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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there fellow Stromtroopers. Leaving Friday for a 6-7 day ride around Lake Superior, clockwise route. Leaving from Duluth and plan to get up to or past Sleeping Giant the first night. Planning two or three days riding in Canada, another 3-4 in U.P. with some dirt road riding. Five riders in my group camping every night. I will be finishing packing on Tuesday so looking for last minute advise. My kit is pretty complete which includes a Seal bag sitting across the passenger seat with my sleeping kit inside. All my electronics will be kept with me in the tank bag. Will be dressed for cooler weather. I have read Cannonshot's Circle Tour report on ADV, very informative and comprehensive. I plan to grab gas when available. Plan one meal out per day. Bringing five tents for five guys. My suggestion, I sleep much better. Wearing Aerostich Dariens with heated jacket liner. Also planning to have my phone on "airplane mode" so no data streams. Going to use it as a MP3 player. One guy in the group changed his data plan to include Canada so hopefully that will prove useful. Well there is a little background on my trip. Open to any and all suggestions so let em fly. I will give a riding report when back. Using a waterproof camera as well as a GoPro for some video shots. Bikes in the group: my 12 Vstrom 650, 13 Tenere, 11 KLR 650, 03 KLR 650, and a 88 K75RT. Thanks in advance!

Here is a pic of my bike mock packed:

 

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If you are taking #11... Kekabecka Falls is a pretty place to stop and stretch...big public parking area with washrooms at the falls.... it's about 1 hr west of Thunder Bay... you can also pull off at the entrance to Quetico Park...there is an info booth, parking and toilets there too.. it's about 30min east of Atikokan .... be careful, #11 east from Int. Falls/Ft. Francis to Shebandawan has a ton of moose and bears.... but it is a beautiful drive... when you are coming south from Wawa.. look up Michipicoten (mich-i-pa-cO-ten) Post Provincial park.. beautiful spot! haven't been there in a long time but you should get reasonable camping and there is a waterfalls........If you are going to run the north shore on Rt 61, it is faster but not as pretty as the fun north to International falls...The views of Superior coming down #11 are incredible...stop at the look-off for the Sleeping Giant... the fall colours should be amazing, and hopefully there will be a good show of Northern Lights ! Have fun and be safe! :)
 

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Good luck!

Hope you have a good time and that the weather will be nice enough. Sorry I couldn't tag along. You are right to have everyone bring their own tents. Had to share one with a buddy once due to an MIA tent, it WILL NOT happen again. I'd stop buy a cheap one somewhere along the way before that is ever considered again.
 

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No advice on the route.

From your photo I see I had the same set-up on a recent trip early this summer. I thought all was good except I hadn't actually done a ride with my big dry bag strapped in from of my top case.
Yours looks good. If you haven't done a shake down ride, just make sure your duffle doesn't prevent you from staying at the back part of your seat. Mine did and it was annoying after a while. On my last 8 day trip, I ditched the top case and instead strapped a day pack to the back of my dry bag for shoes, a swim suit and a place to put stuff I'd take off as the day got warmer. It worked well for me.

Have a great trip! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses Millwright98, wingnut11 and sbeadg. I would love to explore west of Thunderbay on the bike. I have been to Ft Williams and Kakabeka falls by car. Hoping to camp in some of the Provincial parks along the way especially over by Wawa. Wingnut11, my last few years camping, other than with my spouse, have been a series of restless nights. I appreciate the feedback on single tents. Not everyone on the trip agrees (worried about available space) but I hate riding tired. sbeadg, I took a 70 mile ride with this configuration to find issue but overall found the riding position very comfortable. Able to lean back against the bag on the back seat with my feet either down or on the hwy pegs. Would never be possible without the bar risers. Hoping to finish packing today and tidying up loose ends. Little worried about the weather early on in the trip. Looks like a few days of heavy rain and high winds until Sunday when things settle down. A topic of discussion for the group for sure. I hope to hit the currency exchange going in. Hoping $200-300 will be enough cash in Canadian currency to last three days. I remember many places will not take U.S. currency. Hoping to use my card for gas and food. Keep the advise coming as I will be monitoring this thread for the next few days. Will post when I return some details of the trip.
 

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You'll have no trouble with using your cards.... doing the exchange on cash during a trip as always a PITA ... easier to do it at the border... Have a great and safe trip !! I've done the drive many times, but it's been 20yrs since I was up there on a bike...very jealous ! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Did I hear snow up there over the next few days?

..Tom
Wow, didn't hear that. I guess the night temperatures will be cold enough to produce snow so very possible. I have not seen any in the forecast other than heavy rains Friday til Sunday with wind gusts of 25mph. Thanks for the heads up, will continue to monitor. BTW if everything falls through and the trip seems to be an exercise in endurance we have an alternate route planned down the Mississippi valley. We will see what happens in the next few days. This will be my second attempt to make this trip. Trying to stay positive.
 

