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Old 06-19-2012, 02:52 PM   #91
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On to Wawa.




Wawa has kind of gone in and out of business with the coming and going of mining. There was an gold strike around 1900 that petered out a few years later leaving the town largely abandoned. Eventually iron mining came into being and the place eventually thrived.






Lots of folks stop here. Nice place - full of trinkets. Gas on site. Old worn out moose to pose with.


This place must have been big back in the day. I think I ate here once before.


Drill for boring blast holes.


This thing used compressed air to remove the chips and cuttings from the bottom of the hole allowing continuous cutting. It ran on five electric motors.


It could sink that bit at a rate of 2 1/4 mph. Fast.






This guy was enjoying a glassy smooth lake.




The Helen Mine was back this way. The mine got going early in the 1900s. A railway was built from a nearby harbor to the mine (thus the beginning of the Algoma Central). A steel plant was built on the St Mary's River and four ships were purchased to haul ore to the plant. Coal was also brought to the harbor to power the transcontinental railroad that passed north of Wawa.


I wonder if this is how the voyageurs got their start.


Not much going on highway wise as you go some places to the north.


I was behind this guy for a while, but I don't think he knew where the heck he was going.


Magpie Falls.




A view of some of the mines in the area.




Heading out to the old harbor on the lake.


Nice beach along the way.


Looking toward the harbor.


What is left today.


This gentleman saw me nosing around the area and came over to say hello. Turned out he had a lot of great information about the site. He has been there about 40 years.


He had some great old photos of the place when it was in operation.


I guess they kept some Luftwaffe PWs here during the war. They had to move pulp off railroad cars and load ships/barges by hand.


The place had ore, coal, and timber operations going. The ore was of a lower grade with too much sulphur and arsenic so it had to be treated to make it more suitable for blast furnaces. They would bring in limestone and coal for coke. They would make a bed of ore, limestone, and coke and burn it. The "clinkers" would then be suitable for the mills and would be shipped. I think this is similar to the modern sintering we do now. Somewhere around here there was to be one hell of a contaminated site.


There used to be a store and a gas station here. Also a school. Quite an operation for a while.


The mine had the usual share problems. 100 pounds of dynamite exploded accidentally killing two workers and blowing a third down a shaft to his death. In 1955, they set off 153 tons of powder in twelve simultaneous explosions that blasted over a million tons of ore. It took them over six months to remove it all.


The mine shut down in 1998 and this place just faded away. An aggregate company bought some of the land for a pit but environmental issues may have stalled their progress.


Swung through the nearby reserve to see what was up.




Not much different than the others.


Starting in the 1700s there was a fur trading outfit here at Michiticopen. It lasted until 1904. Some guy rigged up his own wind generators.


Falls at the harbor near the old trading community.


One of those old booms for hauling log rafts across the lake. They ran some log rafts from this area as well.


Don't know that I ever saw one of these before.


Hydro stations are scattered about as there are plenty of opportunities to develop power in the region. This one started with some used equipment from New York back around the time of WWI. It was recently rebuilt.


This old road runs past some of the old gold mine locations (Surluga Road).




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Old 06-19-2012, 02:54 PM   #92
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i love your RR's and really dig all the history stuff you put into them!
Thanks Mike! I'm glad you are enjoying it.

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Hemlo - The gold strike there was exciting stuff in the 80s. One of the mines (Noranda?) was located on Yellow Brick Rd.

Schreiber - home to the Filane's business empire, including the Can-Op on Hwy 17. Featuring Cosimo Filane the singer, Hollywood Filane the boxer, a hockey team, and a bottled water company. Definitely makes for an interesting fuel stop.
Enterprising place for sure.
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:03 PM   #93
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Hey! That's my community club! We meet there about once a month, in fact last month was our annual highway clean up. Looking at your route, you came down county 6 from Finland to HW61. You passed my place, just as you begin the long downhill towards the Lake. Stop by next time and say hi, or better yet swing over during the Shindig.

Being the new guy to the area, it's been fun chatting with the locals who have been around a while. Little Marais has some neat history as a fishing and logging community. The Fensted family owned much of the area for a few generations.



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On to Taconite Harbor.

Little Marais was a fishing town that started up in the 1890s. They sold fish to Duluth, sometimes rowing a load 40 miles to sell and pick up supplies. In 1912 they offered mail order fish. The first cow delivered here had to swim to shore from a ship. In 1914 a local fisherman loaned $1K to start up a phone company. This 1910 school house is now a community club.


As always you're doing a fantastic job capturing your rides!


