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Old 08-24-2013, 01:36 PM   #46
WVhillbilly
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I'm an equipment operator for a geotech company. We prop up things that would rather fall down.
Guess I'll clean up the trailer, so my employer can change my plans again.

Sorry for the hi jack, but the pictures are great and the riding looks interesting.
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Old 08-24-2013, 05:25 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVhillbilly View Post
Once again I may be headed up there for work.
Enough riding season left to drag my bike with me?
Absolutely! September is a prime month, and October and November are fine too as long as you dress warm. We may get snow but it usually doesn't stay until mid-November. I always ride into November- my last ride of 2012 was on Thanksgiving, and it was one of the best rides of the year. We had a blizzard the next day
Cheers,
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:23 PM   #48
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Warm clothes I have.
Winter is too long here to be a fair weather rider
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:59 PM   #49
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How I feed myself

Warning:
The following post contains images and descriptions that may be unsuitable or offensive to some readers.

If your camp cooking requirements resemble this:


And if you need this equipment to make a cup of coffee while Adventure Touring:





Then you would be well advised to skip over this post, or at least be prepared to avert your eyes. You have been warned!


With that said, welcome to Dave's Diner, where our motto is, “It Makes A Turd”.


Seriously, I have the utmost respect and admiration for anyone who is willing not only to carry all that cooking and coffee'ing gear, but to actually take the time to use it. But that's not me. I enjoy good food as much as anyone, but I find it just doesn't matter on a trip. Riding is the reason I ride, and fueling myself is just a necessity, like fueling the bike. So my gear and provisioning is pretty basic.
The stove is a Fancy Feast can, the priming pan is a pickle jar lid, the windscreen is cut from a disposable roasting pan, and it all fits into a grease pot from Kmart:



Fuel is Heet, easy to replenish at any gas stop.



Dinner tonight is a pouch of protoplasm mixed with a bag of vegetable matter:



Boil the water for the spuds and heat the Spam all at once:



This meal was an experiment, and it was actually very good- better than the dehydrated backpacking meals I've tried. I sometimes take canned chili, Chunky soups, ravioli, or those bagged “tortilla stuffers”. Anything that requires only heating, or at most, boiling water.


Breakfast used to always be granola and fruit cocktail mixed together. Tasty, but on chilly mornings it's nice to have something warm. I can't stand oatmeal at home but I find it answers well enough when camping. And my coffee? The cheapest instant I can find. So here was breakfast on day 2:



I've tried the dehydrated scrambled eggs, and aside from being outrageously priced, I found them to taste about like a chopped up grout sponge, with salt added.


Lunches are usually just munchies- granola bars, jerky, trail mix. And sometimes I'll grab a gas station hot dog or a fast food dollar burger. I never do sit-down restaurants when I'm traveling solo but when my wife is along we sometimes will get a decent lunch in a diner or whatever. Otherwise I don't much care-as long as it fills the void, and makes a turd.


Next up, day 2.


Cheers,
Dave
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:09 PM   #50
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Nice pix! It was great meeting you the other day.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:19 PM   #51
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Yer killing me down here with those great pics! Me and the boy got a trip up your way in September I wish it was sooner.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:57 PM   #52
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Day 2

Got an embarrassingly late start on Day 2 (a disadvantage of hammock camping- too comfy, too easy to sleep in), but after the aforementioned oatmeal I packed up and headed south where I reconnected with the Peshekee Grade at 4 Beers corner. The plan today was to head south to run some roads and trails towards Gwinn, then past Crystal Falls into Wisconsin, ending up camping somewhere in the Chequamegon-Nicolet N.F. Near Eagle River. The plan worked, mostly.
A pretty impressive cut on the Peshekee Grade:



Might be a fun spot for some bouldering:



Another great camp. Note cement block on roof.



I wanted to get to Dee Lundeen falls, supposedly accessible from Hwy 41 near Champion. Wasted 45 minutes trying every road and trail in the general area but they all ended with gates or No Trespassing signs. If anyone local can give me info on how to get there, I'd be obliged. As it was I gave up.
Gassed up at Koski's Corner, then headed down 95 a few miles to the RR grade ATV trail. These Railroad grade trails don't offer twisty or technical riding, but they take you places you can't get to any other way. Here the trail cuts right across this wetland- they'd never be able to build a trail here nowadays. But what a pretty spot.






