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Old 06-21-2013, 06:46 PM   #1
motoxer667 OP
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Lower Peninsula Dual Sport Safari - 2013

A small group of my friends and I have been taking extended trail/dual sport rides around the Great Lake State since 2009.

Our first trip was the MCCCT, which is 650 miles of Michigan motorcycle trail (mostly single track). In 2011 we did a modified version of CannonShot's UPAT, 1150 miles of UP beauty. For this year's ride we contemplated many options, but came up with riding the Lower Peninsula Dual Sport Safari.

We would start at my parents cabin just outside of Lewiston, MI. To limit the amount of stuff needed to carry on the bikes we asked my dad to meet up with us each night at the motels.

The plan was to ride between 250-300 miles per day. The first hiccup was that the weekend we would be starting was also the weekend that the mushroom hunters hit the woods looking for the elusive Morel. Most of the motels wanted a two night minimum for the area that we would be in after the first day of riding.



So our first day would be closer to 200 than 300.

Our route would take us north from Lewiston towards Mackinaw City and then on to Indian River.



Left to right: Myself on a WR450, Dustin on a WR450, Sal on a RXV550, and Brian on a WR450

First stop was fuel for the body in Lewiston at the Villager.



Short stop along the trail for some tire pressure adjustments.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:57 PM   #2
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In. I grew up riding snowmobiles all over Michigan, and still have lifelong friends in Indian River. I always wondered what those trails look like in summer. I'll be monitoring this one closely.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:35 AM   #3
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I am looking forward to this report.Keep the photos and details coming.
How many days do you figure it will take ?
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAS GUY View Post
I am looking forward to this report.Keep the photos and details coming.
How many days do you figure it will take ?
The route we took was 1000 miles and we did it in 4 days
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:14 PM   #5
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Day 1 continued

We would cross the Polar Equator Trail twice on the first day

This sign is in need of an upgrade, but I don't think they will be based on this article. http://www.michiganhighways.org/other/polar.html

We continued north towards Mackinaw City.

Pigeon River





Our first gas stop was 80 miles from the start in Afton on M68. This would be the longest we would have to go between gas stops on the entire trip.

From here we picked up the MCCCT and headed towards Black Lake.

These guys were waiting for some friends to assist them in getting out



Nice grassy 2-tracks that led to water holes

 video P5180209.mp4
Video of water hole crossing



I am not sure exactly how much tarmac we had, but it was very minimal.
On our way into Cheboygan we ran into a little rain, but it was the only rain we would have unfortunately until Monday afternoon (3rd day).


Mackinac Bridge from Mackinaw City. Notice the different spellings? Ironically they are pronounced the same.

From the web site: http://www.mackinawcity.net/mackinawhistory.php
"The name Michilimackinac, the place of the "Great Turtle", was first given to Mackinac Island for its shape and was eventually given to the entire Straits of Mackinac region. In time, certainly by the 1820s, it was shortened to Mackinac. The founders of Mackinaw City opted for the phonetic "aw" spelling, probably as a way to distinguish their town from Mackinac Island for confused postal carriers.

Today Mackinaw City retains the "aw" spelling while the bridge, straits and island steadfastly cling to the "ac" spelling. No matter how it is spelled, however, it is always pronounced Mackinaw!"



May Flies were everywhere at the bridge.


Sal trying to avoid the flies


Old Mackinac Point Light House
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motoxer667 screwed with this post 06-24-2013 at 04:26 PM Reason: add description
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:42 AM   #6
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Cool country!

It's been awhile since I've seen such a nice photo of the Big Mac. The timing is just right since that's where I'm heading this summer. Thanks for posting those.

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Old 06-23-2013, 05:16 AM   #7
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Cool man, I love Michigan.
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone View Post
It's been awhile since I've seen such a nice photo of the Big Mac. The timing is just right since that's where I'm heading this summer. Thanks for posting those.

Gary "Oldone"

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No problem. I try to promote the beauty of the State of Michigan to people I work with. So many of them think of Michigan as Detroit.
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:35 AM   #9
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Day 1 continued

Day 1 Continued

On our way up to Mackinaw City we had decided that the beef jerky and energy drinks were good enough for lunch and we would push on to the motel in Indian River.


Michigan (especially the Lower Peninsula) has a lot of sand. This actually isn't bad.