Here are some pictures from atop the Finland radar site. MikeS and I were up there last year. It's gone through several investments since the Air Force decommissioned it. I was going to be turned into vacation property, then a scout campgrounds, etc. It's spooky driving through there and seeing rows of abandoned suburban homes. You posted a picture of the Northwoods cafe in Silver Bay too, many of the Air Force vets retired in Finland and Silver Bay after the radar site shut down. There is still a group of old officers that get coffee every morning at the Northwoods Cafe. They are fun to talk to, I make it a point to strike up a conversation with them anytime I'm there. They talk a lot about the contamination on site. Apparently they had some low grade radio active tubes that they were responsible for. Unfortunately, they were told they couldn't throw them away, but the Air Force never provided an alternative disposal, so they just berried them. This has lead to contamination that is being dealt with now.







That horizon goes on for a while! You don't have to be a radar engineer to see how well positioned this site was for the job.

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Old 06-19-2012, 08:26 PM   #94
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Wawa

For what it is worth... Wawa is "famous" for having 3 geese statues :





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Old 06-20-2012, 12:08 PM   #95
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Headed toward Sault Ste Marie.


Michipicoten River. Part of that canoe route to the interior from days gone by.


Was going to go look at an old mine. Road was kind of dim and a local guy said there wasn't much there anyway so I skipped it.












Tried to figure out what this was all about.


Maybe some kind of study?






Agawa Rock pictographs. I didn't walk the trail down there. Here is a web pic of a pictograph from the site.




Commercial fishing boats.



Clear water in the harbor.


Processing facility.




Looks like an old range light.




Gas and trinkets.


Full service. Guy pumps gas for you and even has a rag to prevent drips on the tank paint.




Very small commercial fishing boat.


Seen better days.






I mapped out a nice back way through the woods across a peninsula.


Bear number 3 here - stnding in the road.


Now standing in the woods just off the road.


Once you leave the shore the roads across the peninsula go from pavement to this.


There was a patch or two of soft sand to deal with as well.


If you don't want to deal with this, just stay on the highway and by-pass the peninsula.


Couple of local guys.


Always a night time moose hazard on this route across the north shore.


Camped just north of Sault Ste Marie.
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:11 PM   #96
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Hey! That's my community club! We meet there about once a month, in fact last month was our annual highway clean up. Looking at your route, you came down county 6 from Finland to HW61. You passed my place, just as you begin the long downhill towards the Lake. Stop by next time and say hi, or better yet swing over during the Shindig.

Being the new guy to the area, it's been fun chatting with the locals who have been around a while. Little Marais has some neat history as a fishing and logging community. The Fensted family owned much of the area for a few generations.

As always you're doing a fantastic job capturing your rides!

Here are some pictures from atop the Finland radar site.
Thanks! The Fenstads were pretty enterprising folks. Thanks for the look at the radar site as well!

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For what it is worth... Wawa is "famous" for having 3 geese statues :
I guess geese to skein up a little.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:45 PM   #97
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Sault Ste Marie, ON Part I


Township Park and museum.


Once can really appreciate the labor and skill to build a durable log cabin.


I wanted to make a nice loop around Gros Cap. Went up on the bluff. Nice ride.


Just before I got to the shore, my luck ran out.


Looking across to Michigan.


Had to backtrack to the paved road.


Navaid out in the channel.


This pesky girl was working the trash cans on the edge of town.


Pretty bold bear.




Must be something tasty in there.


Score.


I was on the shoulder and the bear was just across the ditch.


Finally she got nervous and headed for cover.




Crime scene. The Ministry of Natural Resources tells you to call the cops, not them.


Nice campground down by the airport.










Motocross track in the area.


When I came back through I checked on that bear. She got irritated about me coming back and slapped the tree a couple of times to drive me off.




This charming lady came home while I was watching the bear in her yard. We had a pleasant chat about their bear troubles and motorcycles and stuff.


I walked over with her to chase the bear back into the woods so she could pick up the garbage.


Swung past that steel mill I mentioned earlier when I was talking about the mine in Wawa.


Self unloader.




Algoma scenic railway rolling stock.




Getting ready for the season.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:09 PM   #98
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Sault Ste Marie, ON Part II
Checking out the lock on the Canadian side. They used to tow canoes and larger boats through the rapids. Around 1797 they built a lock here. American troops destroyed it during the War of 1812. Powerhouse.


In 1870 a ship with an expedition force of Canadian militia came through to put down an uprising in the west. The canal through the Sault was in American territory. The Americans wouldn't let the militia pass through the territory. They had to debark and travel overland while the ship went through. This prompted the Canadians to built their own canal in 1895.


This is an emergency swing dam. If the lock fails, you swing it out over the canal and panels drop down to block the water.




In 1909 a ship hit the lock and busted it. The rush of water took out the main gates and flushed a couple of vessels through the lock.


Within a few hours the swing dam was in place and they got things under control so they could repair the lock.


Downtown area along the St Mary's River.


Roberta Bondar was ahometown girl who became a doctor and went into space on the shuttle.


Ships working the US locks.


