Northwestern Road Round Trip

Not knowing where I wanted to go yesterday, I decided to head out onto Northwestern Road again. I enjoy taking this road, it’s very remote with some challenging rocky hills and deep forests. The only wildlife I saw was a couple deer, though I was hoping for moose because someone was just on this road and got a photo of one. Oh well. At one of the rustic bridges, over Cedar Creek I believe, the water was flowing over the bridge due to either a beaver damming it up or just debris blocking the flow under the bridge.
Other than the nice drive out in the woods, not much else going. Today I’m just taking it easy, but plan to head out again tomorrow somewhere.

Pea Can Falls

Pea Can Falls

Water Over The Bridge

Yard Sale

 

No More Clunk

Today I replaced the front sway bar end links on the Subie. What a bitch that job was! The end links that were on the Subie I think were the original factory installed ones. This would normally be a fairly easy job, but not these. Once the bolt is loosened, the whole unit starts to turn, this is normal, but the factory ones have a cheesedick setup. What is suppose to happen with the factory one, is you insert an allen key in the end to stop the bolt from turning while you take the nut off. What bullshit that is! These were rusty enough that the allen key stripped out the hole for it. What to do? Damn! Well, I tore off the rubber boot that is around the ball and socket so I could fit some vise grips in there and tighten it down so it wouldn’t turn while taking off the nut. That was still a bitch! Not really sure why, but near the end of the bolt, the nut was super super tight, so it took some real oomph to get the fucker to turn. After spending a few hours getting the two side off, the new after-market ones when right on. The new ones have a spot on the back side to put a wrench on and keep it from spinning. Much better! After that, I cleaned everything up, took a short break and grabbed Eli for a test drive up Menge Creek Rd. No more clunking. Yay!

On the drive, we just went up a ways and turned around, but on the way back I took a trail that headed into the hills. Now Menge Creek Rd goes through a really hilly area, so I took this trail hoping to see a view. Man, there is a really nice view up there, though of course I forgot my camera, but I’m looking forward to getting some autumn photos from up there.

Anyway, I guess that’s it for now, I’m pooped.

Saturday and Sunday

I did end up going for a little drive Saturday, it was too damn hot to stay home. Eli has been having a hard time with the heat, panting and panting, and it seems he’s missing Griz quite a bit, so I thought getting him in the cool car would help a little. We headed out Herman Nestoria Rd, again, thinking I might see some more wildflowers. I did see some flowers, but the deer and horse flies were horrendous, so I couldn’t get out to take any photos. After coming out to the highway I turned toward home, but saw a two-track to the left and took it. After driving for a little bit, and after passing a nice large pond, I came across another old concrete bridge. The bridge crosses the Tioga River. When I first saw the bridge I couldn’t get out due to the flies again, but once on the bridge they let up a little, so I hopped out with enough time to take a couple photos of the river. We continued on down the road, but it ended shortly due to a large pond/swamp that had swallowed up the trail. Turned around and headed for home.
I want to go back to this area once the bugs have died off.
Sunday I didn’t due much of anything, with the exception of some work on a step leading up the front deck. This one step has bugged the shit out of me because one of the boards is raised higher than the board next to it, and could be a trip hazard. Well, I started out just looking at it to see what was wrong with it, big mistake, now I had to fix it. Hard to explain how fucked up it was, but I got it done and it’s now in a proper placement.
Later in the day I got some pretty cool photos of a White-spotted Sawyer Beetle that was crawling on the deck.

First sight of the concrete bridge

On the bridge

Tioga River

Tioga River

White-spotted Sawyer Beetle

White-spotted Sawyer Beetle

White-spotted Sawyer Beetle

Old US-41 and More

Headed out to start the day on Old US-41 today with Eli, it’s been a few years since I’ve driven it.
The old bridge over Sturgeon River is always a bit strange with it being a narrow two-track at both ends. Beyond the bridge there is a long up hill, then back down in to some pretty deep and muddy holes. The Subie is like a tank going the the mud holes, with mud and water about a quarter way up the doors.
No photos of the mud holes, I was too busy driving. 😬

Once we came back out to the current US-41, I crossed onto King Lake Rd. That turned out to be a dead end at a small camp ground on the lake. During that little drive I crossed the old Soo Line Railroad tracks.

