Redneckmech and the Flight of the Nighthawk

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by redneckmech, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. redneckmech

    redneckmech Two-Wheel Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Up shift creek...
    Just a tryin to outrun the snow.

    In the end of October I was temporarily laid off of work and decided to take a trip. I had 1 week to pack.. I did not plan, I would wander whichever direction I chose the next morning..
    I had a great time and covered a lot of country in twelve days; after which I had a couple of months of catching up to do… I guess now is as good of a time as any to share my experiences with my ADV friends. I know that many of your ride reports have got me through the days of ice here in North Idaho and hope to return the favor.

    My trip began with a quote that I ran across on the internet.
    “Do not wait for ideal circumstances or the best opportunities, they will never come.” Janet Erskine Stuart
    I had wanted to take a good road trip on my bike if for anything just to get away from the rush for a while. Being just laid off for the winter I figured it was as good of a time as any; except for the fact it was November and beginning to snow. That moment, I decided what the heck, I might as well head South and try to outrun the snow for a bit. And there began my adventure….

    I headed out from SM around November First and headed on down to Boise Id where I stayed for a few days visiting my relatives... On the 4th I headed out from Boise without a plan whatsoever.... I was going to decide where to go as the trip progressed. I was on a budget so I set a maximum of $250 for the entire trip; No hotels for me. I arranged my camping gear and food and was ready to go.
    My gear list consisted of:

    Eureka Scenic Pass II tent
    Alps 0* sleeping bag
    MSR Whisperlite International camp stove
    Alps sleeping pad
    2 quart Sigg bottles of fuel for stove
    Yaesu VX-5R Ham radio and charger
    Cell phone and charger
    Garmin Etrex GPS
    GSI Pinnacle Backpacker cookset
    Emergency signal Parachute flare
    Surefire E2DL flashlight
    Leatherman Multi-tool
    40' of Parachute cord

    Cannon SX200IS camera, 3 batteries and charger
    Leather Jacket (casual wear)

    An extra pair of pants
    3 shirts
    4 pair socks
    Thermal underwear
    Chain Oil
    8 bags Idahoan Instant mashed potatoes (breakfast)
    8 apples (lunch)
    8 Knorr rice/asian sides (dinner)
    1lb coffee and a 20oz frenchpress/coffee cup
    And a Rand-Macnally 2003 road atlas

    I packed everything into my sidebags and my backpack that was doing duty as a tailbag and was ready to go.


    [​IMG]
    Posing with my Cousin Caleb



    I had gotten a bad tank of gas that morning in Marsing and the Nighthawk did not want to fly well then.... At 7500 feet elevation on the way to Silver City it was running poorly and had very little power. (enough that I was worried about whether I would make it to the top of the grade). The next time I filled up it began running much better so I am sure it was the gas... I only made about 28mpg to top it off.. The rest of the trip was about 38-46 depending on amount of headwind and how fast I was pushing it...
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    The road to Silver City


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    Silver City in all of its Glory (it is a cool town)


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    Nice Willy's Jeep


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    And to end the Day a GREAT camping location just off of the road to Silver City. The Pic is of the sunrise the next morning though....


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    And a Sunset at C.J. Strike Reservoir... (2 days Prior)


    More to continue.....
    #1
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  2. BUBB

    BUBB lynch not Zimmerman

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    20,676
    Location:
    I'm here because I'm not all there.
    please do continue
    #2
  3. Shawn595

    Shawn595 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    142
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Subscribed. I've seen some of your posts in the Nighthawk thread and am glad to see you out riding your NH.

    Although I'm over here on the East Coast, I'm hopefully going to take a trip just like this one later in the year. My budget will probably be about the same as yours too. I'd be interested to hear how you made out and what you had to do without.

    -Shawn
    #3
  4. traindriver

    traindriver Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Carl Junction M.O.
    looks good sofar
    #4
  5. rednax

    rednax Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    119
    Location:
    Gothenburg Sweden
    subscribed ! Nice start !
    #5
  6. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,132
    :thumb

    :lurk
    #6
  7. doink1968

    doink1968 Old noob.

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Portland, Maine, USA
    AMAZING PHOTOS!
    I can't wait to see more...
    And I'm amazed you did 12 days on just $250. Anything is possible; especially on a Nighthawk! Cheers!
    #7
  8. jcravens

    jcravens CoyoteGirl

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Forest Grove, Oregon
    I have a Honda Nighthawk 650 from 1982, so of course I am subscribing to your thread! Great start to your trip! My husband and I are hoping to do a trip from Oregon to Yellowstone and various points in between that we haven't already seen -- that Idaho ghost town looks awesome!
    #8
  9. M2

    M2 where 2 ride today?