The International Bridge. You may be stuck up there in the wind for a while if the lines are long at the border crossing.










Old lake freighter. Even hauled autos for a while.






This place is worth a stop.


It is an old government seaplane facility. They used to do maintenance of planes here, rebuild engines, etc.




Take a simulator flight up Agawa Canyon.


Climb through a water bomber.




Two of the oldest stone buildings northwest of Toronto. This one was for powder storage. Powder in the base, office on top, no smoking. Powder storage and distribution must have been a big deal back then.


I think this house is from the early 1800s.


There are some garden exhibits on the grounds as well.


I'm off to ride the Northern Wisconsin Adventure Trail (NWAT) for a bit so I'll be back later to cover the southern shore and get the GPX posted.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:27 PM   #99
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Just above in the series of photos of all the bears, where you were looking at the nice tugboats, and the yard with the rotted old lifeboat in it, that's my street!!!! You were on Pointe Louise Drive. My stompin grounds. It's a bit off the beaten track, but that's our little piece of paradise.
Come back any time. Lots of room in the Inn if you know what they say.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:28 PM   #100
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Oh, and my dad was the Captain of the ship in the photo above named Yankanuck, until she was sold by Algoma Steel and turned into a Barge by Purvis Marine.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:11 PM   #101
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very intresting.!

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Old 06-24-2012, 07:23 PM   #102
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Just above in the series of photos of all the bears, where you were looking at the nice tugboats, and the yard with the rotted old lifeboat in it, that's my street!!!! You were on Pointe Louise Drive. My stompin grounds. It's a bit off the beaten track, but that's our little piece of paradise.
Come back any time. Lots of room in the Inn if you know what they say.
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Oh, and my dad was the Captain of the ship in the photo above named Yankanuck, until she was sold by Algoma Steel and turned into a Barge by Purvis Marine.
Small world! That is pretty cool. Thanks for the insight on the ship too! Next time I am in the neighborhood it would be fun to meet up and chat more.

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very intresting.!

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Back from my dirt ride on the NWAT so I'll be back on the rest of this ride report shortly.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:53 PM   #103
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Sault Ste Marie, MI


There used to be a fort on the university grounds here. It was the second version of a fort that was originally established closer to the river. More on that in a bit.


International bridge.


Museum


If you go through security screening at one of the gates, you can visit the locks. They have a visitor center and a viewing area.


I'd visited plenty in the past so I skipped it this time. Here are a few pix of some things inside the fence. A model of the original lock.










Ship raised to Lake Superior level.






Another museum with a great view of the waterway and locks.


Corps of Engineers maintenance equipment.


Immigration and Customs patrol boat.


Getting back to the fort thing. There were some border issues around this area. The War of 1812 was part of this. When the war was settled the boundaries were worked out. The British moved from Fort Mackinac to Drummond Island to control the mouth of the St Mary's River. The indians here were still aligned with the British. This created a need for a fort and presence here in the Sault to protect American interests. The first fort was built here along the river. Once the area became more developed they moved it up the hill.


Artillery drill at the fort.


Another one of those fancy CG boats.


When things freeze solid this thing is probably handy.


This 5 ton truck was repurposed for hydroseeding. Heavy duty rig.


Edison power house.


A canal takes water from the higher level at Lake Superior and runs it to power generators in this facility.


This is an old ore ship that is now a museum. Worth a look inside.




Some pix from the past.




Exhibits inside the cargo hold.


Busted up lifeboat from the Fitz.


Historic district with some restorations.


1864 house was provided for "The Snowshoe Priest" when he became Bishop Baraga.


1827 federal style building for the indian agency.


The guy that lived here first moved to the area, married an indian chief's daughter, and put up a houe here in 1793. For assisting the British in the War of 1812, american troops burned his house in 1815. Part of this is what he rebuilt after that.


These guys were all over - in the parks, overlooking the channel, and patrolling close to the river. I saw more agents than I saw cops in town.


Coast Guard.


Ferry to an island where people live out in the channel.


A rainstorm I had been skirting for a bit.


Old hull section out in the channel.


Casinos around the area as well.




Another version of a fishing vessel.


Museum exhibit in Brimley.




Continental Tire operates a test facility here.


Couldn't get a picture of the track.


Here is an aerial.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:07 AM   #104
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On to Grand Marais.


Nice ride along the south shore here.


Ponit Iriquois lighthouse. In 1662 the Ojibwe massacred some invading Iriquois indians here. In 1855 the US built a lighthouse here.


In the 1960s they moved the light out into the channel. That is the navaid that we saw from Gros Cap.


This is how the station looked in 1944. There is a fog signal in the picture that is no longer there.


Another view prior to 1904.


This lighthouse tender delivered supplies from the depot in Detroit.


This 1892 whaleback sank off the point in 1901. It was full of iron ore and riding low in the fog. It was rammed by another ship and went down fast.


