Just a couple thoughts as I happened to have been riding in the Western U.P. over Memorial Day weekend. I suggest checking with Michigan DOT about road construction. I was in Paulding and heard they plan to resurface between Watersmeet and Bruce Crossing. It sure could use it too. Also M-26 may have some work done north of Hancock.
If you don't want to ride construction between Watersmeet and Bruce Crossing, I have a one suggestion. A local rider recommended I ride Highway "B" west out of Land O' Lakes over to Marenisco which I did.
A little gravel here and there, but this is a nice motorcycling road. Some nice turns, good pavement and an interesting ride through Northern Wisconsin wilderness. From Marenisco, I suggest riding north along the "east" shore of Lake Gogebic up to M-28 and then east to Bruce Crossing. By the way if need a pit stop, find the Bergland Bay Bar and say hello to Tom & Becker. Real nice people and they'll treat you right.
When you leave Copper Harbor be sure to take US-41 and crank it up notch when you do. You'll see what I mean. Anyway, you all have a great ride. Any feedback or photos you can provide me to post to the U.P. Cruising website would be appreciated.
Unfortunately, I'm going be be down in Virginia when the rally takes place or you'd probably see me standing along side M-26 shooting pictures of you all. As it is I'm going to try and get some local photographers out there to take some for me.
Safe Ride & Enjoy!