Sunday, June 28, 2015

Minnesota Moto Guzzi Rally - 2015 Grand Marais

I should have ridden the Breva up north but it needs a tire and with my recent schedule, getting a new tire purchased and mounted just wasn't working out.  Truth be told, I really had wanted to give the Hyosung its rein and take a bigger trip with .....and a bigger trip we did.

I know, I know....Bob's BMW and Kevin's Ducati right here in front but those banners tell the real story.  We gathered at the Municipal Campground in Grand Marais, MN which is right down on the waterfront.  The park's pavilion was our meeting place; all brands parked in front, Moto Guzzi's too.

It had been 5 years since I was last up that far on the North Shore and that was for the 2010 rally held in the same place.

Friday morning on the way up I stopped at Palisade Head.  Traditionally a great place to get an up-high view of the big lake, I've always stopped to pick blueberries there.  This time it was too early in the season, berries were seen but they just weren't ready for picking.

Those larger rocks below in the very cold, clear water are the size of trucks.

I was only a few minutes away from some drone photography over the cliff but I didn't wait for it.

Rick and J.P. arrived shortly after I did, the tent village taking shape quickly.

Bob from Moto Guzzi Minneapolis was there, a very nice surprise, especially so since he was the one that had sold me the Hyosung a few years ago.  Bob graciously supplied an extra large Baker's Dozen of T-shirts as door prizes.

After Louise, Lynn, John and Kevin served us our pulled pork meal, Mike joined Rick, J.P. and I for a walk downtown.

We circled around the east side of the bay and walked out on the pier/breakwater.....bedrock making a natural harbor with a bit of help from some very old and stout concrete.

We managed to find various ways to spend our Saturday riding.....I had my Passport along intending to visit our neighbor to the north.  North of Grand Marais the border is only some 30 miles away and on the way I stopped at the Suzie Islands Rest Stop.

(Grabbed this photo on the way back into the US when the weather was a bit different than on the way up)

Thunder Bay and more specifically, Historic Fort William was my goal.


 Certain medical procedures were discussed here in the doctor's office.  We as visitors, mutually agreed that attention from the good doctor was very unnecessary.

 Herbal, more natural healing concoctions.  Some of these potentially did a great deal more than exfoliate.......

 I like maps and once upon a time, this one was State Of The Art....

 Reflector oven......

On the way back to Grand Marais, I stopped at the Grand Portage National Monument.  On more than one late October weekend, I've been up the 9 mile portage that the Voyageurs used to bring their winter's worth of pelts down to the trading post on the lake.  The Pigeon River (CA/USA border) tumbled over some very large waterfalls on its way to Lake Superior, making the Grand Portage necessary.  Large canoes and their crews then paddled their way to Montreal, moving the goods all for the Hudson Bay Company.

In May of 1977, I left from this spot for the boat ride, spending a week hiking the length of Isle Royale.

Took the Mail Boat over.....(1977)

Saw moose.....(1977...might be the last wild ones that I ever see)

But that was back boat rides this weekend.  Made another stop at Judge Magney State Park...

Rode up on the ridge above Grand Marais for the Grand View of the harbor....

Back downtown for a quick stop before heading back to the campground for our fresh fish dinner and award ceremony....

Fish that had been caught Saturday morning.....and they were good!

Campfires were very appreciated both Friday and Saturday evenings.....if you've camped within 1000 yards of Lake Superior you know what that means.

Sunday J.P. and I were some of the last to leave.....

Rain looked like a distinct possibility (few sprinkles overnight) never happened to me until I was almost home.

I made a few stops on the way back......Split Rock Lighthouse....Gooseberry Falls State Park.....early lunch in Two Harbors....

Passing through the two tunnels on Highway 61......If Minnesota has a "water highway", 61 has to be it.  Between bordering the Mississippi River along the Wisconsin border in the SE and this 150 mile pass along Lake Superior, this road has endless views of water.

I followed this couple through most of Superior, Wisconsin.....

The brave 250 ran the 821.8 miles with pride, the last 15 in very hard rain.

What a fun weekend, the big lake, good food, time with some new friends and some very fine and scenic riding.  A special thanks to Louise and John who put so much time and effort in to making the rally so enjoyable for the rest of us.