Author Topic: SE MN - Copper Harbor MI & back - Long winded, but nice pictures  (Read 1292 times)

Offline JoeRau

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Earlier this week I got the permission from the family to take a few days to myself (and my C14) and go.  My plan was for 3 days/2 nights in the tent.  Where was not decided until I left.  2 options where on the table.  Rapid City SD & Copper Harbor MI.  About as different as can be, but the better weather forecast made Copper Harbor the winner. 

Being my first solo trip I had some trial & error packing everything, but eventually all found it's place.  Quick test ride around home confirmed a well balanced load that did not obstruct the mirrors. 

I left 9:30 AM 6/23 from just west of Rochester, MN.  Still no real planned route, just went with it.  I hit a few local favorite roads on my way out.  Places like WI Hwy 95 from Fountain City to Hixton, WI.  Then just made a general east direction through middle Wisconsin.  Headed north from near Wausau to head to Lake Superior. 
I camped in Ontonagon, MI in their nice little city campground.  Maybe 30 feet off the water of Lake Superior.  410 miles for the day. 


Weather was perfect all day and into the evening hours.  Just as I was headed into the tent, the weather changed! Temps dropped into the 40's and the wind hit hard off the lake.  Blew in a thunderstorm, which made for a long night. 

About 5:30 I ran into town to get some breakfast.  Only the gas station was open, so Holiday coffee it was.  I went back, packed up camp, and headed for Copper Harbor. 

Not a real exciting ride until past Houghton.  Then once on M26 the fun factor went up fast!  One of the most fun roads I have been on anywhere!  No traffic, tight curves, rolling hills, beautiful scenery... you know the kind. 
Hard to read the sign in the picture, but it references the snow records in the area and shows the 390.4" of snow in 1978-79, as well as the arrow marker for last winter which is adjusted each year.


Falls and dam at Eagle River

I had a suggestion from my dad to hit the Brockway Mountain Dr.  He has ridden it in the past.  I guess things changed!  More suited to a KLR, if that!  Really rough with on and off gravel sections (which where the best parts of the road surface).  There was some great views from up there. 
Brockway


Copper Harbor outlook

Nearing the end of the Brockway I was flagged down by a hwy construction worker that advised I may not  want to continue as they had just dumped loads of gravel and had not packed it in yet.   This was in a very steep section (down hill) with a 180 degree switchback, and the dumped material (a stretch to call it gravel) was nearly 8" thick.  I made it through, but wasn't pretty. 

Copper harbor was a nice little tourist trap town.  Picked up a few gifts for the family as a thanks for letting me go, and started home. 

I'm not really sure why, but on the return trip through Houghton I decided to push it and get home that day rather than another night in the tent.  I enjoy camping, maybe just missed the family.  I didn't care for Google's suggested route, so I decided to wing it.  I had not been through that area in years, and forgot how nice the riding is west of Ironwood, down through Mellen, Clam Lake, Hayward.  Then back on very familiar roads to get back home at 8:00.  About 935 miles for the 2 day total and 49MPG average.  Happy to be home, and off the seat for a while. 

My only bike related complaint is the OEM seat.  Not bad for me until around 8 hours.  Then I want something else.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 08:02:46 am by JoeRau »
2012 C14.  Black
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Offline MrPepsi

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Re: SE MN - Copper Harbor MI & back - Long winded, but nice pictures
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2015, 01:56:23 pm »
Great pics! I'm totally jealous as I'm not allowed to do the same.
Brent Johnson 
2009 C-14 "Razzi"