My long-time friend and I started a tradition last year. Week-long motorcycle adventures; two riders, an interesting destination, and everything that comes in between. Last year it was the Skyline, Shenandoah National Park, and New Orleans, Louisiana. This year we are riding up the length of our home state, to it’s northernmost point, Copper Harbor. We both live in the southern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan, and neither of us have been all the way to top of the upper (the UP!). As a bonus, we’re going to ride down the shore of Lake Michigan on the Wisconsin side and take the car ferry back across to Michigan.
Day one saw us prepping gear, meeting up and taking US127 north and cutting across west to the town of Manistee to pick up the scenic M22 and ride the ‘Tunnel of Trees’. This is a winding road that runs along the west coast of Michigan and is a popular destination in the fall. If you time your trip just right, the trees are brilliant with reds, yellows and oranges, and it’s pretty spectacular. They are all green and lush now, and the effect is pretty amazing as you wind through the curves, up and down the hills.
Mounting up after dinner at Joes Friendly Tavern
Our goal was to make it all the way through the M22 stretch and up around the Leelenau peninsula to Traverse City. We got a little later start than planned and took more breaks. I’ve been a tad under the weather and my riding partner Ulysses was fatigued from rider coaching (insert plug for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider training course for new riders!) so we were done by the time we got to Empire, the little town next to Sleeping Bear Dunes, about 90 minutes shy of our destination. We had excellent tavern burgers at Joe’s Friendly Tavern (highly recommended –try the Dip Burger if you’re really hungry) and layed up for the night at the Duneswood Resort. So far the weather has been perfect (mid-70s) and the ride sublime.
Wrapping up the day at the Duneswood Resort.