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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever done a trip across the U.P., sledding from one town to the next spending the night then on to another town the next day and so on? If anyone has, would you share some info (town to town destinations, miles traveled in a day, best trails to take)? Thanks, Butch.
PS-would like to make it 4-5 days round trip.
 

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We could all get together and do that next year. Uh oh here we go again!
             Ryan
 

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Sounds fun, too bad I only get a weeks vacation for the year. Maybe I'll get an extra weeks vacation instead of a raise this year for my yearly evaluation! They froze our salaries, but maybe I can get some vacation out of them. One week is definitely not enough.
 

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Over the years I have made several cross country trips through the U.P. Mine have started in Wisconsin from Woodruff and Tomahawk. We have run from there to Ontanogon, South Range, Copper Harbor, Houghton, Lanse, Baraga, Ispheming, Marquette, Crystal Falls,Watersmeet.

The trails typically are good and well marked. 150 miles in a day is a snap. 250 is not a problem 300 or over is doable but now you have to push.  I have not ridden east of Marquette towards the Sault.
My U.P cross country trips averaged around 1000 miles for 6 days and this did not change if it was all guys or couples.
Most of the females that ride with us are as good ( and better) than some of the males.
2 years ago we spent the night near Manistique and rode around there in the morning , those trails were also good and well marked. Then we trailered to the Sault to get on the Snow Train for a small ( 750 mile) 6 day cross country in Ontario.

My snowmobile retreat is just outside the west edge of the U.P. in Wisc so that's the area I do most of my riding in.

You will have a good time and great riding. Accomodations can be as cheap as $35.00 per night up to about $140.00. Lots of the trails will get you to the casinos and their room rates and food are reasonable. They also offer you some other entertainment possibilities.

HAPPY TRAILS!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Snow King. We have a group of 7 or 8 that usually make the trip to the UP. We've never done the cross country type of trip, I just thought it would be a neat twist to things. We've done 250+ mile days but that's a long day. I think 150-200 milers wouldn't be bad (you never know how the trails will be). Thanks for your imput, Butch.
 

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I did something like that this year in Feb.  4 of us took off for the Cross Country thing.  We got about 200 miles from where we started and the trails turned to crap and it was almost 50 Degrees.  Ended up turning around and heading back the next day.  I'd say a trip like that would be a lot of fun if the trails were good, and the weather permitted it.
 

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Catrules2000,
That would be the biggest problem. The weather. When you have a lot of people planning on a trip, say over 6 or 8, you loose the flexibility required to jump on or off the trip depending on weather conditions. You almost have to be locked in at the peak of the season in an area well known for snow. We used to plan on the second week in Feb. for the northern coast of the UP. It's never let us down in all the years we've done it. We've had up to 24 sleds with us.

Spoiled now, I've lost the patience required to organize and lead large groups like that. Biggest aggravation was getting everyone going on the same schedule. Some wanted to party in the evenings and sleep in the next morning. Others had riding on their mind, wanted to run 12 hours or more a day.
All great people and good friends, just needed to figure out a way to figure out which group they fit in ahead of time.

Experience has taught me now to try and keep groups under
10 sleds. Almost a gaurantee of a good time for all. Much easier to get going in the mornings and after breaks.

We used to call these "oil and underwear" runs. That was all we carried with us.

Don't hesitate for a minute to do this. It isn't hard. No special skills required. Try to encourage people planning on running with you to make sure they are on a reliable sled, doesn't need to be new, just not an "extra" that hasn't been driven in 2 years. NOTHING will spoil a trip easier than a sled requiring constant attention.

Best of luck
AL
 

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Butch 800,
That would be a great trip. To give an idea of mileage: It's been a while since i went from Munising to Paradise but I think that was about 110 - 120 miles one way. I know from Munising to Houghton is about 190 miles because we do that every year. There are plenty of gas stops between Munising and Houghton and there is some neat scenery. Around Nestoria the trail is on power line and it's hilly and very rocky. The only problem is being at the mercy of the weather and the groomer. I was with Catrules 2000 this year on that trip. That's the second time in twelve years that we've had a snow meltdon on that trip. The first time it was so bad that one guys skis wore completely thru and he had rooster tails from the water coming thru his skis. I've also had more rough trails than smooth ones on this trip but you're stuck and have to keep going. But it's still good having a destination. If you go, good luck and I hope you get great trails.
 

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That sounds like fun.. Me and my buddies have been thinking about doing that for a while also.. We where considering starting in Grand maris, riding out to Marquette, then going out to my buddies cabon in rebublic.  Then back. Not to many miles a day, but would be a good relaxing trip! We went from munising to rebulic in one day.. It was a long ride, cause we where moving slow, and trails where not that great.. but any way.  I think maybe we should try and get some guys together and try for one of these.. maybe just a long weekend. start thrusday morning, come home on tuesday or something. what do u guys think? Would any one be interested?
 

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I have a friend that guides for Decker tours. He and one other guy took a ride all the way around Lake Superior.

I have another friend that started  to make that trip with 5 other guys and ran out of snow around Nipigon and circled north and back west.

I have set my group limits based on past experiences to 6 people. If I am really comfortable with the individuals, I'll stretch it to 8.  

I have some friends that always drive a support vehicle and with trailer. They rendevous every lunch and evening to rotate drivers. This is similar to the guided tours I've been on with Decker and Come Play in the Snow.  

If you are organizing a trip you need to set the ground rules that you are in control of when and where you go.

If you have more than one chief things really don't work well.
 

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I have not done it for some time now but we used to start at ST. Ignace or T
rout lake and go like to Marquette 200 miles, Bruces crossing 150, Copper harbor 200, lake of the clouds to baraga 150 and so on.
It is really a lot of fun but it has it's good and bad areas you just have to put up with.
After our second trip we discovered we did'nt have to waste our time making reservations. Just ride until you have had enough. The problem with reservations is you dont have time to play around much or you might run into low to no snow areas so that is a REAL problem for the sled!
Also keep your group down to four, with four getting one room is not a problem but two or more rooms can be.
Another problem is the more sleds the more problems that can happen slowing everybody down or shooting the whole day!

I say go for it! You cant believe the good people you run into.
One time we run into two guys in there late 50's at a bar in Ishpeming that were on a real cross country trip [ Iowa to drummond island and back] I hope I'am still riding at that age, these guys ride a min. of 5000 miles a year with each other then 2000 with the wife's.
Just dont make it into a marathon, have fun even if you only ride 50 miles a day and smell the roses or well, maybe the pine trees.
 
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