A Change in Direction

And now for something completely different! While exploring New Mexico we received confirmation of an anticipated job photographing wind energy for a company we have worked for over the years. Here is a link to the Center for Art + Environment on my “Harnessing the Wind” portfolio of images and ephemera from shooting wind energy across America.

So, off we go! “Gig Economy” is a phrase that has become popular lately and one we find humorous, as this is how we have always made our living as did my father before me.

We will be photographing several utility grade wind farms across the country for the company’s tenth anniversary. This postpones our house hunting for the moment, but, we’ll be back at it next year when we’re finished with the project.

180913023180913001Clovis, New Mexico

After photographing two wind farms in New Mexico, we are now heading east across the Great Plains. We’re keeping to back roads and byways across this flat landscape, avoiding freeways as much as possible. This may take a lot longer and that’s the point, making frequent stops to create photographs along the way. We want to get to know more of this country.

180915294Texico, New Mexico

180909070Melrose, New Mexico

180912073House, New Mexico

We have never considered living in the Midwest and this trip totally confirms it! When we set off on this expedition I didn’t even think I was interested in photographing what I thought was a boring landscape. Boy, was I wrong! I found the landscape to be an amazing place to create images. I would consider returning, as I found some places that I would like to spend more time exploring.

180308079180308087Tall Grass National Preserve, Kansas

We thank science and Mercedes for having a de-humidifier in the climate control system of our Sprinter as the humidity here is unbearable. At camp, we are incredibly uncomfortable especially when you add all of the insects! There are all kinds of insects, some are noisy, some are annoying, and most bite. Between the humidity and the bugs, we don’t get much sleep.

180923090Blaine, Kansas

“Whatch ya’ll doin’ here?” is the most commonly heard phrase since heading across the backroads of the Midwest. Most folks we encounter are superficially friendly at best, but clearly not trusting of strangers. Others just glare at us with that “what the fuck are you doing here” look on their face (these people make us nervous). Once we explain we’re making photographs, they quickly want to know our religious affiliation and then where we stand politically to find out who we really are. Obviously, we dodge their questions, which generally confuses them. At this point they usually glaze over and the conversation ends… I understand not everyone is like this across the Midwest, especially in the cities. But, this is what we have encountered… Why do these things matter so much to everyone? I’m not interested in folks’ religious or political inklings, there are so many other interesting things to talk about… Like the weather!

180922003Kingman, Kansas

Revival tents, religious slogans and confederate flags seem to be the best way to decorate yards in the rural Midwest which makes for fantastic fodder for plastic cameras! That means I have a lot of film to process. Common bumper stickers: “Not a Liberal” and “Spank your Children They Might grow up to be Democrats”. Common graffiti we’ve seen include “I (heart) JESUS” closely followed by “I (heart) TRUMP”. You get the idea. Makes one embarrassed to be American…

180919422Hereford, Texas

There’s a pervasive smell all across the Midwest. An unbelievably strong smell of animal excrement and death, topped off with a hint of agricultural chemicals. Just add a ton of humidity and insects on a flat landscape and you have rural Midwest living…

Still, it’s a fascinating place to photograph…

_B4A1626Paxton, Illinois

All images © 2018 Deon Reynolds

Advertisements

Looking for a Place to Make Art

180815040

We departed Carson City, Nevada back in August heading east across Highway 50 with the goal of investigating new places to call home and make art.

180805009Along Highway 50 in Nevada “The Loneliest Road in America”

Prior to our departure we had Rack Attack install roof rails and cross bars on our Sprinter so we could carry our canoe. Three times I said to them, “the cross bars are not far enough apart”. They insisted it was fine, showing us manufacturer’s displays saying it was the correct way to hold a canoe. By the time we got across Nevada with a strong cross wind, our 17′ Old Town Canadienne had pushed its way across the roof damaging the roof vent.

180822019McCormick, Utah

We lashed the canoe to the roof as best we could, but by the time we got to Hanksville, Utah it was clear the rack situation was not working. So, instead of spending time in Utah hiking and making photographs as originally planned, we found Denver had the closest rack installer. It turns out we found another Rack Attack location and they were able to accommodate us and our schedule. We just threw money at it… Hey Rack Attack, will you pay for a new Fan-Tastic powered roof vent that was damaged because your staff insisted it was the correct way to install our rack? No, I didn’t think so…

180825104Comanche National Grassland in Southeastern Colorado, with a roof rack that holds the canoe firmly in place.

After dealing with the canoe rack we turned south out of Colorado into New Mexico to explore places we might want to live.

