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Old 09-09-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
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A CannonRide Through The Door

Another CannonRide. This one takes in rolling and twisty riding for big bikes via designated Rustic Roads, shore roads, and a trip through the Kettle Moraine. We'll get the usual portion of history including early settlers, shipwrecks, developing industry, Indians, and an array of other (hopefully) interesting anecdotes. We'll check out the scenery along the way and introduce some places of interest that some may want to explore further in their own travels.

































The Door? This refers to the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin, Door County, and "Death's Door". Much of the ride concentrates on exploring this notable area in the midwest.


This ride takes a minimum of 4-5 days to complete (lots to see) and begins in southeast Wisconsin and runs out to the tip of the Door Peninsula and back. It can be ridden as a single loop or in segments of one's choosing. I'll share a GPS file with tracks and points of interest for others to use as they see fit.




A GPX file for this ride can be downloaded here.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:34 PM   #2
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:37 PM   #3
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:38 PM   #4
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:39 PM   #5
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:27 PM   #6
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Segment 1 -Whitewater Lake to Eagle

The ride starts out near Whitewater, WI, at the Whitewater Lake Recreation Area.


In this area, it follows the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive (KMSD). The KMSD is a designated scenic route that traverses landscape shaped by the most recent glaciers in the area. It runs through the heart of the southern and northern units of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The route is pretty well marked by these signs and is about 115 miles long.


The route threads past scenic lakes formed by the glaciers shaping the terrain.


Someone thought up the idea of the KMSD in the 1940s. Eventually it all came together.


Many people enjoy this winding and rolling path as it makes it's way north through some spectacular forests.




A popular spot for cyclists (motor and otherwise) to stop and enjoy some ice cream.


Back during the days when the area was being settled. A militia group that was chasing Indians camped near here.


Around 1804, the President decided that it was time to move local Indian tribes to the west side of the Mississippi. The deal was that they didn't have to move right away, they could wait until there were enough settlers coming into the region to where the land needed to be divided up. Around 1820 it was time. Chief Blackhawk moved to Iowa, but later defiantly moved back across the river. Violence took hold and the militia started chasing Blackhawk and his tribe. The chase led through this area.


We didn't have a large regular Army so citizens were called up as militia. The mix of untrained militia, regulars, and the Indians made the chase and ensuing battles kind of a giant cluster. By the way, future Presidents Abe Lincoln and Zachary Taylor were part of the forces involved in what came to be called the Blackhawk War of 1832. Jefferson Davis, future Presdient of the Confederate States of America, was also involved. Anyway, when some of the forces camped here, the leaders went to the top of Bald Bluff to survey the area. Kind of neat to stand up there today and think about what was taking place back then.


I read Blackhawk's book on this subject to see what his point of view was. The government point of view was that Blackhawk was a troublemaker who also fought with the British in the war of 1812. The war ended when the troops caught up with Blackhawk at the Mississippi River and killed many of those who didn't already drown trying to get across the river. As was the practice at the time in dealing with Indian leaders, Blackhawk was taken on a tour back east to see the highly developed world (cities, transportation, etc) of the non-Indians so that he would be convinced it was futile to resist. I think there were around 70 losses for settlers and soldiers and losses in the hundreds for Blackhawk's tribe.


Glaciers involve dumping all kinds of till in various landforms. Much of this till involves rocks. Since rocks were such easily accessible building material, there are a lot of stone buildings along the route.


Stones large and small.




Or combinations of stones and logs.


Lakes are abundant in this area.


Worthwhile stops along the route are the visitor centers for the State Forests.


This one also has a museum with great exhibits on the glaciers, wildlife, and early settlers. Well worth the stop.


We still have some rail service to a number of small towns in this region. It died off for a while but now has staged a comeback. Granted, it is no high speed corridor, but it does move freight and commodities in and out.


Wisconsin has a federal trail called the Ice Age Trail. It follows a path of glaciation across the state and is a huge project that is still developing. The goal is to allow someone to hike a continuous path along the entire 1,000+ mile trail. We'll come across this path many times on our route. Remarkably, I think an adventure motorcyclist is the manager of this trail.