The trails and forest roads between Channing and Gwinn are superb. Some shots:





Another phone nailed to a tree:



An ADV sticker on the sign:



And Fred's epitaph:



It was getting late and I had a long way to go yet so no more pictures from that area. But great riding, Big Wheels road is a blast. I hit the blacktop near Silver Lake (not the same as the basin up north) and due to time just slabbed it from there into Crystal. Gassed up and slammed a couple dogs at the Krist Oil station (no longer a Citgo), then headed into Alpha. My son and daughter-in-law live in Alpha, and I felt a little guilty about passing 2 blocks from their house without stopping, but I had to keep rolling. My plan was to cross into Wisconsin at the end of Pentoga Trail and take in some of the roads in the N.F., but I spaced out and kept on 424 clear into Caspian before I realized I'd missed my turn. So I doubled back on the ORV trail to Pentoga. This error cost me at least 45 minutes and the shadows were really getting long now. Only took one more shot on the road this day, this is somewhere in the Nicolet northeast of Tipler. Splendid roads here.



Due to my late start, waterfall chasing, and navigational error, I decided I didn't really have time to find a stealth spot to camp that night so I reluctantly paid the $12 to camp at Kentuck Lake, near Eagle River. I got there just before sunset and I think I got the last spot. This is a popular fishing lake and most of the campers had fishing boats. I feared it might be pretty noisy but these were serious fishermen- they were early to bed, and when I woke up at 6 the next morning, most were already gone, presumably out on the lake.


A nice day of riding. 241 miles total.
More to come.


Cheers,
Dave
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:51 PM   #53
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Guess I should wrap this up...


Got packed and rolling by 7:00, and headed towards Eagle River. Camp at Kentuck Lake:



I had told Yooper_Bob I'd look him up at the rally, and I also wanted to meet Cannonshot & shake his hand. Living and riding in the U.P. I see very few D/S motorcycles. 4-wheelers and side-by-sides are king here. So it was cool to see all those bikes in the campground. Met Yooper_Bob and his wife & daughter (great talking to ya Bob) and as it happened, Cannon was right across from them, so I got to meet him as well. (Thanks again Bryan for all the great work you do.) Mentioned I was planning on hitting some of his tracks in the Flambeau area that day, and his response was, “hmmm, rocky”. Spot on, but a welcome change from sand.


For some reason I didn't take many pictures this day, although the riding was fantastic. I hit more paved roads than the days before, but they were nice twisty ones, not just straight highways. Saw the covered bridge:





Can't decide between single track or two-track? Oneida county gives you both!




At about 6:30 I found myself in Land O' Lakes and decided I'd had enough fun. My wife wasn't expecting me until Sunday afternoon but I decided to head on home anyway. She was heading to Duluth to put her Aunt & Uncle on a plane to home, and I decided I'd go with them. So another fun ride through the Ottawa and I was home just at dark, Saturday night.


It was a great trip. I really need to get back up by Silver lake and do some more exploring. This ride was a good balance of trails, forest roads, and some pavement. And as much as I like the convenience of just following GPS tracks, it does get a little mind-numbing after a while, but I had enough scouting, heading in a general direction, and getting lost to counteract that. Can't wait for the next one!


Overview of the ride. (I edited out some of my more embarrassing navigational blunders. Total mileage for the 3+ days was 849)



We usually head up to Big Eric's for Labor Day but due to circumstances that's not going to happen this year. I am hoping to get a couple day rides in though- maybe Gwinn area, maybe down into Wisconsin. Dunno yet.


Se you on the trail.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:54 AM   #54
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Thank You

Last month (July) was the first time I had the opportunity to see the UP. My wife and I hit the highlights, but what you're doing by incorporating hammock camping, backpacking stuff and a moto is EXACTLY what I wish to be doing someday. I already have the hammock (WBBB) and the backpacking stuff, and I'm nearly done with the (my first) bike (totally unsuited for this kind of riding, but good for exploring Ohio roads and packed 2-tracks etc). So, thank again for taking the time to photograph and write about your experiences. It gives those of us who aren't there yet a mental escape and something to plan for. Cheers!
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:26 AM   #55
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Wow, thanks. Looks terrible. I'll certainly never go now that I know. Definitely not next weekend.
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:29 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb200t View Post
Last month (July) was the first time I had the opportunity to see the UP. My wife and I hit the highlights, but what you're doing by incorporating hammock camping, backpacking stuff and a moto is EXACTLY what I wish to be doing someday. I already have the hammock (WBBB) and the backpacking stuff, and I'm nearly done with the (my first) bike (totally unsuited for this kind of riding, but good for exploring Ohio roads and packed 2-tracks etc). So, thank again for taking the time to photograph and write about your experiences. It gives those of us who aren't there yet a mental escape and something to plan for. Cheers!
The hammock works for me-I know some say they can't sleep in one but I find them better than a bed. I even have one slung in my computer room at home, so whenever my wife's out of town our bed never gets used! Obviously you need trees, but that's not really a problem up here in the woods. Some bigger, more developed campgrounds may be a bit sparse on trees, but I avoid those places anyway. And you may have to look harder for sites that will accommodate several hammocks- but again, when all three of us camp we've not had any issues, at least where I like to go. But my back rejoices when I sleep in a hammock, so I take whatever steps are needed.
Don't let the bike limit you- as long as you're comfortable on gravel you can get to a lot of very cool places. May just have to go a bit slower on the rough parts. Don't delay- just go!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrol View Post
Wow, thanks. Looks terrible. I'll certainly never go now that I know. Definitely not next weekend.
Where are you NOT going next weekend?

