Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Day 17

Tall Ship, Harbor, Marquette, Michigan

Tall Ship arriving in the Marquette, Michigan harbor

Day 17 of my motorcycle road trip, and I was on the road early. I was expecting another really hot day, and wanted to get on the road before the temperature heated up. One of the dangers of riding just after dawn is deer on the road. I hadn’t seen a deer on the road since riding at dusk on the first day. Another reminder to be alert while riding, and not to ride at dawn or dusk, if possible.

By 8:30 am, I was ready for a short break. I stopped at a Tourist Information Center with a nice second-story balcony overlooking a small lake and wooded area. I thought it would be a nice photo opportunity. Unfortunately, it didn’t open until 9:00 am. No point in hanging around.

Highway 2 through Wisconsin continued to be a very scenic road for a motorcycle ride. Unlike the long, flat and straight roads of the prairies, Highway 2 has some dimension and character to it. On the down side, the endless trees along side the road all start to look the same after a while.

My next stop was Ashland, Wisconsin. Riding through Ashland I saw a very strange pier structure in the harbor. It looked a little like a huge, multi-level parking garage reaching out into Lake Superior. That didn’t seem likely, so I stopped to check it out. It turned out to be a large iron-ore dock. I was built in 1916 to load iron-ore mined in the area onto freighters. It’s a concrete structure 1,800 feet long, 80 feet high and 75 feet wide. It was last used to ship ore in 1965. A little further up the road I stopped at Bayview Park. Once again, there was a interesting structure out into the water. It was a fishing pier and break wall. From the pier, I had a nice view of Chequamegon Bay and Lake Superior.


I crossed into Michigan and rode through a couple of interesting little towns: Ironwood and Wakefield. Wakefield had a nice little park on a lake with a large totem pole. From Wakefield, I exited Highway 2 and continued along Highway 28 to stay closer to Lake Superior. I stopped for a short break at Michigamme, then continued on for a late lunch in Ishpeming.

It was another very hot day. Sitting having lunch, I was feeling sick. I called my wife for a chat, and realized I was babbling and having trouble getting my thoughts together. We both recognized these were signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion. I had made a couple of bad riding decisions. First, I was pushing hard to reach St. Ignace, Michigan for the night. Several hours further than I had originally planned. Second, because I wasn’t stopping frequently, I wasn’t drinking much water. My wife said that I should stop riding for the day, and find a nice hotel in downtown Marquette. She also said I needed to drink something with electrolytes, not just water. She was very right.

About two hours later, after consuming several bottles of water and Gatorade, I was finally starting to feel better. A word of warning if you are riding in extreme heat. Drink a lot of water plus something with electrolytes. Once dehydration and heat exhaustion set in, it isn’t fun, and you may not be thinking clearly enough to stop riding and get out of the heat.

Ironically, getting sick was the best thing that could have happened to me. I decided to go out for a walk, and explore Marquette. As I walked along the sidewalk, some guy came running out of a building and just about knocked me over. He said that if I’m heading to the harbor to see the Tall Ships, I’d better hurry, they are coming into the harbor now. What a great, unexpected, highlight of the trip!


Road Trip – Previous and Next Day Posts

Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Day 16

Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Day 18

Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Day 1



  1. Man….you got some great photos on this ride! I’ve read the entire thing a couple of times, but I keep coming back to it when I need to get over the winter time blues 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us!



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