Having grown up riding motorcycles in Michigan and racing motocross in Florida I have no issues with it. The biggest issue is tire pressure. I was running 15psi in my tires on this trip and I usually run 10-12 on a trail ride. It was a big difference as I found myself fighting the bike often. Tire choice would be the on the top too. Most people who ride Michigan trails will tell you that the Michelin S12 is the choice tire, but they aren't DOT approved. I was running the stock Dunlop Geomax mx51, I thnk, on my WR. I will be replacing them with Michelin AC10's when the Dunlops wear out. I have run the AC10's in the past and have been really happy with them and they are DOT.


Don't drink that brand, but had to take the picture.


At the motel around 5:30pm


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Old 06-23-2013, 05:14 PM   #10
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End of Day 1

We stayed at the Star Gate Motel in Indian River. Very nice owners, who were excited to be moving on to the next stage in their lives. They had sold the motel and were set to close the sale at the end of the month. I like staying at the smaller mom and pop type motels. You can't get the same type of personalized service at a chain.

Showers and some ice cold beer while we relaxed before dinner.



A family friend, Gary, lives not too far away in Alanson and came over to have dinner with us. Gary, who is a retired Ford designer, was one of the fathers in the group I rode motorcycles and snowmobiles with as a kid. We would spend weekends at his old cabin near Afton. We actually rode right past his old place (knowingly) and within about a 1/2 mile of his current home (unknowingly).


Gary

We decided to go to the newly reopened restaurant right across the street from the hotel. The Rock River Grille had only been open for about a week, but was very good.


Dustin telling one of his funny mountain biking stories to Gary and my dad. Brian contemplating going back to the bar in the background


Dustin getting another beer.

After dinner had Sal disappeared into his hotel room and would not be seen until the morning. We stayed up later than I would have liked, but it was great visiting with Gary. Telling stories from when he and my dad and a bunch of other guys would do weekend trips without their kids in tow. He kept saying how it was nice to see we were doing similar trips.

Brian was trying to convince Dustin into going back to the bar and I went to bed.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:04 PM   #11
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Looks like lots of fun
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoxer667 View Post
We stayed at the Star Gate Motel in Indian River. Very nice owners, who were excited to be moving on to the next stage in their lives. They had sold the motel and were set to close the sale at the end of the month. I like staying at the smaller mom and pop type motels. You can't get the same type of personalized service at a chain.

Small world. The [now former] owners of the Stargate, Roland and Irene, are the friends I referred to in my earlier post. In fact, while you all were on your Michigan ride, I was riding with their son in Baja. Salt of the earth people. They put their all into that motel for the past 20 years; I'm glad they're finally getting some time off.

I'm really enjoying the Michigan scenery. Keep it coming!
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:08 PM   #13
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Day 2

Day 2 was going to be a long day. It was scheduled to be 300+/- miles from Indian River to Walhalla. We left the motel around 7:30am to go get breakfast and gas. Not knowing where we would be getting lunch (if any) I wanted to get a good breakfast in.


Really good food right on M68 in Indian River.


It turned out that Brian went back to the bar and closed it down. Brian was a little under the weather Sunday morning, he is the one on the right.


Right around Christmas of 2012 a lot of wet heavy snow fell in the area and bent and damaged many trees. One area we went through on the first day looked like a tornado had gone through, but it was from that snow.








Jordan River


Jordan River again


and again


and with 4 ugly dudes blocking the view


Another Polar Equator Trail marker


Lunch as at The Hideaway in Starvation Lake. It was a welcome stop as it was warm and dusty


My self portrait


Nice being the leader on dusty rides for sure


Caberfae Resort can be seen in the distance


The Pine River


The Low Bridge across the river is under construction so we had a small reroute. I thought that it might as when we were in the area for the Cycle Conservation Club Rites of Spring ride in 2012 it was washed out. I guess they are in no hurry or it got washed out again this year.


Our stop for the night was at the All Seasons Resort in Walhalla. I had reserved a cabin for all of us to stay in. My dad got there early and scoped out a place for dinner and got the beer on ice. Dinner was fried chicken from the gas station down the street. It was 9pm when we got there, so with it being Sunday night nothing else would have been open.

Oil changes and new air filters for everyone. Well I had put on a filter skin before the start and I just pulled it and I was fine. Plus with being in the lead most of the time I didn't eat much dust either.

It was definitely a bonus having my dad there in the Jeep to met us each night. There was no need to worry about carrying oil or disposing of it afterwards either. Plus he had a cooler he kept full of beer too.

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Old 06-24-2013, 08:24 PM   #14
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Awesome.. Nothing like a ride in the mitten.

More please.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:38 AM   #15
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Awesome.. Nothing like a ride in the mitten.

More please.

Thank you. Will do Trying to finish up the RR before the family vacation starts on Friday
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