The 1888 Myron hauled lumber on the lakes. In November 1919, it sank nearby. The Captain stayed with the ship while the crew took to the lifeboats. The Captain was found clinging to some wreckage and survived. The frozen bodies of 8 crewmen were found in the ice near the shore the following spring. Locals chopped the bodies out and buried them at Mission Hill.




Shipwreck dead buried here.






A view from the overlook near the cemetery.


Looking back toward Canada (airport is visible).


The byway is nice. Some know it as the Curley Lewis highway.


This national hatchery gets about 38K visitors per year.


When Lake Trout were decimated by overfishing and lampreys in the 50s, this hatchery helped restore the population. I think they crank out over a million fish of varying sizes per year. Most go to Lakes Superior and Huron.


During WWII it was important to protect the locks in order to protect manufacturing of war materiel. Some air bases were established in the area to contribute to that. This is Raco Field. It has three runways that are each a mile long. It is part of the national forest. The runways are in remarkably good shape. It also served as a Bombarc missle base during the cold war.


Nice place for a spin on a bike.


An automotive testing company leases some of the field.




Back along the Curley Lewis.


Naomikong Overlook


Shallows Day Use Area


Bark Dock Day Use Area. That storm I had been skirting is out of the way now.


Whitefish Point was settled in 1871 and this was the post office. Mail came by boat three times a week during the summer. In winter, dog teams hauled the mail twice a month. This post office went under in 1973.


The station at Whitefish Point is now a museum.






While in Paradise, you can get fresh fish here while in season.


Tahquamenon Falls (lower)




Take a park boat across to the island.


Tahq Falls (upper)


They had been fighting a troublesome fire for quite a while. At one point it was traveling faster than two miles per hour.


The whole area was kind of sooty. The fire burned down a lot of structures including a gas stop at the Rainbow Lodge.


Spent about an hour chatting with these guys manning a roadblock.


Old ammunition carrier repurposed to fight fires.




This thing had a lot of antennas.


Stopped by the fire base camp.




I was there when the crews came out of the woods for the night. There were crews from several states, tribes, and the USFS.




If you want to see a bunch of bears close up, stop here.


And I do mean close up.


Pine Stump Junction is back in action with new owners.


Here is the deal. There are two ways to get to Grand Marais. One is to go through Newberry and take pavement all the way. The other is to head north and travel along the lakeshore for a while. I take the lakeshore. Much of it is unpaved.


They recently made some improvements to this road. The surface is sandy and soft (not enough gravel). Some people will not enjoy wrestling a bike along this soft stretch.


As you get closer to Grand Marais, the pavement kicks in again.


The harbor at Grand Marais.


A Coast Guard vessel was in town to fix one of the navaids at the harbor entrance.


There was also a dredge project going on as part of harbor improvements. This harbor has been neglected since industry left.


While this guy was on watch, some youthful looking crew members were downtown in civilian clothes.


This is the old USCG station in Grand Marais. There used to be a lifesaving station here years ago as well. The last transmission of the Edmund Fitzgerald received by a shore station was received here. The power was out on Whitefish Point at the time.


Big rocks being hauled in as part of the harbor improvement.








There is an excellent campground in this tiny town. Showers, electricity, etc.


A little more on Grand Marais in a bit.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:31 PM   #105
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On to Munising.


Coasties out doing some welding at the harbor entrance.


A popular stop.


Pickle barrel house. These were small vacation cottages that a company in Chicago produced. It was built just like a barrel, only larger. This one had a pantry hallway connected to a smaller barrel kitchen. What once was a cottage on a neaby lake is now a tourist info center.


The eastern visitor center at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.


The paved roads that run behind the Grand Sable Dunes are a nice ride.




Stop at the log slide and take a short hike out to the shore.


Back when they were harvesting old growth trees around here, they used to slide them into the lake and build rafts for transport.


You can hike to a lighthouse on the point. There are some pieces of wrecks washed up on shore along the way.


Hurricane River. When I was backpacking here one fall I managed to get a couple of meals of migrating fish out of these streams.


These ropes support antenna wires that can keep track of fish with implants that enter the stream. Some study has been going on here for quite a while.




A piece of shipwreck.


H-58 used to be a sand road that ran behind the shore. It has since been improved and is now a premium bike ride. Well, it was a premium dirt bike ride before too . . .


Miner's Castle




Lake Superior is very clear.


Old USCG station near Munising.


They have a lifesaving station exhibit there.




Looking across the bay toward Munising.


A pay to view waterfall in town. There are plenty of free falls in the area.


Just outside town, follow a short path . . .








Wayside that overlooks the bay. Ships used to try to hole up here during a storm. Many didn't make it. The bay is an underwater preserve with some great wrecks in it.


Looking across to the 200' cliffs along part of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.


More detailed information about this area is on this page.
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