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:00 PM   #57
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Labor Day 2013

Our usual Labor Day for the past decade or so has been to haul the bikes up north for some riding and camping. This year we decided to stay at the family cabin instead, but we took the bikes and got a couple good days of riding in.


Saturday:

Since #3 son got married and moved to Alpha I don't get to ride with him as often as I'd like so on Saturday we trailered the bikes over there and he, his little sister (princessbee), and I rode the roads and trails between Channing and Gwinn. Son rode the queen's 225; he's 6'2” so it's kind of a mis-match. But he's always liked that bike.


We unloaded the bikes near the Porterfield singletrack area- none of that for us though, we just stayed on the back roads.
We found a nice campsite on a lake:







Complete with toilet facilities:


And a launch ramp:


We visited Fred's helmet:



And we found the location of the Escanaba River lookout tower. I wasn't too surprised to find the tower gone- most towers have been torn down. All we found of it was a couple of footings:


But adjacent to the tower location was an old foundation and chimney- yes, another chimney-without-a-house. I assume it was living quarters for whoever manned the tower. It was a pretty cool find.




A great day to ride.




About halfway through the ride I swapped bikes with my son so he could try out the 350. then about 10 miles from the end I let the princess ride the 225 since it'll probably be her bike next year when she's street legal. She's ridden it before and does fine on it. She pronounced the Seat Concepts seat “amazing”, and after 55 miles on a CRF150 seat I can see why she'd feel that way. Oh, by the way, guess who rode the 150 the last 10 miles? You guessed it, good old Dad, looking like a clown on it.


A few miles from the end we stopped at this nice picnic area on the Michigamme River.



Total miles was about 66, the longest ride by far that the princess has ever taken, and she did most of it on her CRF which has a 2x4 for a seat.


A great day of riding, followed by a terrific meal with the in-laws, then back to Presque Isle for the night.


Sunday:

The plan for Sunday was a day-long ride with the Queen, mostly into Wisconsin. There's really no areas around P.I. where my daughter can legally ride, but she was willing to stay at the cabin so we could go. Thanks sweetie! And, truth be told, her butt was so sore she probably couldn't have ridden anyway.


Our route took in parts of Cannonshot's tracks through the Northern Highland- American Legion State Forest. I've ridden there before and I thought the Queen would enjoy it. She likes trail riding as long as it's in moderate doses and not too gnarly. And if I take her through too much sand she starts looking mariticidal. So I figured these trails would be fun. I also mixed in some pavement and promised her a nice lunch at the Wolf Pack in St Germain or Leif's in Eagle. My plan worked, mostly.


It rained pretty good Saturday night, and Sunday started off gray and threatening. We packed some munchies, water, and of course, rain gear, and headed out.
Crab Lake road is always fun:



Trail near Boulder Junction:


She's never seen the Stevenson house, so we stopped there and poked around:




Here, the Queen stumbled upon a letterbox, which is a hobby I'd never heard of. We signed the book, but I guess we'll have to go back sometime and stamp it to be right and proper.


The stretch of trail south of Plum Lake had plenty of puddles, none too deep and all with nice firm bottoms. I went through them the fun way:



While the Queen went through them the boring way:


We were pretty hungry by the time we hit St. Germain, but alas! the Wolf Pack Cafe had closed at noon, which we were well past by then. No problema, we'll go to Eagle and hit Leif's. So onward, through the fantastic fire lanes of the Vilas County forest, into Eagle River. I'm sure you know what happened next- Leif's was closed as well. “You sure know how to show a girl a good time” was the Queen's comment. It was looking like McDonald's until I remembered the Friendship House. So she got the lunch I'd promised, although it was more like an early dinner by then.


We took some paved back roads from there to County B, the on to the epic Thousand Island Lake Road, which had her grinning from ear to ear. She really likes twisty blacktop the best.


A bit later, we crested a rise near Cisco lake and came upon 4 deer, one of which was an albino. I've never seen one before, so it was pretty cool. We shut down the bikes and watched them for a couple minutes, then coasted slowly down to try and get a closer picture. They casually crossed the road and wandered into the woods, never alarmed by us at all.

Made me wish I had my good camera with some long glass. My beat-up old P&S just wasn't quite up to the job.


Almost home:


Got back to the cabin a little before dark. We'd managed to dodge the rain all day, sometimes riding on freshly wetted roads but never in the rain. That pattern held right up to the end- the cabin is on an island and five minutes after we got across in the boat the sky opened up.