After that, headed back out to the main road then turned on Old Michigan 28. Found a turn that said Vermilac Lake Public Access. This turned out to be a very pretty spot. It’s also the only area we got out and did some walking around. Every other spot I stopped at the deer flies where thick as mud and biting as if they haven’t eaten this year.

Next jaunt I took was back up to the current US-28, turned west on Section 16 Rd and followed that until East Plains Rd, which is part of Baraga Plains Rd. Interesting area. There looks like there use to be a couple old towns along Section 16 Rd, but I not sure. There was and old cemetery.  As I was cruising along, I saw a sign that read Tibbets Falls, so I turned down the two-track. Went all the way until a small parking area. As I sat there thinking about going to the falls, the deer flies started to attack, so no way this time. I’ll go back there this fall now that I know where it is.

From there, headed down Plains Rd which did turn into Baraga Plains Rd, then down Menge Creek to home. About a 4 miles down Menge Creek Rd, which is about 8 miles from home, there were signs of a forest fire, a pretty recent fire. I haven’t heard anything about it, but I’m going to ask around. I then carried on home.

Once home, I sat down to unload the photos I took, then felt something crawling on my leg. Damnit! A fucking tick! I grabbed it and down the toilet it went. Then quickly sprayed Eli down real good with tick stuff, threw my clothes in a hot wash and took a shower to look for any more. None. That’s the first tick of the season. I hate the little fuckers!

Old US-41

Old US-41

Old US-41

Old US-41

Abandoned Soo Line Railroad

Birds-foot Trefoil

Wild Geranium

Malva moschata / Musk Mallow

Keweenaw Fix

I needed my Keweenaw Fix, so went there today. I think there may have been snow still on the ground last time I was there, not sure. Anyway, made it a fairly quick trip with a main goal of seeing if I could get to the top of the cliffs with the Subie. It was no problem at all. I then drove up to Copper Harbor, circled the town and headed back along the shore, with one stop along the way.

Shortish Drive

Went out for a short drive today, just that area I said in my last post. Lots of snow out there! The only problem was that the snow banks were so high, you couldn’t see over them and also, the winds hit the Herman area so most the snow had fallen from the trees. All the snow on the trees is one thing I was looking for. Oh well.

Here’s a couple photos from Herman Rd. I did take more, but haven’t gotten to them yet. Many times I wondered if I was on a snow machine trail.


First Drive

Yesterday I went for my first real drive in the new Subaru. I headed up for the Keweenaw. The weather was quite gloomy, but that really didn’t matter, I was mainly giving myself time to get use to how a Subaru drives, and I have to say, very very well. I drove on pavement, sloppy snow, ice and then some climbing in snow and ice. This car is very impressive. I went to the end of US41 in Copper Harbor and say that the road out had been traveled, but I just wasn’t ready to give that a try yet, so I headed on down the shoreline. When I passed the road that heads up to Brockway I noticed tracks heading up, but I still wasn’t ready. Finally after stopping for photos along the shoreline, I came to the back entrance  to Brockway, I passed it at first, then said fuckit, I’m going for it, so I turned around and headed up. Following the few tracks heading up, a couple spots I did hesitate, but continued. There was not one single spot this Subie had any problem, it just goes and goes. At the top of Brockway was really cloudy and kind of surreal without anyone else around and during winter. Now it was time to drive back down, so I first put the Subie into Sport Mode (the gear shift can move to the left from drive, that puts it into Spot Mode and allows for tighter gearing), though that was still letting me roll to fast for the snow and ice, so I put it into Manual Mode (from Sport Mode, you can down shift and up shift which places the Subie into Manual Mode). This did the trick going down the steeper parts of the drive down. After getting back to the main road, it was time to head home.
All in all, I think I’m going to be very happy with this Subaru, and even with working it quite a bit I averaged 28 miles per gallon.
I do realize that thick mud and very rocky areas will be out of the question with the Subie, but I’ve been thinking, do I really need to go into the mud? No I don’t, besides, it’s a pain in the ass to clean off.
I need to figure out a name for the Subaru.

Top of Brockway

Heading Down From Brockway

Bleak and gloomy Lake Medora

Keweenaw Shore

Keweenaw Shore

Snowy billion year old lava.