There are many fine trails in the state forest in this region, but none are open to wheeled motorized travel.


Old World Wisconsin is along our path. It is a historical exhibit that depicts life on the farmsteads and in the early settlements in the area. There are living exhibits that recreate activities that can range from blacksmithing to working teams of oxen.


There are themed exhibit areas.


Some exhibits change with the seasons.


I think it was last year that a kick-ass tornado came through here. As you ride the route, you will see some of the damage. Even the sturdy oaks took a bad beating.


The path went across Old World Wisconsin and eventually got into a subdivision in Eagle. Once it got into the subdivision, it did some serious damage including completely destroying the fire chief's house. Thankfully the basement offered sufficient shelter and protection for his family.


You can see how sturdy those old barns were. This one at Old World survived even though the surrounding trees were snapped like toothpicks.


Once you get to Eagle, stop and see this guy to check out the Urals. He was a dealer, but I don't see him listed anymore. He has had 2-3 machines in his shop though.


Diamonds (and other stuff) are not so unusual to find in this area because of glaciers moving stuff around from the far north.


Railroad through the heart of the town.


More glacial till as building material.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:31 PM   #7
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Segment 2 - Eagle to Delafield


(The red lines highlight designated Rustic Roads.)

Kettle Moraine topography has kettles that sometimes have springs or fill with water. You will pass several on the ride.




The scenic drive winds and rolls through the forest.




More stone.


Rustic road.


Because of the glacial topography, some of these roads have sharp drops on them. Not always so visible in the pictures, but very fun to ride.


Sometimes the drops are sharp enough to bottom out vehicles.




In Wisconsin we have over 100 designated Rustic Roads. These go well with motorcycling. In fact, if you take pictures of your bike at the various signs, the State of Wisconsin will send you a patch for pix at ten different roads or a certificate for 25. Pictures like this work fine.


If you follow my track on this ride, you will hit eleven Rustic Roads and will get this sew on patch. More on Rustic Roads here.




Ride up to the observation tower on top of Lapham Peak in the state park. A great view. Our local boy Lapham was a big player in the formation of the National Weather Service.




Lots of glacial lakes in this area.




This boy's school (prison) just down the hill started out as an asylum for tuberculosis.




Nice forest here.


The Ice Age Trail runs across this peak.


Nearby Delafield has some unique architecture throughout much of the town.




Hotel in town.


Aerial view of Delafield and the surrounding lakes.


Hawk's Inn was a stage stop built in 1846 using hand hewed timbers and hand made nails. Note the contrast of old and new with the new hotel in the background. (Wisconsin became a state in 1848.)


Even the bars follow the architecture . . .


And the gas station . . .


The town also has a military academy. Nice looking place.




Some notables that attended here? The guy that started Gerber baby food was one as was the guy that started Guidant Corp. One of the Apollo 13 astronauts (Lovell) had his kid enrolled here (as depicted in the movie) during his near fatal trip to the moon. Oh yeah, the Commander of the Marines at Iwo Jima during WWII also came out of this place. Curt Roosevelt (grandson to president) who was a delegate to the UN. Trevon Hughes - starting point guard at UW-Madison. And let's not forget the President of Panama (Marty Torrijos). Also, a former CEO of Texas Instruments. Dan Rostenkowski (Ill Rep). Also, an ambassador to Russia who helped develop The Marshall Plan. You get the idea . . .


Northwestern used to be an elegant naval academy on Geneva Lake in Wisconsin. Real estate on the lake was worth so much that the place sold out and the school merged with this one. By the way, local boy Spencer Tracy went to Northwestern on Geneva Lake but he didn't finish. He did score a couple of Academy Awards though.


It is kind of inspiring to look around the campus.








Aerial view of the campus.




The elegant hatchery building is now a community center.


Another great Rustic Road.




This one also threads between some lakes.


