2004 U.P./ Ontario Trip

It was Friday afternoon and just as I was getting ready to head out Mike showed up at my place to say he wanted to make the trip. As I finished packing Mike went home and grabbed his bike, some tools and some clothes. At 3:30 we left the PSB clubhouse and hit 131 north. We met up with Marc a few miles later and continuted north on 131.

We stopped at Burger King for a quick dinner and to check in with the other part of our group (they had left earlier Friday morning and were waiting for us in Indian River).

From left to right is : Mat's 1993 Sportster 1200, Marc's 2004 VTX1300R and Mike's 1976 CB750.

After dinner we worked our way over to I-75 for the rest of the evening. We made some good time and met up with the guys at the hotel before dark. The only problem we had that day was my Sportster was running a bit warm (approx. 220F) on I-75. I think this was because it was pretty hot out, we were running a constant 80mph and I had my windscreen on.
Here we are at the hotel. We had quite the group and mix of bikes. We are (from left to right) Ed - SV650, Mike - CB750, Marc - VTX1300R, Mat - Sportster 1200, Curt - Nighthawk 650, Cal - CB650, Clay - XS650

We had a good time at the hotel that night. Clay and Ed took off to grab some beer and ice and we went from there. Indian River was pretty quiet but that was fine with us. We only had 3 visitors (some girls looking for all the excitement). We told them we were the excitement and they quickly left.

The next morning we slowly woke up, took advantage of the free hotel coffee and packed up our bikes. The sky was gray but it wasn't raining so we took off for the Mackinac Bridge. We had a buffet breakfast in Mackinac City then paid our toll and start across.
For a while the paved lane was closed so we had to run the grate lane. It wasn't too bad but we did get over to the paved lane when we could.

Once we were in the UP we stopped at the Mystery Spot for a quick photo-op.

I believe these pictures are at Cut River Gorge.

We then looped around to check out the Upper and Lower Tahquamenon Falls.

From the falls we headed north for Whitefish Point and the Shipwreck Museum. We walked around the museum and went out to the beach.

It was getting late in the afternoon once we left Whitefish Point so we started south for Sault St. Marie, MI. Clay had heard about a neat restaurant that had every type of animal (stuffed of course) mounted on the walls, ceiling and anywhere else there was room. So once in the Sault we found the place and stopped for dinner.
After dinner our group split up to take different routes home. Marc and I crossed the border into Canada and started down Hwy.17. The rest of the guys set off for the bridge and the return trip to Grand Rapids. Check out Clay's ride report which includes all the details about their exciting run home (they did it all that night, in the rain).

Here's Marc at our first gas stop in Canada. He couldn't find the Tiger.

Marc and I continued onto Blind River for the night. We got a motel room and unpacked for the evening. We then headed down the street for a few pitchers of Canadian at the Iron (something??) Bar. Not too much excitement in Blind River!

The next morning (Sunday) we woke up to wet bikes and wet roads. We headed south for Espanola. Once we reached Espanola we stopped for a coffee at Tim Hortons. The sky was dark and we were a little worried about what could be ahead. Our plan was to ride to Manitoulin Island and take the Chi-Cheemaun ferry to Tobermory. We decided that we should go for it because we had no idea when we'd be back that way.

Marc's rainpants tore apart during our ride to the ferry. Luckily it stayed dry the entire way so it wasn't a problem. The road from Espanola to the ferry was awesome. Many curves, elevation changes and beautiful country!

Here we are at the ferry depot.

Here are the bikes strapped down and ready for the trip. They ferry provides ropes to tie down the bikes but we thought we should bring our own straps. Unfortunately Marc forgot his at home but he was able to grab a sweet set at Canadian Tire, 50% off even!!!

Once we exited the ferry we started on our trip to Mississauga. We made up our route on the fly and were lucky enough to miss the rain. When we arrived in Mississauga we were told that a large storm had passed through earlier in the afternoon!
We grabbed a quick dinner at Wendy's then headed for Tim Hortons for a coffee. We met up with another biker from Brampton and chatted for a while. Marc loved how every sentence ended with "eh", I didn't even notice! We almost witnessed a fight in the parking lot and then decided to head for my parents house. We hung out there for a bit then went down to Alex's for a few beers to finish off a great day of riding.

The next morning Marc and I hit the highway for Grand Rapids. We stopped at the Flying J for breakfast in London (a GREAT buffet!!!).
Here we are at the duty free getting ready for the US border guards (it was an easy cross that Monday morning).

The rest of the ride was uneventful (I did have to switch to reserve while passing a van though).

During the trip I made 13 gas stops, used a total of 22.7 US gallons of gas. The total gas bill was $53.35 USD. We travelled a total distance of 1170 miles over the 3 days. My average mileage was 51.7mpg (US gallons). I think we spent more on beer than gas!!
All in all it was a great trip.