Trish and I camp out a lot. Over the years we spend on average three months (accumulatively) out of the year camping in our Sprinter. We did the same in our Syncro Vanagon (4×4 VW Bus) that we drove for 24 years putting over 450,000 kilometres on it. But, before all this I was well trained by my parents, traveling extensively in their VW Bus Campmobiles and Land Rovers outfitted for photographic expeditions.
One of the many creative endeavours my father, Robert Reynolds, did was to create photographic coffee table books for Graphic Arts Center. He designed hundreds of books for this publisher and photographed seven books in their state book series. It was his first book, “ALASKA”, when the real adventures began. I was eleven years old when we packed up dad’s brand new 1969 Land Rover and took off for the great white north, camping for months on end in an amazing wilderness. Then, for his next book, “TEXAS”, he purchased a 1972 VW Bus Campmobile. This was the beginning of “#vanlife” for me. We traveled Texas in all seasons exploring every corner for his book. Many of these expeditions would keep us on the road for up to three months at a time. Well, at least for dad and myself. On many of these expeditions, my mother would start out quite enthusiastic, but it wouldn’t be too long before I would hear, “Bob, take me to an airport”. What this meant for the two of us was fewer motels, more remote camping and I got to ride up front!
On May 1st of 2018 Trish and I ended home ownership. Our goal, hit the road full time, explore new places, meet new people and eventually find a place to call home.
We departed Eureka, Nevada late in the afternoon on April 30th driving to Elko to sign escrow papers the next day. The Sprinter was totally overloaded with the final things out the door: cleaning supplies and boxes of jumbled thing we’ve used to the last minute and other excess stuff intended for our storage unit. This was in no way conducive for comfortable travel in the least bit. We had appointments in Elko and Reno making it impossible to make it to our storage unit for several days. In other words, a complete kerfuffle existed within our Sprinter!
This was our first morning out at South Fork State Recreation Area, near Elko, Nevada. Overloaded and overwhelmed with stuff…
Several days later, we finally made it to our storage unit to unloaded our extra stuff. It felt so good to have a bit of elbow room in the Sprinter again!
We had several events to attend and engagements on our calendar over the next month in and around Carson City and Reno, so we didn’t want to wander too far afield yet. We purchased an annual Nevada State Park Pass, embarking on a local journey checking out Nevada State Parks. We decided to start with the two parks we’ve never visited before. These journeys turned out to be incredibly helpful to us.
We treated this time as a shake down to hone our systems, refit and move items to places where you could actually get to them. And taking too many clothes is really a problem so we had to make some hard choices about what stays and what goes. In our case, we thought adding a few items for long term travel would make life easier or more convenient along the way. They turned out to be nothing more than a hinderance and something else to move around. We found the lighter the load, the easier it is to have maximum enjoyment out of our travels. Stuff only complicates the adventure, distracting you from why you are out there in the first place. It is very true, less is more!
We’ve now visited every state park in Nevada with the exception of the two newest ones, and one isn’t open yet (mid July 2018). Many of the parks have some fantastic and very underused trail systems. At each park we visited we hiked every trail and in most cases they offered the best park experience with virtually no one else around. Look for further posts regarding Nevada State Parks…
At one point, we finally had a little more time to travel further out so we headed east across Nevada to visit more state parks.
But, the weather suddenly turned hot, so we scrambled north to Great Basin National Park to go hiking among the Bristlecone Pines at over 3,300 metres.
Great Basin National Park
And, lets not forget about Rusty the adventure cat. He takes to the road better than most people I know. He’s ready for that TARDIS door to open to find a new planet to explore. He has really calmed down since we’re done packing stuff up in Eureka and have moved in to the Sprinter.
All images © 2018 Deon Reynolds