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Old 09-04-2012, 12:42 PM   #76
NomadGal OP
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Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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There are several things I have learned yesterday!
1. Don't rely on my memory!
2. Learn the difference between left and right
3. My brain doesn't function too well when I am tired
4. Don't just assume,
5. I can handle Spirit better than I think I can at times

Why all these little wisdoms?
I will tell you in a bit.
I left Duluth, happily, and headed into Wisconsin. Hwy 13 along the coast is wonderful and quiet, and I rode through Ashland and Cornucopia, which someone must have thought was a fun town.



Because Duluth had taken all the wind out of me, I decided to not ride too much further that day, and aimed for a campground in the Chequamegon National Forest.
It was an ok campground and even though it was right on a small country road, there was not traffic after dark.



Now, I have to admit that the thought of not paying the camping fee was very tempting. It was Labor Day Sunday, and I did not think a park ranger would show up on Labor Day Monday. Still, I could not do it, and faithfully paid my camping fee, a whopping $13.00 for a site without water and 2 Pit toilets.
It was a fairly warm night and I slept soundly till 6am, at which time I decided to try and get out of there earlier than usual.
Well, I still made it by 9AM after having made myself some scrumptious gluten-free cranberry, apple and banana pancakes topped with Raspberry Agave syrup!

I found myself in Michigan before I knew it! And rode a small country road through the Porcupine mountains and along the coast! Heavenly!






The beach sand is white, and for a second I could believe I was back on Kauai!


The leaves were already changing color!


Entering Houghton, pretty cool place!

I had planned on going up the peninsula to shipwrecks beach, but decided that I would never make it to the campsite on time if I did.
I am glad that I didn’t, as you soon will find out.




There is actually a town called Christmas!!! I never knew!

Now you will hear the rest of my story…

I found out on free campsites.net that there was a free campground in the Hiawatha Forest, and I made it the end of my long day of gorgeous and fun riding.
After reading the instructions on how to get there, it seemed easy to find, which in retrospect was true.
Anyway, I turned right on Hwy 94 after having passed through Munising, Mi.
Rode for 6.4 miles and yep, there it was Forest Road 2254 (2264 was right before that and I almost assumed that there was a typo on the website).
Went down 2254 which in no time came to a split, pavement to the left dirt straight ahead. Well of course I assumed that a free campground had to be on dirt, so I drove op and down teeth rattling dirt roads for 30 minutes trying to locate the forest road 2473, which of course was not on the dirt road.
It finally dawned on me that maybe I should have stayed on the pavement.
Once I got on there I indeed within 4 miles, found Forest road 2473.
Now, the sun started getting low in the sky, and I was getting tired (and a tad discussed with myself for assuming) that when I saw 2473 my memory said turn left, which I did. Boy was that dirt road ever getting hairy!
It turned into a very rocky and sandy dirt road, but still passable. After a little while I saw a small dirt trail turning right, it had the number 2369 on a small post. This was it???? the road to the campsite?? OY! Anyway, I attempted it, almost wiped in the sand but put my feet down and held Spirit up! Yay!! Decided to slowly coast down the dirt trail with my feet on either side Spirit keeping her straight up.
But then I cam to a section that went up 45 degrees, and consisted of nothing but pebbles and rocks. I parked Spirit to go and scope out the slope. No way!!!! I could barely walk up there!
So I decided to give up and turn around, but I would take a picture so I could tell about this trail.
Do you see a picture? Nope, I forgot as soon as I got back to the bike.
After carefully going forwards a foot and backing up a foot over and over again, I got myself and Spirit out off the predicament we were in.
Got back on 2473 and decided to just go and pay for a campsite.
As I hit 2254 I noticed that 2473 also went to the right. I started thinking, wasn't I supposed to turn right?? I asked a guy in his front yard and he confirmed that there was indeed a free campground there. OY!!
So I turned around again and this time turned right.
Then, I relied on my memory again! I should have known not to. I rode way to far down the road and ended up on a sandy part. I got spirit turned around safely again and decided to look on my laptop for the saved instructions. Sure enough, I only had to go half a mile, not one and a half.
I finally found the turnoff only to see that it was marked 2367 and not 2369. Ha! an error on the website.
I finally got to the campground which turned out to be gorgeous. Now if only I had looked at my notes beforehand, and not............... Oh well, there is a reason for everything right?






Made myself a campfire! My first (not counting Moab)


If you think these are flowers, you are wrong. Believe it or not, these are all spider webs!




Morning mist

I was exhausted and slept like a baby! The morning mist was heavy, and left camp late because I had to let everything dry a bit. It was a good excuse for some more of those scrumptious pancakes!
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:21 PM   #77
aholecop
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stumbled on to your report great job ! good luck !
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:55 PM   #78
Oldone
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Another one to look at......

