The First 30 Days on the Road

2012SprinterTrish 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.

1969AlaskaOne 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!

SouthForkThis 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!

IMG_9590Washoe Lake

IMG_0111Lahontan

IMG_0416Walker Lake

IMG_0199Berlin/Ichthyosaurs

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.

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IMG_0874Cathedral Gorge

IMG_0961Beaver Dam

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.

IMG_1207Great Basin National Park

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IMG_1231And, 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.

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Carson City Mural Project

You may have thought that over the past couple of months we were franticly packing up and moving out of our bank building in Eureka, Nevada. You’d be partly right! Long before we had an offer on our building, we had set into motion the creation of “Roper”, our largest mural project to date. It’s part of the National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” program in partnership with Arts Midwest. Carson City’s event, also sponsored by Visit Carson City and the Carson City Cultural Commission titled “True Grit” offers art and literary events for everyone from May 1st through July 22nd 2018. This mural is one of the many creative interventions to reimagine vacant and blighted commercial properties in Carson City.

180507011“Roper” is located at 310 Stewart Street, Carson City, Nevada. Look to the rear of this empty building. You’re looking at the mural from the Nugget’s #6 parking lot, just two blocks from the State Capitol.

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I created this image with a modified Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable camera, re-loaded with Kodak Tri-X black and white film. “Roper” was created at a ranch that Trish and I had frequented many times. We had made an assumption that it was an abandoned ranch since we had never seen anyone there and by how run down the place was. But, on this day, we arrived to find some cowboys and cowgirls sorting and branding calves. They invited us to stay and were welcome to make photographs of them working. What a memorable day that was. Thanks to all of them!

I process all my own film and make my own prints, including this giant 9’x22′ wheat paste mural. These wheat paste images are printed on 20 lb. plotter paper using an Epson 24″ printer, taking twelve hours to print and less than two hours to install. We had help from Mark Salinas, who is Carson City’s Arts & Culture Coordinator. Click the link for a 29 second time-lapse video of the installation.   “Roper” Time-Lapse 

180507058With one of my many Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable cameras.

180507045I love how the concrete blocks show through the image in this detail.

IMG_9140One of the RV campers made this sign from a pizza box to make sure no one parked in the way of our installation…

IMG_9147The day prior to installation Trish and I showed up at the site to prep the wall. We brushed off the loose paint, rolled on TSP and sprayed it off with clean water.

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“COWBOYS” at Northwest Reno Library

062212#1(Roping)I have a show entitled “COWBOYS” hanging at the Northwest Reno Library. Open January 5th through February 24th. You are invited to the closing reception from Noon to 1:00pm Saturday February 24th. Hope to see you there!

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Northwest Reno Library is located at: 2325 Robb Drive, Reno, NV 89523

Monday-Tuesday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Thursday-Friday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED

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I create these images with a plastic camera. It’s simplicity and spontaneity allows me to be more emotionally responsive to my ever changing environment. My camera of choice is a Kodak Fun Saver Panoramic 35 disposable camera. I recycle the cardboard cover, remove the color film and modify the interior. Using a darkroom tent, I reload the camera with Tri-X black & white film. I use filtration while shooting and adjust aspects of processing to maximize the film’s potential. Photographs are made on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl paper with archival pigment inks.

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I made the images for this show at several Central Nevada ranches over many years.

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9th Annual RayKo Plastic Camera Show

I’m very pleased to announce two of my images from Burning Man have juried into the RayKo Photo Center’s 9th Annual International Juried Plastic Camera Show. Thanks Ann!

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“Temple”

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“Hat Trick”

I am frequently asked, “What is a plastic camera”? Simply put, it is a camera made of plastic or more specifically a lens made of plastic. In other words, low quality, crappy optics. For me using a plastic camera translates into freedom from the technological aspects of photography allowing me to concentrate on the graphics and design of an image.

These photographs were created using a Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic” disposable camera that I reload with Kodak Tri-X black & white film. Like most artists I’m a control freak when it comes to my art. I process my own film and do all my own printing, both optical and digital. I make my own scans and print these images digitally on Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper using an Epson 7890 printer with K3 ink set for an archival quality print that will last for generations.

The Opening Artists Reception is Wednesday, March 9th from 6-8pm.

The exhibition runs from March 9th through April 29th, 2016

The Opening is free and open to the public. Many of the artists will be at the artists’ reception. Please support the arts by attending arts events and buying art. Hope to see you there!

RayKo Photo Center

428 Third Street

San Francisco, CA 94107
415-495-3773