sister were a block away, so we met up. Small world. Next, it was off to Legs restaurant which is at he beginning of the tunnel of trees.

what?! waterfalls, beaches and the "Big Mac", and not one pic?!!!!

if it goes vroom or boom, I LIKE IT!
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Pics coming. Next stop, Legs Inn, Cross village. http://legsinn.com/ Legs was built in the 20's by a Polish Immigrant that fell in love with the area. It is a popular stopping point for Tunnel of Trees travelers. We were traveling in the opposite direction, however, so we stopped there first. Great place. All natural wood, and outstanding views. Stopped for a quick one and continued to the tunnel. It's called that because the road is narrow and it is lined with hardwoods that have grown very close to the edges creating a canopy above. It can get dark during the day in places. It runs along a bluff that borders Lake Michigan. Great views in spots. It is 20 miles long. M119. http://mynorth.com/2010/09/guide-to-...arbor-springs/
Then on to Charlevoix. It sits between Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix. Our Hotel was the only one available. It was described as "Rustic". Meaning it hadn't been updated in 50 years. Not too bad and great location. All for under $100 a night. Had a balcony that listed a bit, but worked out fine. Lots of money in this town. This was a long day's ride so everyone was ready to climb off the bikes. Had a good dinner and cigar before hitting the hay.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 08:33 PM
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 11:08 AM
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Keep it coming
^ what he said.

if it goes vroom or boom, I LIKE IT!
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