May 212015

MichiganOrchards, vineyards, farms, and craft breweries; rain, wind, sun and fog; sparkling lakes, dense forest, rugged rock and windblown sand: Michigan seems to have it all. With terrain sculpted by glaciers and moody weather influenced by the Great Lakes, it never gets boring. The motto, “Be prepared” is fitting. We saw every kind of weather (except snow, though conditions became precariously close on a couple occasions) and wide temperature swings. During our week here, we barely scratched the surface of all the state has to offer. Kayaking along the remote and wild Potagannissing River on Drummond Island plus backpacking around North Manitou Island were trip highlights. As a motorcycling destination, Michigan is best suited towards leisurely, scenic rides. Don’t expect to scrape the pegs here. Most roads are relatively straight either through economics or practicality. In the lightly populated Upper Peninsula, route options for road bikes are limited with many segments either gravel or dirt. Riding an adventure touring bike? Well, that’s a whole different story! With hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails slicing through the woods, dirt bike nirvana.

Expenses came in at $57.25 / day which was about $6 per day under budget. I once again went over on both lodging and drink, “How dry I am!!!” One led to the other: once in a nice comfy motel (because of rain, cold or both) it’s all too tempting to simply walk to the bar or liquor store for a few brews. Being in the woods or on a river tends to curb any such desires. Here’s a detailed list of expenses, click to enlarge…

Michigan 2015 Expenses

Waypoints and GPX file Download

Following is a map showing all the waypoints for this trip.

Download file: Michigan 2015.gpx Click to download .gpx file.

Badges Awarded

Two Recommended Badges have been awarded to establishments on this adventure:


Great Lakes Boat Building School. Cedarville, Michigan
Free tours of this boat building school makes one wonder: “Can anything be so beautiful and ornate that one feels guilty applying it towards its intended use?” Wooden watercraft built by the students are a labor of love and it’s hard to imagine anyone launching any of these boats once complete. They are better suited displayed as works of art. Like music, the art of boat construction is a universal language. Once they graduate, alumni could get a job anywhere in the world.

Islander Shoppe. Drummond Island, Michigan
Owned by friendly snowbirds Lori and Ron Ogden, the Islander Shoppe has everything needed for a kayak adventure on Drummond Island. Whether it’s circumnavigating the island’s 140 miles of shoreline, exploring the Drummond Island Archipelago, or an easy float along the inland Potagannissing River, the Islander Shoppe can provide the kayaks, paddles, life vest and vehicle tow to launch points. Ron’s a great guy to talk with and has a wealth of local information. And his punctual pick-up service is excellent. The shop also sells t-shirts, hoodies and souvenirs to commemorate a memorable trip.


Bunghole BadgeNone