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Old 09-09-2011, 10:45 PM   #8
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Fantastic!! Thank you.
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:14 AM   #9
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Good stuff.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:32 AM   #10
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When you get a chance, think you could give a short blurb on that Fly?
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
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In.
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Fantastic!! Thank you.
Thanks for riding along. Hope you enjoy it.

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When you get a chance, think you could give a short blurb on that Fly?
Fly Trekker DS Helmet. Fits very comfortably. Has excellent ventilation. Very quiet helmet. Has flip down windshield but also takes a set of goggles even with the windshield down. I like it much more than my Shoei Hornet.
More info here.

Not good for camera work though. Better to wear one where the chin flips up to give unrestricted access to the camera viewfinder.
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:06 PM   #12
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Fly Trekker DS Helmet. Fits very comfortably. Has excellent ventilation. Very quiet helmet. Has flip down windshield but also takes a set of goggles even with the windshield down. I like it much more than my Shoei Hornet.
More info here.

Not good for camera work though. Better to wear one where the chin flips up to give unrestricted access to the camera viewfinder.
Thanks, appreciate the review.
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:32 PM   #13
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Segment 3 - Into the Northern Unit of KMSF to Greenbush





More glacial lakes along the way.


The overhanging trees are scenic but often interfere with my satellite radio.






Nice curvy backroads.


Designated Rustic Roads often have guide signs when they change direction.


Sporty.


Another Rustic Road and the required shot of the bike at the sign.


These turkeys are all over the place.


Relax . . . it is not what you think.


Holy Hill involves a church perched on top of a glacial feature.


If you visit this hill (formerly called Miracle Hill) at certain times of the year, it is supposed to bring cures for all kinds of maladies.


Father Marquette discovered this hill in 1673 on his way through the neighborhood on his discovery travels. Marquette wrote about it in his diary.


You can climb one of the spires - spectacular view.


Anyway, some German priest who had been recreant to his vows sought to do pennance in the new world. He read about this spot in Marquette's diary. He headed off to find the hill but took sick in Chicago and became paralytic. He eventually continued on to find the hill and when he did he crawled up it which happened to cure him of his paralysis. Since then, every year some people make a trek to the hill hoping for cures.


Stone barn in Slinger.


Old fire lookout on top of a ski hill.


We don't want to confuse this fire lookout with . . .


. . . this deluxe deer hunting stand.


More lakes.


These geese are kicked back in a safe spot. It is early goose season in Wisconsin right now. Early goose hunting involves hunting local geese - the kind that hang around all year and don't migrate too far. Usually they live in town or on golf courses where they remain fairly safe. The problem is that we now have a very significant population of these geese and often they are a nuisance.


Local road signs reflect the terrain.




Not many old bridges like this around anymore.


Ivy covered rural church.






Ice Age Interpretive Center. Info and exhibits about the area.


This is how the last glacier looked about 18,000 years ago.


These are some of the common glacial features that make the roads so entertaining around this area.




Sometimes a road will go up and over one of these drumlins.


A road along an esker can be winding fun.


The glacier drug this big hunk of copper down from the UP. Lots of "out of place" stuff turns up.


Map of that 1,000+ mile ice age trail we keep running into.


Lots of bikes out riding the state forest today.




Another kettle pond. Important habitat.


This one is in the woods, but it is a little dry right now.


When you come across some fruit trees, it likely means there was a homestead there at one time.


The Wade House was a stage stop that is now an exhibit.


Wade built the place over four years beginning in 1847 at a total cost of $300. A lot of big deals were discussed in this place including the railroads and the Civil War. They also had a blacksmith shop on the site that did stagecoach repairs.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:51 PM   #14
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Can't help but notice your Fort McCoy sticker, What brings you there? Next time your heading to the Sparta area look me up.


Now back to our regularily scheduled Cannon ride....
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:23 AM   #15
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Can't help but notice your Fort McCoy sticker, What brings you there? Next time your heading to the Sparta area look me up.


Now back to our regularily scheduled Cannon ride....
Retired. I do make it to Tomah from time to time.
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