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Author Topic: Return to POISON  (Read 1302 times)

Offline Elko450

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Return to POISON
« on: August 16, 2014, 11:19:55 AM »
This summer, I was privileged to ride in an endurance rally named POISON.  The theme was extremely complex, but it was essentially a conglomeration of past Cognoscente rally themes in one.  Read about it here if you'd like: http://www.fjrtech.net/cognoscente/poison/event.cfm?CFID=7209317&CFTOKEN=59435187

One of the requirements for POISON was to bring an animal bone of some type, and it had to be completely free of any "organic matter".  So no leftover chicken bones, roadkill fragments, or anything like that.  Some of the overachievers among us went & got a good sized piece of bone from their local butchers, and processed the bone until it was a clean, bleached specimen of pure bone.  Me, i took the easy route and bought a coyote skull from a taxidermy supplier on eBay.  The whole bone idea was a throwback to the Dawg Eat Dawg rally that took place some years ago. 

In POISON, as in Dawg Eat Dawg, contestants were required to bury their bone at a designated checkpoint, and it would be recovered later in order to acquire bonus points.  I know it sounds ridiculous to those not familiar with these competitive scavenger hunt type rallies, but trust me -- it's good good fun!

I never did go back & get my skull, since the point value wasn't worth it to me as far as scoring, so as far as I know it's still right where I left it.  Another facet of POISON is that we had to authenticate our required bonus location photos by hanging our numbered hats from our required knife, which had to be attached to the designated sign post.   My riding partner & I accomplished that by using super magnets or zip ties to attach the knife to each post, like this:


So... shortly I will be headed out toward Ely, Nevada in an effort to recover my skull.  BTW, that's "EE-lee Ne-VAA-duh", not "EE-lye Ne-VAH-duh".  Anyone says the latter, i swear I'll kick 'em in the shins.  mad1   

As a tribute to Nancy's & my POISON ride, I have magnetized and zip-tied a garden trowel to the downtube on Li'l Blackie in case i need it to un-bury the skull... assuming i can find the exact spot.


This is kind of a dual purpose trip actually.  Hope to be headed out within the hour.  As usual, here's the Spotwalla tracking link:  https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=af8d53eef8f6bdee9

Offline Elko450

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Re: Return to POISON
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2014, 05:14:56 PM »
Couldn't find the skull, dangit.  On top of that, my my favorite place to eat in Ely is closed because of the fair.  Double whammy.  mad1. Oh well, I reckon I'll just turn around & get go home.

Offline Hog Dog

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Re: Return to POISON
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2014, 08:52:01 AM »
Sounds like a fun ride.
Lucky Lindy's evil twin

Offline Elko450

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Re: Return to POISON
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 12:14:58 AM »
Sounds like a fun ride.

Oh, it was!!  Even though it was disappointing on a couple of fronts, it was still invigorating at the same time.  Details to follow shortly.

Offline Elko450

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Re: Return to POISON
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2014, 01:26:44 PM »
Finally a moment to post up the details.  Short story long, I headed west out of Elko on I-80 and then hung a left at Carlin onto SR278 for the 90 mile southbound slog to Eureka. 



Aside from the 20+ miles of interstate slab, 278 is probably the most boring stretch of road on this trip.  Maybe that's because I've been over so it many times that it doesn't hold many surprises for me any more.  It could be worse though.  Ordinarily, I would make this trip to Ely as a loop:  Elko --> Carlin --> Eureka --> Ely --> Wells --> Elko.  That would be the counterclockwise circular route as viewed on a map.  US93 between Ely & Wells is a very well maintained road, and one could make great time on it.  --But it's long, mostly straight, rather boring, and has a fair amount of traffic.  Besides that, there's 130ish miles between Ely/McGill and Wells with no gas, which is just too risky to chance with the 450's tank. 

There's a nice little twisty section just south of Carlin that leads up to an unnamed summit, which offers a nice view of the valley to the north.  The railroad parallels the mighty Humboldt River through here.  The river is about a yard wide & a foot deep now, but at least there's still *some* water in it.  Anyhoo, I had to stop at a RR crossing just south of the brothels at Carlin for this train to go by.  Had I reached the summit a few seconds earlier, I could've gotten the camera out a bit earlier to capture the locomotives at the front of the train.  Seems to me that would have been a nice shot.



It's surprising to see the landscape still this green this time of year, even away from the irrigated alfalfa crops.  Incidentally, that pole on the left is actually a telegraph pole.  There's even still some wire hanging along a few stretches. 



The rest of 278 offered lots of this:



...and this:



This section of 278  is a pretty much a long gradual boring climb up to the junction with US50.  From the junction, it's just a short 3 miles into Eureka. 




I previously chronicled a visit to Eureka before the unfortunate forum meltdown.  It's a charming little mining town that still retains a whole bunch of its Old West character.  Easy to imagine cowboys' horses tied to hitchin posts along the main drag...