As usual, we saw no other dual sports on either day. There was a pickup with 2 dirt bikes headed to Porterfield on Saturday, and we saw the tire tracks of a bike on one stretch Sunday, but no bikes. Where are all the dual sporters?


Even though we broke with our usual tradition, it was a great way to spend a long weekend. Here's hoping for a long, mild fall.



Cheers,
Dave
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:22 PM   #58
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Local rides, and some geocaching

It's been a while since I posted anything in this thread- time for riding has been limited but I've managed to get out on some local trails and back roads, so I'll post up a few pictures of what the riding is like right near home.


The town where I live, like many small towns, is spiderwebbed with ATV trails, old railroad grades, and old mining roads left over from the days of the iron mines. And once out of town, there are miles of forest and logging roads to explore. I don't ride them as much as I used to, jaded perhaps, but lately I've been hitting a few old familiar trails.


I recently took up Geocaching, which has been part of the reason I've been revisiting the local stuff. It goes well with dual sport riding, and gives even a short, after-work ride a sense of purpose, if just riding isn't enough of a purpose. I found there were several caches fairly close to home, near trails I've ridden many times.


So I'll post some images from rides I've taken in the past four or five weeks, all short afternoon or morning rides.


This, my first find, is less than a mile from my house, just off a trail I've ridden countless times. There's a cache somewhere here, in this old car.

I think most of that will buff out.


A few miles into Wisconsin is Spring Camp Falls. Most people view this from the west side, but there's also a road in from the east, and there's a geocache there. A view of the falls:



This was a tough one to find, I'll post a spoiler picture here but this tree was a ways off the trail and I nearly gave up:

There's something vaguely obscene about this, or is it just me?


Some great roads:





Rode over to Upson Falls, a real gem of a waterfall that's right off the road. In fact you can see it without even getting out of your car if you want. There's a town park and campground there, and the spot is popular with photographers taking outdoor portraits, especially seniors (the high school kind, not the fifty cent coffee kind). Plenty of water still, even in mid September:



And there's a cache here:



A few days later I headed over to some trails in the hills south of Bessemer, looking for a couple more caches.
This is typical of the area- drive down a street and you see a trail heading off into some woods:




This one's a little washed out:




There are lots of caved-in areas, the result of all the mining that used to go on here. This fence is surrounding about a 5 acre hole in the ground.



Somewhere along the fence line is a cache. See it?



Another old road, this one was paved!



Found this cache, the biggest one I've found so far.



Common sight in the woods:



September 24, a short after-work ride to see how the leaves were looking.
Starting to get some color, but nowhere near their best:




Hogsback road, so named because most of it runs along a ridgeline with steep ravines both sides.





I rode some yesterday and the colors were at their peak, so I'll work on getting a few of those pics posted. Just had to get caught up on the earlier stuff first. Thanks for looking in.



Cheers,
Dave
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:35 PM   #59
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Fall colors

Took a couple of rides out towards Lake Superior to check out the fall color. The colors are starting to fade now but it seems that they last a little longer the closer you get to the lake.


On Monday I got done with work early so I decided to take a back trail out to Powers Road. Some nice color along the way:





This trail has a lot of mud holes in spring and early summer but they're usually dry by August or September. Not this year though; there's still a lot of water in the woods. Got the bike dirty:





The trail crosses Mud Creek on this snowmobile bridge:



Mud creek is swollen, almost like during spring melt:



There's another trail downstream of the bridge that fords the creek. I figured there would be too much water to try it and I'm glad I took the bridge. For comparison, here's a picture from a few years back of the Queen crossing in late summer or early fall:

This year the water's 3 feet deep or more.


A few pics to show that there's no good riding at this end of the U.P.




Sorry if they're blurry. Light was kinda dim in the trees.


Nice Lake Superior overlook on Powers Road.



There's a cache somewhere down there:

Bingo.

Took a picture with the camera.



Then on up to the top of Bald Mountain. View and colors from up there were stunning, my pictures don't do it justice.

Copper Peak ski jump on horizon:



Another cache up there:



There was more I wanted to ride to but it was getting late, so headed home. I don't like riding in the dark.
That Friday I was on the road a little before dawn, heading back out to the same area. My destination for the morning was what the locals call “Little Grand Canyon”.
I turned off the blacktop at Powers Road:




Rode more lousy local trails:





More mud:



And my goal:





That's the Montreal River about 200 feet below, and Wisconsin on the other side. This is the stretch of the river that the whitewater kayak guys run in the spring of the year, between Saxon Falls and Superior Falls.


The trail out followed a power line for a while:



That was my morning ride. Had a great time and I was home by 0930. Thanks for coming along.


Cheers,
Dave
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:01 PM   #60
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How's the weather up there? I've got a few free days starting Tuesday and going to the UP is among my choices of destinations.
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