Nicholas Fluhart

June 7, 2011

2nd Anual East Camden Expedition Pt. 1

Filed under: Trips and Fun — Nicholas Fluhart @ 10:30 pm

I’m very late in posting this, but as late spring/early summer goes, I’ve had little time for blogging, what with my business and travel schedules. Back in March we launched the 2nd annul, much anticipated, and best yet East Camden, Arkansas expedition with this one focused on one primary objective: ATV riding. Rather than posting an obscenely long post, I’m going to break this up into multiple posts with this being Part-1: Setting Up.

After having planned all year, my core group at last gathered at the Omni Complex for a quick trip briefing before hitting the road north to the remote region known as “The Area”. To learn more about The Area, see my post on the 1st expedition. Since this trip was geared toward riding, it is only fitting that I give a brief rundown of the bikes and quads that the five of us employed on this trip.

My machines:

– 1993 Kawasaki KLX650R- I think this is the first appearance of my 650R on this blog. At some point within the next century I intend to do a full post on this bike. For this trip, I plan to ride it on our sport bike ride scheduled for day-1.

2002 Honda TRX350XX– This one was also taken in anticipation of day-1. After several years of storage, I pulled it out of moth balls specifically for this occasion.

1998 Honda 450 Foreman– Of course I took my faithful companion. No camping/riding trip would be the same without her, especially since day-2 was slated for a 4×4 adventure.

– Kawasaki Bayou 300 4×4– Here’s a new face in the crowd. I built this quad for a backup unit and took it along as a spare. Our rides can get pretty intense, and I don’t want to be knocked out early due to ATV failure like last year. At some point, I’ll post the project build for this one.

Brad’s Machines:

-1998 Yamaha 600 Grizzly– Armed with a new set of 28″ Dirt Devil XT’s, Big Grizz was quite impressive on this trip.

– Suzuki Z400 -Borrowed from a buddy for the day 1 sport bike ride at the dunes. Seen at left.

– Honda 420 Rancher 2WD- Brought as a backup unit, this quad has been to heck and back and still runs like a champ. Unbelievable.

Chris’ Machines

-Honda XR650R-The infamous 650R, seen at center, brought for the sport ride, day-1.

-1999 Honda 450 Foreman -You’ll see more of this quad later, and only then will you understand why I say that I haven’t seen one this clean since 1999.

Brian’s Machine

– 1986 Honda FourTrax 350 4×4– A legend, the FourTrax 350, later known as the 350 Foreman, easily held its own with the newer machines.

Moore’s Machine

– Honda 250 Recon -Brought for multi-purpose use, the Recon is another one that holds it’s own surprisingly well.

I know, a lot of machines for just five people…but we like to be prepared. So, the first order of business was to get loaded and hit the road. Below you’ll see a slide show of us trailering up, hitting the road, and setting up camp which included a 20″ enclosed trailer for sleeping arrangements, canopies, and a fantastic shower enclosure I purchased on Amazon. You’ll also see that upon arrival we determined that the functionality of the gate at the road was insufficient. Chris, our resident welder, immediately sprang into action…

That wraps up the intro. Later I will be posting the Day-1 sport ride and the surrounding events. TO BE CONTINUED…

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February 5, 2011

Hunting Trip – Mt Holly, AR 10-2010

Filed under: Trips and Fun — Nicholas Fluhart @ 4:17 pm

Here’s a few pics from our last group ride. It’s from our annual October hunting trip in Mt Holly, AR. For this trip I took my ’98 475 Foreman, my recently built Kawasaki Bayou 300 4×4 (I’ll be posting the Bayou build project soon), and my 1993 Kawasaki KLX650R dirt bike. Also on my trailer, we hauled my brother’s 1986 Honda 350 FourTrax Foreman. Below you see his Ford F-250 4×4 Diesel Harley Davidson edition pulling my recently refurbished 16ft trailer to the location.

At the camp, the machines present were my above mentioned bikes as well as a nice Polaris Ranger, a Yamaha Kodiak 450 IRS, and a Honda 420 Rancher 2WD.

We hunted up some dinner, and also encountered some non-edible wildlife…

Cleaning Squirrels

Snapping Turtle

Then it was time for the big ride. We hit the trails looking for challenging terrain…

…but we didn’t find much. Due to a long dry spell, most of the trails were a bit dusty so we decided to hit the pond instead. We were unsure of how deep the water was or if there was a bottom to the mud, but one-by-one we pressed on…

As always, it was a fun trip. There was plenty of food, guns, and machines; what more can you ask for? It certainly got us primed for our next trip, the 2nd annual East Camden, AR Expedition coming up in March.

Until next time…

December 5, 2010

Crossing a Beaver Pond

Filed under: Project: 475 Foreman,Trips and Fun — Nicholas Fluhart @ 9:03 pm

I had a fun outing to my land lease shortly before hunting season. My brother and I were riding our ATVs when we came to a section of the road that flooded a couple of years ago due to beavers damming up a nearby creek. We weren’t far from our destination. To turn back would mean adding another hour and a lot of additional miles to the ride, and it was a hot, dusty day; I really wanted to get into the water. There was a lot of seaweed and lily pads making it impossible to see the bottom and judge the depth. My main concern was a possible under-water trench from a culvert that had washed from under the road and was now floating at the shoulder. There is a swamp to the right of the road and a deep creek with moving water to the left, and water from the creek is now moving across the road into the swamp. Since I cannot see the bottom I could easily drive into a trench, drop out of sight, and loose my quad.