These next 2 photos are from the last visit...






I hadn't planned on eating lunch here, because I was trying to save room for lunch in Ely; only 75-80 miles away.  My favorite place to eat there is a little bar/grill that offers the best gyros this side of Athens, & I can't get them often enough!  In fact, that was the other part of the dual-purpose nature of the trip as I stated in the opening; besides trying to retrieve my coyote skull.  But, upon arrival in Eureka i was pretty hungry and glad to see that the Pony Expresso deli was open. 



I scarfed down a small turkey/swiss sub & headed east on US50.  I don't  know about other states between California in Maryland, but in Nevada, 50 is reputed to be "The Loneliest Highway in America".   I don't necessarily think that holds true any more, but it's not like it's bustling with traffic either.  It is very scenic though, and offers some nice twisty bits here & there.  Most of the pictures I took didn't turn out well enough to show, unfortunately.   



I arrived at the gravel pit where all the POISON rally riders' bones had been buried.  I noted where a few holes had been dug 2 months earlier during the rally, and I dug a few of my own in an effort to recover my prize. 



I tried for over an hour, but I couldn't find it.  So I headed into Ely to top off the tank and to satisfy my gyro craving.   Another let-down, as I discovered that Rack's Bar & Grill was closed in observance of the county fair.  Gloom, despair, & agony on me!   :(


Wulp, nothing left to do now but turn around & head home.



I stopped in Eureka again on the way back for a bite of comfort food to relieve my overstated self-pity. viol   Why not?... I haven't been in the Owl Club restaurant in ages.


I elected to have the homestyle meatloaf.  This is totally not what I expected... I mean this was the mother of all meatloaves!



It was SOOOO GOOD!!  Thankfully, after that meal I was able stay awake for the 120 leg toward home.  Headed back up 278, I experienced my first glitch with this bike.  I stopped to take a picture with the bike posing in front of a sun-whisker backdrop...


...and another shot from the same place at a different angle...


When I got back on and turned the key, nothing happened.  No instrument lamps, no starter, no nuthin.  Earlier in the day I'd noticed that the lights wouldn't always come on right away, but I'd jiggle the key & everything was as it should be.  Therefore, I didn't think anything of it.  But now, no amount of key jiggling or key in-&-out would bring Li'l Blackie out of its short slumber.  The battery terminals were tight & non-corroded, so I was a complete loss for an explanation... 40 miles from any sign of civilization and absolutely no cell signal.  I was about to declare a state of emergency, but on a whim, I started jiggling the wire bundle under the headlight leading up to the ignition.  I saw the instruments flicker, and then become steady & bright.  Phew!!  The bike fired right up & there were no more problems on the way home.   





My stalker riding buddy & I made it home with exactly 11 miles shy of 400 for the day.  Even though I didn't get my coyote skull back & missed my favorite lunch, I had about 9 hours of quality me-time, under blue Nevada skies & perfect riding weather.  Absolutely nothing to complain about in the end. 





Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Return to POISON
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2014, 08:23:30 PM »
Great ride and a great write-up! Man, would I like to open 'er up on that stretch of highway!
Measure twice, cut once

Offline scguy

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Re: Return to POISON
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2014, 06:55:53 PM »
Hey! Small world! My cousin moved to Eureka from here in SC and I was there a couple years ago. Pretty cool little town, and life is kinda slow but beautiful in the valley. I ate at the Pony Express Deli also. Unfortunately, I was not on a bike, but in a Corolla, so no fun there. I was on a 12 day 6500 mile road trip with my friend.


Side question, how was the wind on the bike? It was crazy windy when I was there, and trying to hang tin on a horse barn in gusting wind does not go well.

RD

Offline hunter151

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Re: Return to POISON
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2014, 04:54:17 PM »
Great report! Thanks for the write-up! Seeing pics of your 450 sure makes me miss mine (looked exactly the same).

I had the same thing happen to me with the ignition. I ended up riding home at night with lights that would only stay on if I applied pressure in a specific way to the key. Its a pretty easy fix - the contacts inside the ignition get corroded and stuff only works in a specific way. If you can get to the ignition (pretty easy, just requires taking the headlight off), take off the plastic cap on the back of the ignition (its held in place with plastic tabs, be careful to not break those), clean up the contacts with some sandpaper, put dielectric grease everywhere and you'll be good to go with very smooth ignition operation.

Offline Elko450

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Re: Return to POISON
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2014, 03:37:45 PM »
If you can get to the ignition (pretty easy, just requires taking the headlight off), take off the plastic cap on the back of the ignition (its held in place with plastic tabs, be careful to not break those), clean up the contacts with some sandpaper, put dielectric grease everywhere and you'll be good to go with very smooth ignition operation.

Hunter, thanks so much for the tip!  Your diagnosis was spot on.  Details to follow...

 

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