My wife and daughter want our vacation to be a drive of the circle tour of Lake Superior around the beginning of August. I said "that should not be a problem." Then I was asked if we could do it in the 26 Tudor?
Before I say yes, I would like your input on driving a T on Trans-Canada Hwy 17 from Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay and what else I should be aware of. My cruise speed is usually 38-42 mph.
I'm not worried about the mileage as that segment will be done over 3 days. I just need to get an idea of the normal traffic volume and terrain. Also, any tips on where to lodge along the way.
That's 706 kms - 8 hours 6 mins according to google.
So about 16 hrs in a T.
Drove it 4 years ago and it is hilly, but very scenic. It is very sparsely populated.
Would reccomend Lake Superior Provincial park.
Are you bringing a tent and sleeping bags?
I had it figured at about 500 miles (800k) with side trips. We will do the parks and everything, but my wife is more of a motel and bed gal when it comes to lodging. At first glance, the overnight stops would be White River, Mt. Helen and Thunder Bay.
Dave, the Minnesota part of the North Shore of Lake Superior is one of my favorite places in Minnesota. If it helps any, there's a place in Beaver Bay named Camp 61 right on the highway. I stayed there three years ago and found it to be clean and very friendly. Their food is the best and the prices are very fair.
When we 5'th wheeled that trip it took us 30 days! Your going to miss everything but the black flys in 3 days.Yes there is a Shit Creek but in 3 days you will proably drive by and miss most of the water falls too. Bud.
Dave, Just a word to the wise: don't drive the North Shore Hwy61 from Friday through Monday evening. The traffic is very heavy...and all in a hurry. Personally I would do that segment on a Wednesday. I usually stay in Grand Marais at Carlson's Travellers rest (www.travellersrest.com). They have some cabins and a couple of motel units that are reasonably priced. Call or email ahead though. Best place to eat in Grand Marais: My Sister's Place right on the highway north end of town. Be sure to stop at some waterfalls along the way. Spectacular scenery!
And Dave, take a bunch of photos and post them for us shut-ins that are staying close to home this summer. And spend some quality time in Grand Marais. It's a beautiful town with some friendly people. I'll pray for good weather and safe travel. May the memory of St Christopher travel with you.
Dave, Forgot to mention that you should really make time to stop at Split Rock Lighthouse just north of Two Harbors. It's a North Shore "Must See". Fascinating place!
I wish we had more time, 7 to 8 day is all we have. This will be more like a sampler platter rather than a full meal. The plan is to leave from our daughter's home in Sheboygan and go counter-clockwise around Superior. A second trip will need to be planned once we see what's there.
The thought is to cover about 180 miles a day which equates to about 6 hrs. of total driving time. The rest of the time will be spent sightseeing. We did it that way touring waterfalls in the UP and it went really well.
It looks like we will hit the north shore ,southbound, on a Tuesday. Traffic normally doesn't bother me, but if it gets to heavy we'll just get off the road and "try" to find something to see.
The photo taking is my daughter's area of expertise and she is very good at it. It is nothing for her to snap 300-400 photos a day. That's the beauty of digital. At the end of the day, we download them onto our laptops or she just hands me a flash drive with everything on it.
Thanks for all the tips and if you think of anything else let me know.
Kevin, I was looking at making Two Harbors one of our overnight stays. I will put that on our list.
I drove this high for ten years in a big truck, It is a 2 lane highway with passing lanes and lots of trucks with no time to wait 55 mph speed limit.
I live in Thunder Bay and have driven the north shore of Superior more times than I'd like to admit. The northernmost part of the circle tour is awfully hilly, make sure your brakes are up to the task. Also, don't count on being able to buy a drop of gas between Sault Ste Marie and Wawa. There are a couple stations on that stretch but they can have odd hours and days closed.
Feel free to drop by my place on your way through if you like.
Split Rock Lighthouse is about 16 miles due north of Two Harbors on HWY 61. Just Google it to get their website and check it out.
Tim, I've been warned that fuel may be a problem so the plan is to start the day in Sault Ste Marie with a full tank and carry extra gas. My range is about 140 miles with about 1 1/2 gallons in reserve in the tank before I will need the gas can.