I can see that this is going to be a great one to look at. The photos are super-cool too. Thanks for taking the time to do this for the rest of us. I'm not finished yet, but I always like to have something in my bookmarks to go to next.

Gary "Oldone"

Grampa’s Lake Superior Ride
Grampa’s National Monument Ride
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:35 PM   #79
CB160
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Hi NG,
The further you go, The better it gets!
Have a great time, Thanks for sharing,
Ride safe :)
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:56 AM   #80
Paddygfw
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Love your RR...have a great day
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:58 PM   #81
NomadGal OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aholecop View Post
stumbled on to your report great job ! good luck !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone View Post
I can see that this is going to be a great one to look at. The photos are super-cool too. Thanks for taking the time to do this for the rest of us. I'm not finished yet, but I always like to have something in my bookmarks to go to next.

Gary "Oldone"

Grampa’s Lake Superior Ride
Grampa’s National Monument Ride
Quote:
Originally Posted by CB160 View Post
Hi NG,
The further you go, The better it gets!
Have a great time, Thanks for sharing,
Ride safe :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddygfw View Post
Love your RR...have a great day
Thanks you guys!
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:15 PM   #82
NomadGal OP
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After posting my last report I headed to the Mackinaw bridge. I had mixed feelings on crossing it, part of me was excited because I love going on high bridges over water, but part of me was nervous because of the horror stories about the wind strength.
I was secretly hoping that there would be no wind, and if there was, then I hoped to bump into some other bikers so I could ride behind them and watch how they tackled the wind. Also I figured if some bikers were in the left lane, and some in the right, then I wouldn’t be blown underneath the wheels of some huge truck if I got slammed by a gust of wind. Then I decided not to worry about it anymore and to take things as they came. Either way, I would deal with it.
The grey skies were lifting and the sun started to shine the closer I got to the bridge.


The lake started to look bluer as the sun cleared away the grey clouds

Finally I saw the Mackinaw bridge and pulled over at a view point to take a picture.


Awesome bridge! No doubt about it


I asked someone to take a picture of me in case………….

After paying the $4 toll fee (the guy at the booth had no sense of humor when I suggested I pay only $2 because I had only two wheel instead of four) I stopped to take a picture again before going over it.



Right as I pulled away to go into the lane heading to the bridge I hear two Harleys behind me. I turned my head and there were two lady bikers passing me and waving. I was in seventh heaven!! Not only would I be able to follow a couple of bikers, they were women!! Yay, what could be better than that? I felt confident now that I could ride the bridge, there is strength in numbers ☺


The gal on the grid was a hoot! not only did she slow down traffic by not budging, she was leisurely taking pictures while riding on the grid! She was also keeping an eye on the gal to the right who I'm pretty sure was a new rider.

As we got unto the main part of the bridge, the exciting part, I noticed that there was no wind, none at all! Not even a little smidgen! It was awesome riding so high over the water with the sun shining on it. I took a photo but it came out as a bunch of white glare as the sun was on that side. Oh well.
All in all, it was utterly awesome, and I even rode a few hundred yards of grid, just to find out how it felt, which was probably a stupid thing to do because I was passing a semi-truck .
Once I was passed the bridge I went west in search of the free campsite.
I took a small detour and ended up in the wrong place and when turning around over a gravel hill I dropped Spirit! I hadn’t dropped her since I broke my rib. But I have to say I fought it, so she ended up gently on her side. Two guys in a truck saw it happen and they immediately helped me get her up. We talked for a while about my trip, they were awed, and then told me how to get to the campsite.

I found the road in no time and went unto the dirt and gravel.
There were people camped in the first and second sites, also in the third and fourth. By now I was keeping my fingers crossed hoping that at least one of the 6 sites was available. I didn’t see a site 5, but 6 was taken too.
At the same time I was holding me heart because again I was going over sandy patches. I parked Spirit and looked for site number 5. Couldn’t find it, but noticed another tent on the other side of the trail. That must have been 5 then. I debated on what to do when I saw that there was a small turn around area past number 6. I went on the small sandy loop and saw an area that would easily hold the tent and the bike.
I rode over the hump and decided to just go for it and camp there.



Part of me of course was expecting to be booted out by a ranger for camping in a no camping spot, but then I told myself to shut up and just enjoy camping there. I would deal with whatever happened when it happened, and I would not anticipate and worry about something that might never happen.


The fog started to creep in as it was getting later

I warmed up a can of soup and watched half of a Harry Potter movie and hit the sack. It was a warm night and I slept soundly.
Woke up at 7:30 and saw the sun rise over the lake



Went of a morning stroll and took a picture of this meadow for my daughter.


It looks a little like Bella and Edward’s meadow, but without the flowers.

