7/10   Monday      323 mi   
Manistique to Copper Harbor to Houghton, MI    

We had the usual continental breakfast at the motel, although the gals had Belgium waffles which were a bit more upscale than what was normally available.  It was only 54 degrees as we started out so we bundled up for the ride further north.  The kids were out on their bikes and wanting to lead us out of the motel parking lot.  

We took MI94 north from Manistique to MI28 west to Munising.  These roads were very pretty forested roadways with many nice scenes around each turn; it was very quiet with little traffic.  As we approached Munising on MI28, we had to wait on road construction for a brief time but then made it into town and stopped at the welcome center where we got directions to Minerís Castle in Pictured Rocks SP.  

The road to the shore and Minerís Castle was heavily wooded and a canopy of trees covered the road making it noticeably cooler over this stretch.  Minerís Castle was a special rock formation along the coast and made a pretty picture looking over the inlet and out onto Lake Superior.  We again met the couple from Wisconsin who were riding the Valkrie here at the scenic overlook.  

We then returned to Munising where we refueled and were able to locate the county building complex for our HOG ABCís touring pictures.  The temperatures supposedly rose into the 70ís during the day but it never felt that warm to me.  The wind off of the lakes was always cold and once the early morning cold set into my body, I was cold all day long.  

We made it to Marquette MI and stopped at a McDonalds there for lunch about 1pm.  From there, we rode to the H-D dealership, Bald Eagle H-D, where I bought a t-shirt and we took pictures for HOG touring.  We met two couples from Flint MI who were on a similar ride but heading the opposite direction, to Whitefish Point and Paradise MI.  I mentioned the whitefish pasty which I was unable to find and one of the riders had had them before and was really looking forward to having them again.  They asked about my Air Hawk seat cushion and I told them about its construction and that it helped me but that Tamera didnít like using hers.  

While leaving Marquette, heading west on US41 to Houghton, we had a bald eagle soar overhead.  Moments like this exemplify motorcycling at its best; an open roadway west, the awesome shoreline of Lake Gitchie Gumie on the right, a beautiful small lake lined with fir trees glistening blue against the blue sky on the left, and an American Bald Eagle soaring overhead.  All Natural Ecstasy!  

We stop to take pictures along the shoreline and I kept my camera out to take pictures of the scenery while we road.  We arrived in Houghton and refueled and looked for a place to stay.  The gas station attendant suggested the Ramada across the river in Hancock, but I had seen a billboard along the way of another motel that said it was biker friendly so with some reservation, we stayed in town at the Downtowner Motel, which was run by a brusque, little old lady who smoked a lot and had five cats in her apartment.  The lady had old rags and water available to wash down the bikes and it turned out that there were several other bikers there that night.  

After unloading the bikes and some unpacking we decided to ride to Copper Harbor.  I took the route suggested by the biker I met at the gas station in Manistique but this turned out to be a bad decision.  We took the turn off to Gay MI which was a straight non-descript road and from Gay headed north along the coastline.  Tamera got sick and had to stop; she had a neck ache from riding with the helmet and the wind buffeting her head.  She took some Advil and was fine for a while. 

The views were not spectacular as I was told but were occasional rides right up next to the lake; otherwise not scenic. The problem with this road was the construction.  There were numerous patches of gravel about 2 Ė 4 feet wide across the roadway which were OK to cross but we came upon a stretch of road about a quarter of a mile long where all the roadway had been broken up into gravel.  We didnít know whether to turn back or continue but a local car passing by said the gravel area was only about 500 yards long so we decided to ride it rather than turn back.  We made it across fine going one bike at a time.  The road eventually got us back to US41, where we found a great winding and beautifully tree canopied roadway all the way to Copper Harbor.  I had to wonder what that guy was thinking after enjoying this piece of roadway.  

Copper Harbor evidently had a lot of mining history but what I saw was a small touristy place with several shops and restaurants but little else.  Tamera was hungry so we stopped at the Tamarack Restaurant for dinner.  The place had pictures about the early history of the site and its commerce as a copper mining and shipping area.  I had my second pasty here and it was awful.  Tamera reminded me that Bruce and others had said to only eat the home made pasties and this one had to have been mass produced because it was bad.  If I had tried this one first, I would never have tried another.  I should have tried the fresh fish because it turned out to be a platter full of fish for a small price but I wasnít that hungry.  

We took MI26 back to Houghton and arrived about 9:30pm with the weather cooling down again.  MI26 was another great winding roadway along Lake Superior with spectacular scenery; too bad it was already late and dark for pictures.  This was another lost opportunity after taking the road suggested by the guy in Manistique.  Tamera was shutting down as we road back; she was exhausted but made it back.  After returning to the motel we took a walk around town and the others had ice cream at a local store hoping to reawaken Mikeís appetite.  It was still light at 10:15pm in this western haven of the Eastern Time zone


pull over to camera out

view ahead on MI94

view ahead on MI94

view ahead on MI94

view behind on MI94

construction on MI28

Lake Superior
Lake Superior

Miner's Castle thru trees

Miner's Castle

Miner's Castle

Dianna&Mike @ Miner's Castle

Tamera&Paul @ Miner's Castle

ABCs Touring Picture

downtown Munising

stop along Lake Superior

stop along Lake Superior

stop along Lake Superior

stop along Lake Superior

stop along Lake Superior

the road ahead

stop along Lake Superior

stop along Lake Superior

stop along Lake Superior

view while riding

view while riding

view while riding

view thru windshield

view while riding

view while riding

Bald Eagle, Marquette, MI

Tamera discusses 
Michigan's helmet laws

rest stop on the way to
Copper Harbor

Gay Road

Gay Road is now gravel

riding view of Lake Superior

riding view of Lake Superior

riding view of Lake Superior

US41 was curvey

start of US41 north

Tamarak Restaurant

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

MI26

Downtowner Motel 
in Houghton MI

view from motel

view from motel

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