Meet Nathan Beck, a unique individual who is truly ‘one of a kind’
What kind of a man explores hundreds and hundreds of miles alone on an ATV? A man who travels across the Nevada desert through blazing heat, suffers hypothermia in the cold Rocky Mountains, loses his only companion—his dog not once but twice, overcomes break downs & hardships, experiences the kindness of strangers, and records the epic adventure in a daily journal!?
“I used to bicycle race cross-country in high school so I want to push myself—always pushing the endurance factor. I want to know what’s on the other side of the mountain, I have the itch to travel, my family moved around a lot when I was young. I want to see what is out there. Life is too short.”
What Nathan Beck did was truly remarkable—historic—inspirational—unbelievable! In the summer of 2006, he packed up his gear, grabbed his dog and just drove off into the sunset! OK, technically, he left in the morning and traveled east, but he still acted like a cowboy as he listened to country-western music on his satellite radio and enjoyed a saloon or two along the way. Nothing but open road and adventure awaited him.
Nathan’s original goal was to leave his home in Reno and travel to the Canadian border. He accomplished this feat in about 11 days, averaging 160 miles per day driving on trails and secondary roads. But as he started to head back home, he began to ponder the possibilities of going farther on his ATV. He made it to the Canadian border in a short amount of time and he was street legal from Idaho DMV, so he made the decision to go to Sturgis.
“I just wanted to go there. I have always wanted to experience Sturgis and since I was nearly half way, I just decided to take a detour. I found out how easy it was to travel on my ATV, so I wanted to keep going. I thought, man, I can just keep going...anywhere.”
But he almost didn’t make it, as day 16 in Bozeman, MT was most difficult for him.
“Losing my dog AND the mechanical breakdown was terrible. I was so desperate I was pushing my quad to the nearest gas station and I was saying to myself ‘this is how it ends’, I was thinking ‘I’m getting a U-Haul and I am going home’. ”
As he sulked later that evening, you can faintly hear Hank Williams singing in the background “There’s a tear in my beer”. But he had rewarding experiences as well during his 34 day, 5000 mile ATV trip.
“Making it to Sturgis—that was very rewarding for me. People could not believe that I came from Reno on a quad to the rally. But even more rewarding, the very last day of my trip I left at 11AM and drove straight til 1:30- the next morning...361 miles in one day—my personal best. I could barely get off the quad, I was so tired.”
When Nathan was asked ‘I wish I had’… he said:
“Definitely more money. I could not buy all the souvenirs, so I could not fully enjoy my trip like a real vacation.”
Wow. Traveling 34 days on a quad through 7 Western States is a vacation.
“Yeah, definitely, it was a vacation. Sometimes the scenery is not the best, but it’s all part of the trip.
Not just a trip but a journey, a rare life-time experience and your advice for other would-be ATV travelers?
“You need to be mechanically able. Also make sure you are up for the trip...mentally and physically. Imagine if it rains all day, then you’re in the mud, and you are begging for a hotel room by sundown...but they just sold the last one. You need to be tough enough for that.”
And what is the favorite food of choice on the trip?
“I can not live without spaghetti. I make it right there at the camp or on the side of the road, boil the water, everything”.
Nathan has plans for a 2007 summer trip maybe 10,000 miles in 60 days. What are you changing or bringing on your new adventure?
“No air mattress, going with foam and one extreme sleeping bag. I need more baby wipes. No lantern, it keeps breaking. In the food department, I need to make sure I plan organized grocery store trips. I would find myself miles from no where and I would be missing one key ingredient to make a great meal. Also, I only carry drinking water-- saves space and weight. ”
Nathan inspires a lot of other people, what inspires him?
“I went to an event in Fallon, NV and saw these guys with big, strong ATVs, and I was inspired by the ATV drag racing. Then I did some research and bought a quad and explored the land around Reno, I went to Virginia City and other areas in Nevada. I then met my main motivator, Don Stiles, he is 70 years old and he has way more energy than me. He showed me his ATV Wagon trailer and I knew I had to have one. There is no way I could have traveled all those miles without the ATV Wagon trailer. The extra fuel and supplies alone would have made it impossible.”
At the time of this interview, Nathan had put 17,603 miles on a 2004 Yamaha Grizzly in just 3 years of ownership. As he left on his epic adventure to Sturgis on July 15, 2006, his odometer already rolled past 10,000 miles. Remarkable.
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Read Nathan's epic adventure at: www.atvwagon.com/atv-adventure.html