I hit the road at 10:30, after taking my time making some pancakes and packing my junk.
And no, no park ranger or anyone showed out to tell me to go, Yay!!!

Once I got out of the park area and headed toward the lake I noticed this street sign


Wow! A street named after me! LOL

The shoreline was gorgeous and I might as well have been along the ocean because of the sandy dunes.





Now the road along the shore is Hwy 119 and it has a 20 mile long tree tunnel.
I am very sad to say that somehow non of the pictures were on the camera except for the one below. I must not have pressed the button hard enough.



119 is an awesome road though with many gorgeous views when the tree tunnel clears here and there



All along the road are quaint little towns with neat houses. I wished I had taken some pictures of them.
One was a restaurant called Leggs, which I later heard is quite famous.


View of Harbor Springs, the end of 119


Downtown Harbor Springs where a lot of people like to sail and kayak



I ended up filling my tank nearby when I noticed this at the pump


Now I think I’ve seen it all!!!! Whatch a movie or the news while pumping gas!! Either they must think you shouldn’t be bored while gassing up, or they purposefully want to distract you so you end up putting more gas in your tank than you originally planned on! Clever, very clever!!


I have to say, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have some killer bicycle paths! If only I loved to bicycle!


Yep, red barns in Michigan too.

Once I got to Travers City I called some friends of Robert who said I was very welcome to stay with them.
I am now longing in a comfy chair after having done my laundry, eaten a great meal, and had an even better conversation with my host. Going to change my oil tomorrow, and mess around downtown.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:09 PM   #83
ben2go
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Good update.Look like an enjoyable ride.Good luck with the rest of the ride.


BTW.I never knew your name.Nice to meet you Wilderness Park.I'm Ben.

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Old 09-05-2012, 11:02 PM   #84
ceke
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Loving this report! NomadGal, you are one brave lady, keep facing those fears down and you won't have any left soon.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:37 AM   #85
NomadGal OP
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Good update.Look like an enjoyable ride.Good luck with the rest of the ride.


BTW.I never knew your name.Nice to meet you Wilderness Park.I'm Ben. :loll
Wilderness Park, yep! That's my name LOL!
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:40 AM   #86
NomadGal OP
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Loving this report! NomadGal, you are one brave lady, keep facing those fears down and you won't have any left soon.
Oh, how I wish! I think once I can handle sand better, learn how to pick up Spirit, learn how to talk back, learn how not to worry, etc. etc. I will be the way I wish to be!
But then again, my mind would probably come up with other things to worry about. It's the nature of the mind I guess.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:26 AM   #87
ben2go
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Wilderness Park, yep! That's my name LOL!
I thought ya might get a little giggle outta that.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:01 PM   #88
alcanrider
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Proud of you!

It takes a lot of courage to get out there and ride like you have, and you are doing what you love to do. Please let me tell you a couple other things. I have been riding for over 30 years and have owned every kind of motorcycle you can think of at one time or another, including 4 street and trail or dual sport bikes. I have ridden those over boulder sized rocks in the Rocky Mountains, over passes that would make even most seasoned riders cringe. Trust me I am no expert though! I fell a few times, and got right back up because that is what you have to do sometimes to see the most beautiful places. Take a few risks every now and then. Furthermore, I grew up without a Father (no slam against you women mechanics out there, a lot of you are very awesome mechanics) and consequently I have never learned to change a flat tire or had anybody to take the time to teach me. Can you believe that? After all the hundreds of thousands of miles I have put on bikes, I have never even had a flat! I finally decided to ask somebody to help me, and thanks to youtube, I have seen a few changed now, so when I go out next year I will be ready. I will still keep my fingers crossed, so I won't get a flat though. Bottom line is, don't think badly of yourself just because you might be a little mechanically "declined", so to speak like I am. lol
I am so proud that you have the courage to go out and have some fun. I am the same exact way when it comes to riding. We are like modern Jebediah Smiths or any of the other great explorers of the past. That sense of adventure lives in us all, you can say that about just about everybody on this site! Thanks for the ride report.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:18 PM   #89
Paddygfw
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After all the hundreds of thousands of miles I have put on bikes, I have never even had a flat!.
You must be getting all my luck
I am a nail magnet (that's what my wife tells me) it seems everytime I put a new tire on I get a flat. The up side is I am an expert on plugging tires
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:42 PM   #90
alcanrider
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or someone to snuggle with.........

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Thanks for the info Merlin! Just keep in mind that anything under 70 degrees I consider cold. (I am from Hawaii after all)
As far as Colorado nights went, I guess I was lucky, most nights got to about 55-60, and I had a fleece blanket inside my -20 sleeping bag, and piled my riding jacket on top of it all including my sweaters and my towel. Even then I'd wake up as soon as the jacket slipped off! Yep, I need a better sleeping bag
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