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    West Carolina
    I visited (passed through mostly) Idaho on the say to the MAO Rally (South Side) and then on the way home via Glacier NP (North Side) and I really like your photos.
    Mike
    #9
  10. redneckmech

    redneckmech Two-Wheel Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Up shift creek...
    I uploaded a few more pics of Silver City and of the road leading to Silver City..
    Although I do not have any pictures of them, watch out for the convoys of mining trucks... I saw them coming and pulled off of the road into a wide turnout to let them pass.. They are slow moving, but they are big and loaded... I could just imagine myself meeting one of these on a corner and coming out the other end of it about .25" thick.

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    The Silver City Cemetery

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    Up at sunrise a little bit of breakfast in the form of mashed potatoes, Re-load the bike and ready to take off again..
    Headed South on Hwy 78 towards Bruneau.

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    when the sign says this^ they mean this V

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    Just when I think there might be a corner instead of an everlasting straight road this is what I find...... But, look a bit further into the distance and the road improves if just for a bit..

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    Another quick stop at C.J. Strike Reservoir, a bite of lunch (apple) and again I am on my way.
    I passed through Bruneau and followed the 51 down towards the Duck Valley Indian reservation.
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    Humming right along...

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    After seeing a lot of this..
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    This was a welcome sight... In case you cannot read it 25mph next 10 miles:clap:D

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    A stop at the Wild Horse Dam..

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    And on toward Elko...

    I came into Elko rather late, and after having the bike act up while on the way to Silver City I was paranoid that my air filter may be clogging up.. I stopped at the Artic Cat dealer in Elko who was very helpful and although he did not have a new airfilter he allowed me to use his air compressor to blow the accumulated dust out of mine.. The filter was not that bad, yet I wanted to be sure as I had quite a few more miles ahead of me. I stopped at the park in Elko just before dark and attempted to get on the internet there, Thankfully someone had an unsecured wifi network which allowed me to send a couple emails to my Uncle whom I had bought an item off of the internet for while staying in Boise... It turns out Paypal had told the seller that payment was received, he then sent the item and Paypal canceled the payment telling him that I had filed a claim against him.... I had not done so and the seller was thinking he was in hot water so to speak... I then began the excruciating process of verifying my account over the next couple of days so he could get payment....
    By the time I finished with email It was dusk and I still need to find a camping spot for the night. I wanted to head toward South Fork Recreation area where I wanted to obtain a spot to camp and being on a budget was hoping either for the campground to be closed or for some B.L.M. ground that was accessible off of the main road..
    First I needed to find my way out of town..... After 3 passes up and down the main drag looking for road signs I gave up on that and perused my Atlas. No such luck... I gave up and asked directions at a gas station on how to get out of town.. If I remember correctly they went like this: follow Idaho street for 3 blocks to 8th street, pass 2 stoplights on 8th street and take a left..:huh Well.. either way it worked.. I headed to the campground... When I got to the recreation area it was closed for the winter (good timing for a trip if you are a cheapskate). I parked in front of the gate and decided that it would be as good as a place as any; as the time was already 9:30pm mst..
    [​IMG]
    My campsite..

    [​IMG]
    And Dinner:D Cheap backpacking food, 99c on sale.. I learned of this when I camped an entire summer working for the USFS trail crew out of Avery ID.. Light and cheap although not as much nutrition as should be had when working.

    To be continued....
    #10
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  11. VTWIN-The Real VTWIN

    VTWIN-The Real VTWIN ZEPHYR

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    Maryland
    I am glade I woke up this morning!
    #11
  12. alekkas

    alekkas Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,167
    Location:
    Far West Chicago Burbs
    Very cool. Looking forward to more.
    #12
  13. doink1968

    doink1968 Old noob.

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Portland, Maine, USA
    ME TOO!
    We're getting 14" of snow here tomorrow, so I'll be keeping my head in these pictures and NOT looking out the window!!
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    #13
  14. redneckmech

    redneckmech Two-Wheel Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Up shift creek...
    Glad you are enjoying them...
    It is currently 4* and supposed to get 4-6 in of snow tomorrow... I have perused many ride reports in the past when conditions were too poor... I do ride in snow but when our 4 wheel drives will not make it up the driveway I take a bit of a hiatus. I live 3 miles from a paved road and the gravel road does not get maintained well; however I now have a snowbike, a 1990 xr250r that does great in the snow...