If time permits and the girls allow it (they know how I loose track of time when talking T), I would like to see a few of you guys. While the plan is to have a trouble free trip, it's good to know that there are other T'ers around that can help in a pinch.
By hilly, are you talking low gear hilly or just long gradual grade hilly. No aux trans, just what Ford made. The brake is reliable and the parking brake does its job.
Colin, I got it. Watch for big trucks and stay the #&%@ out of their way. Does this route have decent shoulders to pull off to let traffic pass?
Thanks all and keep the advice coming.
If you plan on traveling in your Model T don't forget to allow extra time for all the delays from the other travelers asking questions and wanting pictures!
Dennis, I hadn't considered that. I think the girls will keep me in line. It wouldn't be good if they went to see the sights while I just sat and talked T.
If one travles from Munising to Grand Marais by The Pictured Rock's there is a very nice new road. Leaving Grand Marais there is a two track that will get you close to Paradis and the Root Beer fall's and to the Soo! Bud.
Some shoulders are paved, and passing lanes I don't run this hiway any more it gets to crazy for me. You should be ok as your traveling in a group.
I have zero T driving experience at this point but what I can tell you is that a loaded transport truck will often slow to fifty or sixty km/h (or less) just to get up some of the hills but most of the shoulders are paved so there's room to get out of the way. I think I'd be more scared of it getting away on you going DOWN a hill...
If you do find yourself spending any time in Thunder Bay, Mount McKay has a good lookout that you can drive up to and look down on the whole city but it's kind of a pain to get to for the time being. Just 15 minutes outside the city is Kakabeka Falls which was featured in the background and write up in a Ford Canada ad for the 1919 T (or was it some other year? I could be wrong).
Used to work in Red Rock just south of Nipigon where 17 meets 11 ...... MANY years ago. Was a neat little town where you could drink beer and play snooker all Saturday night for $2.00 Canadian. Might be worth a side trip.
Have fun you lucky guy!
Hey Bud, that'a a long way from Panama City. Nipigon is one of the overnight stays. Having never been through this area, I appreciate all the input. Now I have to see what fits into the time frame. So many possibilities, so little time.
Tim, glad to hear about paved shoulders. Sounds like a few low only hills are in my future. The trick to going down hills is to keep the speed in check early and often.
Ken, been through that area and a lot of the UP with a modern car when our oldest was going to NMU in Marquette. More beautiful waterfalls and country than a person in flat country can imagine. Due to time constraints, it's been decided that we will forgo the trip across the UP this time and head SE from the Apostle Islands back to Sheboygan by way of Wausau.
My last charting on google maps has it at just under 1400 miles without side trips.
Yup,It's a heck of a trip.Our oldest Daughter graduated from NMU and her Husband from the Soo Bud.
Kevin, it wouldn't be that hard to meet up with Dave by the ore docks and the museum where the old train engines are in Two Harbors and run old hi way 61 down to Duluth with him. With the right weather I'd even consider running up there in the speedster on back roads and back again. It's a trip I've been wanting to take for awhile now.
Dave, a really neat thing to see while in the Silver Bay Area is Palisade Head. The road up is a winding single lane that will put your model t to work and good breaks are a must. When you find your way up there you'll be 200 ft above Lake Superior. The cliff rises straight up. When I was a kid my Dad would hang onto our feet and scoot us up to the edge to look over. I still have some strange fear of heights from the experience and have had many nightmares about the place. And yet Everytime I go up the North Shore I somehow find myself going up there. There are Native American legends often told about the place that involve arrow shooting competitions and virgin sacrifices.
I'll talk to you about it at the Re-union.
Mike & Kevin, I read your last post to my wife and she agreed that meeting up would be fun. Palisade Head sounds intriguing. The more I see these suggestions, it makes me wish we had more time.
This was in the parking lot of the big old fancy hotel in Ashland four years ago.
Two women got in it and drove away.
The city park has a humungous steam engine.
That's one nice looking coupe. Odd to see clinchers on a 26-7 model T. What were you doing in Ashland, WI?
On our way home from Rockford, Ill, after the passing of wife's mother. We stayed at the hotel.