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I really enjoy the ride around Lake Superior, lots of great views. Tim Hortons coffee shops and MacDonalds all have free wifi. Plenty of fuel along the route for our bikes. Lots of nice camping (and also some downhill skiing :) ) just north of Sault Ste Marie. A great Provincial campground for example at Pancake Bay.
http://www.ontarioparks.com/park/pancakebay

Really don't expect much snow this time of year although there was some in the area a week or so back, melted quickly..maybe frost at night is expected. You really don't want to be on the roads at night anyway on account of the wildlife.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I really enjoy the ride around Lake Superior, lots of great views. Tim Hortons coffee shops and MacDonalds all have free wifi. Plenty of fuel along the route for our bikes. Lots of nice camping (and also some downhill skiing :) ) just north of Sault Ste Marie. A great Provincial campground for example at Pancake Bay.
Welcome to Pancake Bay Provincial Park

Really don't expect much snow this time of year although there was some in the area a week or so back, melted quickly..maybe frost at night is expected. You really don't want to be on the roads at night anyway on account of the wildlife.
Thanks for the advice on Pancakebay, that has been on my radar to stop and camp. Also the mickey D for breakfast/brunch and some wifi. I think we are still going to try for the trip around the lake. Looks like the forecast has slightly improved, rain ending Saturday now. Not planning on riding at night unless its unavoidable. Agree with the risk of wildlife on the road. Good point and planning accordingly. Thanks again for all the advice so far.
 

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Great Ride

Just did this ride solo last week. Four day loop from my home in Maple Grove. Spent a night at Neys Provincial Park. Campsite was 40 bucks self registration as no ranger at the station. Suggest you check how many tents they will allow in a single campsite. Some times campgrounds limit it to two tents only.. Also check that the campgrounds and facilities are fully available as things usually start shutting down in September.

Rode out to the Keweenaw missile site that Cannonshot had described. Took some Forrest service roads south and east of Grand Marias Michigan over towards Paradise Michigan. Rode past quite a few Forrest service campgrounds which I didn't have documentation on. Suggest getting a list of Michigan's Forrest service campgrounds if that might be in the works.

Highest gasoline price I think was around 1.40/ litre. A whole 1 1/2 weeks and I already can't remember the price..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, rode in last night from our "circle tour" that changed dramatically the night before we left. Some of the riders wanted to back out if we circled the lake due to inclimate weather so we scrubbed it and went plan B. Rode out of Superior Wi south on Wi 35 down the Mississippi valley down to Prairie du Chien where we turned N.E. up HWY 60. Our first night was spent in Maiden Rock next to the Miss. Nice campsite and cheap, probably for a reason. A train goes by 100yds away every 20 minutes. I would not advise sleeping there unless your immune to sonic sleep interruptions. The roads down there are very nice with a relaxed pace of riding. HWY 60 up to Madison I think was better. Second night Camped outside of Dodgeville, followed by breakfast at Monty's Blue Plate in Madison. Great place and crowded for a reason. On Sunday we wanted to make Greenbay to watch the Packer game at Lambeau field but some struggled with the high winds on the highway so the pace was slow. Quick pics and a walk around then off to Escanaba Mi up hwy 41 to 35. As we approached Escanaba there were snow flakes in the air. We were running late, pulled in to the bayfront cold and decided on a night in a hotel with a hot tub warm up. Monday we made Copper Harbor but the road out of Escanaba make sure you stay on hwy 35. The stretch north of Gwinn was the best of the whole trip. Tight twisty turns with brand new tarmac. The pace up near Copper harbor was leisure and the colors from Marquette to L' Anse were spectacular. As MNrider noted we camped at the missle site at the end of a pot holed dirt road. Best camp site of the trip (note my tent 3 ft from the waters edge). I was pushing hard down this road and nearly tore off my bash plate. The rivets broke and there is an lemon sized dent in the bottom where I nearly stopped the bike on a rock. Fun little road. Be sure to hit the Brockway Mountain drive and you'll be rewarded with the best views in the area. On our way to Ontonagon we stopped in Calumet for lunch. Don't miss the Red Jacket Brewing Co. Excellent food and a step back to the golden era of mining with murals as well as Tiffany lights adorning the ceiling. Our last night we stayed in Ontonagon at the municipal campground right on the beach. Great sunset and after dark we were graced with spectacular views of the northern lights. A fitting end to our last night in camp.
Part of me wishes we would have held out for the circle tour of the lake but the dose of cold weather in Escanaba re-affirmed our decision to go south first and not ride for three days in rain and 30 degree temps. Here are a couple of pics from the trip. I did shoot some GoPro footage as well but have not edited down to the highlights yet. Thank you to all who contributed to making this trip fun and rewarding. BTW I highly recommend having a good headset to listen to music while riding. Put me in a very meditative state and cooked the miles away.

Lunch at the Nickel Bar on the Miss:


My version of knee dragging through the corners:


Monty's Blue Plate Diner in Madison:


Titletown:


Beach camp near Copper Harbor:


RedJacket Brewing Co:
 

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I'm hoping to get around Superior at some point, hopefully this year. We've camped a few times at Agawa Bay (prefer that to Pancake Bay) and last year, I considered doing the trip on my SV650. The forecast looked a bit on the cold and wet side, so I decided not to. Picking up my new 1000XT in the next week or 2 and planning a ride to California in May, but Superior might be cool in Aug or Sep.
 
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