At this point most people would turn back….but I’m not most people. I love a challenge, especially when there’s a little danger involved. I had a plan. I began looking around for a tool that I could use to give me an edge, and then I found it: an old tree branch. I eagerly snatched it up to carry with me across the abyss. I would use the precision instrument to gauge the depth of the water in front of me as I drove along.

 

Selecting my precision instrument.

 

And then it begins. I inch my way out into the water. I look ahead to the other side to guesstimate where I need to be in order to keep myself centered on the road. It’s a little more difficult than it looks. As you can see, I don’t have my rubber boots on (at that time it hadn’t rained in two months so I wasn’t expecting mud or water) so I climbed onto the seat of my ATV.

Putting In

 

It’s relatively easy at first, but then the water starts to get deeper. However, it’s not so much the current depth of the water that gets my blood pumping, it’s the unknown variables. I absolutely cannot see through the murky water. How deep is it in front of me? Where are the shoulders of this narrow old road? If I get too close to the edge, which I cannot see, I could slide off the road into chest-deep water. There’s nothing I enjoy more than this type of riding!

Further into the unknown.

 

The water is getting deeper, naturally, but I could still turn back before this outing turns into a travesty. ….Not a chance. At this point I’m hooked; the only way I’d go back is via winch-line. I keep moving…

 

A little seaweed.

Past the point of no return now. As my depth gauge encounters an indigenous life form, I feel some obstacles on the ground beneath me. Probably a log? An old pipe? Who knows what’s down there considering I’m riding in a WWII era munitions depot. I try to correct…

 

At the edge.

…aarrrgg! Too much! I almost slid off the shoulder of the road. It’s narrow and impossible to see. I slow to a crawl as I use my stick with the value of a life preserver.

 

The half-way point.

As I reach the half-way point I’m encouraged to continue, however, the deepest section is yet to come. As I pass a flower on a lily pad I notice there is a slight current and I’m approaching the area where I believe the culvert was. With nerves of steel, I press on.

 

Approaching the deepest part.

With my exhaust pipe soundly under the surface gargling creek water, I realize I’m right in the deepest section where the culvert was. Fortunately there was not a deep trench there, but there was a bit of a dip. I pushed through and the front of the ATV bobbed as the water rolled up on top of the front fenders.

 

In the deepest section.

As I traverse through the dip I see light at the end of the tunnel and I know I can make it. At this point in a challenge I tend to get a little excited so I picked up the pace a bit. Before I realize it, the water is getting shallow and I near the bank. Alright! I did it.

 

 

Success!

 

On to the next one…

 

November 25, 2010

More to come…

Filed under: Trips and Fun,Uncategorized — Nicholas Fluhart @ 5:37 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to post, and my loyal readers, like all two of them, have requested more posts. It’s just that fall and spring are my two busiest seasons, so I haven’t had much time. However, I did manage to go on a short hunting/riding trip the last weekend in October. I also completed some late summer projects that I haven’t posted yet, so there is some really good stuff coming soon.

My antique Homelite chainsaw

August 29, 2010

Hunting and Fun

Filed under: Trips and Fun — Nicholas Fluhart @ 10:00 pm

My friends and I have an annual ritual that takes place in Mt. Holly, AR every fall. At the age of 14, my friend Philip and I started the tradition of taking a camping, four-wheeling, and hunting trip every fall on his family property in Mt. Holly. In subsequent years, others joined us and now we have a core group that meets every year. We primarily squirrel hunt, because it allows for multiple people and provides some lively action, and squirrel is a game that we can easily process and cook right at the camp site.

The first day, a couple of us get there early for an evening hunt in hopes of getting some meat to cook for dinner. As seen in the photos below, my friend Matthew and I were successful.

Then, we harvest some wood for the cook fire…

After the hunting everyone relaxes. There’s plenty to eat, lots of guns and target shooting, sometimes even some fishing, but it’s not until later that the real fun (in my opinion) begins when we hit the trails. Our riding style demands us to push the limits of our machines…

Almost lost it.

Almost lost it Part II.

…so it’s not uncommon to have to improvise when there’s an incident on the trails. In my case, I had a tire issue. While night riding, I hit a log in the trail and it applied so much pressure on my front tire that it shot an old patch-plug out of the tire like a bullet with a stream of pressurized green slime. Unfortunately, we were miles away from camp. It’s in situations like this that you have to analyze your surroundings and improvise with whatever you can find, or “MacGyver” it so to speak. On the side of the trail I found an old cigarette butt. I smeared some of the green slime sealant on it and used a small stick to plug it into the sidewall of the tire effectively sealing the hole. Fortunately, someone had a 12V air pump and we were able to air up the tire and finish the ride. Below you’ll see the cigarette butt in the tire.

And that’s the basis of our annual event. There will be more of these kinds of posts to come as I find more and more photos from the many years we’ve been doing this.

Until next time…

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