This leg of the trip is about 245 miles if you are headed to Munising, which was our destination, so get an early start so you have time to stop at many of the sights along the way. We started the morning off with a quick breakfast in the reception area of the Sleep Inn, then hit the road.
First Stop: The Soo Locks in Sault Ste Marie.
Then it was off to cross over the bridge to the USA side of the border.
Tip #1: When you cross over to the USA side, there is a Visitors Center on the other side of the bridge. It’s a great place to stop and re-orient yourself and gear up, or gear down. I prefer to ride without a helmet when I can. (And when it’s not freakin freezing 35 degrees!) I say this as the passenger, who is riding with a man who has lived his whole life on a bike. I am confident in my husbands abilities to ride defensively, so I don’t wear one if I don’t have to. So, we strapped our helmets to the luggage and changed into lighter gear. This Visitors Center is a great place to secure everything for your ride up the point.
The weather finally warmed up, what a relief. It seemed that we left that storm behind in Canada and could shed the leathers for something a bit more appropriate for July!
Our next destination was Point Iroquois Lighthouse, but some beautiful scenery along the way…
When you get to the Lighthouse, climb it! It’s worth the view!
It was a quaint little light house where the guide stationed there kindly advised us the best route to Munising due to road construction, and encouraged us to stop at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, up on Whitefish Point. Allow yourself enough time to stop and really enjoy this museum and the grounds. The history is rich in this region, and the museum is well done.
Either on the way up to the Shipwreck Museum, or on the way back, you MUST swing in to the Berry Patch, located in Paradise, right there on Hwy 123. And you simply MUST have a Pastie! Back on the west coast, we don’t call them ‘Pasties’, we call them meat pies. But hey, when in Rome….
This is a place the locals hang out in, both summertime cabin owners and full time residents. At the table next to us was a couple with their grandchildren who were enjoying north cabin time with their grandparents. We struck up a conversation with them, as it seemed everyone we ran across on this ride was friendly! The food is excellent, the staff very helpful, and the atmosphere quaint and casual. A great stop before the long haul to Munising.
Then more breathtaking scenery before heading across the state on the inland side. There was road construction from the Museum to Grand Marais, so we missed the ‘beautifully paved’ new road described at the RideLakeSuperior site. Instead, as per the suggestion from the Lighthouse Keeper, we returned back through Paradise and headed west across the state. Miles and miles of gorgeous tree-line.
We arrived in Munising with plenty of daylight to spare. Man, I totally scored with my choice of local lodgings: Sunset Motel on the Bay. I highly recommend you skip the Marquette temptation and make this is your overnight destination. I cannot imagine a more gorgeous view to end the day with! It was BREATHTAKING!
We checked in, and asked around for a place to grab a bite.
Tip #2: Do NOT eat at the Dog Patch in town. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great. The menu was longer than the Grapes of Wrath and hard to read. The decor was odd and out of place. They had a ‘seafood buffet’ while we were there that smelled off. The staff was friendly, but the food was very mediocre. Instead, do what we should have done – get a pizza delivered to you; grab a bottle of wine and/or adult beverage from in town, and have a picnic dinner by the bay. The view is just so spectacular you cannot get enough of it, and they have nice chairs on the lawn.
Tip #3: Pack a corkscrew pull in your gear. (Wine opener) This way, you can pick up a bottle along the way and enjoy at your evening stops.
I’m not going to even post pictures of the meal we ate at the Dog Patch. Instead, I’d rather post some of the shots we took as the sun set on the Bay.
And my favorite shot, only because it encapsulates the ride in one photo:
That wraps up Day 5.
Up Next: Day 6 Munising to Copper Harbor.