    Currently uploading more pictures.. Will update after I get them all down...
    #14
  15. redneckmech

    redneckmech Two-Wheel Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Up shift creek...
    Woke up for a beautiful sunrise the next morning...

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    This is the great part of getting up early... Views like this...

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    The view from my sleeping bag.. :D

    Staggered out of bed and began the daunting task of getting the campstove started without the benefit of coffee. Until I have had a couple cups I do not trust myself around sharp objects. Thankfully the campstove is pretty much fool proof and it was quickly brewing.

    [​IMG]
    Nothing more needs to be said......

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    the frost did however make some neat patterns on the rear cowling..

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    looking North and West of my camping spot

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    Oh deer...

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    And more of her friends..

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    The old fire station next to my grandmothers lot in Spring Creek

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    And back on the road.... Not too much between Elko and Ely so I will refrain from my pictures of straight road.... I followed the superslab to wells fueled up (point to remember) and dropped onto hwy 93 and headed on down to Ely..

    [​IMG]


    I was getting tired of straight pavement so I took an opportunity to turn off onto a gravel road that presented itself and rode out it for about 4 miles before finding it gated..
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    Nope, nothing really interesting here just an old wash further ahead..

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    and back on the pavement...

    I continued on down toward Ely noting that I had a pretty good headwind.. By the time I got to the junction with the 93alt I knew that I would have to be easy on the throttle and try to stretch the fuel out as much as possible... About 35 miles out of McGill the engine began sputtering, I reached down and switched to reserve. I then knew that it would be very close as to whether I made it to town or had to push for a while. The reserve is .8 gallons and I was making between 38-46 mpg average with all of the weight on the bike; with the headwind included I knew that it would be towards the lower figure...
    Several miles outside of town I could see it in the distance; oh well, I thought, at least I will not have too far to walk if I don't make it..
    Just as I slowed down and began entering the town of McGill the engine again started sputtering I quickly weaved back and forth on the road hoping to slosh the last bit of gas into the petcock; it worked. The engine caught and held for the last hundred yards or so to the gas station... Being as the gas station was the only one in town, their prices reflected it. I did some quick calculating and figured that I would only need a gallon or so in order to have plenty to make it to Ely. 1.5 gallons and I was again on my way none the worse off for my experience..

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    Just outside of Ely, WWII tank

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    I really should have gotten my bike into the picture...

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    A stop by the train station...


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    A railcar set up for plowing snow..

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    A quick stop by the city park to use wifi (provided by a motel) and I was on my way to Cave Lake recreation area for the night..


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    :huh At least it was a stretch only about 1/8 mile long (you can see the end sign on the very left of the picture)...

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    A short Jaunt on the Loneliest road in the US (HWY 50) and I turned off towards Cave Lake.

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    I kinda wish the road was over there...

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    Hey Yall!!
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    Cave Lake at the wrong time of day for good lighting... It is actually a neat little lake...
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    I was looking for a good spot to camp so I ran out the road for a ways after the pavement ended.
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    Possible campsite..

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    I finally settled on a spot where the road for the lower campground took off; shielded quite nicely from the road by a Forest Service trash compacter.... A bite of dinner and a few moments cogitating on where I wanted to go next and I was soundly asleep...

    Up next, Ely to Bryce Canyon
    #15
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  16. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,809
    Location:
    northern Arkansas
    Great rr, I guess about everyone has owned a Nighthawk at some point.
    I think you forgot a second 'I' for the tank; was the device below it a Skysweeper?
    Jim
    #16
  17. redneckmech

    redneckmech Two-Wheel Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Up shift creek...
    Yes, thanks for catching that.. I had meant to put wwII as the wwI tanks were not quite so advanced....

    The lower picture is of a skysweeper, I had to look it up as I am not familiar with anti-aircraft guns ( i can identify all of the fighter planes used in the European and pacific theaters).. Apparently it was the first gun to combine radar, analog computer, and autoloader onto a single carriage. It was used from the 1950s to the 1970s.

    Thanks for the heads up..
    #17
  18. redneckmech

    redneckmech Two-Wheel Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Up shift creek...
    I did a bit of quick researching and the tank appears to be an M4A2 medium tank as best as I can tell.
    #18
  19. CL77

    CL77 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    75
    Really enjoying this thread. From a fellow Nighthawker (yellow '96).
    #19
  20. redneckmech

    redneckmech Two-Wheel Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Up shift creek...
    Hey, same year. Mine is a Black 96.. Great bikes...
    Thanks
    #20
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