180826038Kiowa Mesa, New Mexico

Special thanks to our friend, Astro Beck, who sent us to the Salinas Pueblo Missions. These missions are nothing short of gorgeous and the best part is so few people visit them. I shot a lot of film! I brought plenty of 35mm film for my plastic panorama cameras, but it turns out not enough 120 film. So, now I need to figure out how to purchase more film while on the road. That’s not so easy since we’re on the move, traveling the more rural areas to photograph, avoiding larger cities.

180829086Quarai Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, New Mexico

180829096Punta de Agua, New Mexico

180904031Gran Quivira Salinas Pueblo Mission National Monument, New Mexico

One of our biggest concerns of living in the Southwestern United States is water. I need a wet darkroom. We found some communities had great water and others places everyone had to truck their water, and that won’t work for us… I will be implementing a new water recycling system to greatly reduce water consumption in the darkroom, but I still need a good water source. Any thoughts?

180905026180905013Carrizozo, New Mexico

New Mexico has several amazingly strong art communities in some very surprising places. We found many affordable areas filled with artists and like minded folks who welcomed us into their communities (how refreshing!). Our questions are: Do the artists in these communities make a living, or are they retired with a pension or spouses wealthy enough to pay for the art supplies and bills?

180909045Tucumcari, New Mexico

 

www.deonreynolds.com

www.trishreynolds.com

All images © 2018 Deon Reynolds

Where to Live and Work as an Artist?

160512079

Trish and I have been without a house or studio for 142 days now. We have been traveling around in our Sprinter looking for the next place to call home. Living in our van has not been a bad thing, although we do have our moments… Mostly, we’re having brilliant fun traveling around exploring new places, meeting new people and creating lots of images. We have zero intentions of living in a van down by the river! We do in fact, plan on purchasing a home/studio in the near future. So, our plan is to take our time and carefully choose where we want to call home.

2012Sprinter

We have spent months scouring Nevada’s real estate, first searching the internet for listings, then traveling to those properties spending time to check out the communities first hand. We found, if the property was affordable, it was located in an area that was undesirable at too many levels to be considered. We also learned that most of the locations that would help us connect to the arts in Nevada are WAY out of our price range. Our travels have very sharply pointed out that Nevada is not an artist friendly place to live or work. First off, Nevada has little to no affordable housing/work space options for creative people. Plus, very few Nevadans truly support the arts at any level. We applaud and very much appreciate those that do. Thank you for your support over the years!

180629002

After months of exhaustive house hunting in Nevada, we decided to briefly look back to the Pacific Northwest, as many of our friends were prodding us to do so. We are both done with the rainy damp weather that occurs west of the Cascade Mountains. So, the only option is to look east of the Cascades. After a month of touring the Northwest, we only came up with one somewhat viable location to consider. So, we have decided to expand our search, traveling beyond our range, looking further afield.

180713028

If you have any ideas or comments regarding where two artists would fit in and make a living, please let us know, we’re all ears! Feel free to contact us. Thank you!

All images © 2018 Deon Reynolds

 

 

Day Trips Around Eureka

120316053The Geographic Center of Nevada is located not far from Eureka, Nevada.

For 13 years we’ve taken regular day trips around Eureka, shooting both film and digital images depending on our mood of the day and subject matter. This is what we will miss the most about living in the centre of Nevada. Sometimes during the Spring and Fall (our peak), we would take day trips every week. Winter and Summer are great times to be out too, but winter snows and muddy roads frequently makes back country travel difficult, not to mention dangerous. During the summer months it can get down right hot in the valleys, making it so you don’t want to get out of your air conditioned vehicle. The area around Eureka has an extremely low population density. What this meant for us is fantastic photographic opportunities, unencumbered by people getting in the way.

Please enjoy a photographic journey around the centre of the Great Basin Desert!

131108016Monitor Valley

040313c#6Kobeh Valley

150608110Smith Creek Playa

060815#30(SmithCreekValley)Smith Creek Playa

NV-2307Austin

101313#00(MustangWindmill)Diamond Valley

131013004Diamond Playa

052513#11Black Rock Desert

130714113Jumbled Rock Gulch

032313#16(BUMP)Lida Valley

NV-****Lahontan Valley

120330083Lunar Crater

111129082Potts Ranch

NV-1932*Buena Vista Valley

151013009Schell Creek Range

130106043Newark Valley

Thank you for taking the time to check out our adventures!

All images © 2018 Deon Reynolds

 

13 Years in Eureka, Nevada

I grew up in Portland, Oregon, Trish grew up across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington. We met in a camera store in Portland, imagine that! This part of the Pacific Northwest is what we call the wet side of the Cascades. In other words, it’s usually grey and drizzly if not down right raining most of the time. The rain is something we ultimately dread despite our excitement of going back to the Northwest to visit friends and family.

051298a#3(7thStreet)“7th Street” (1998)

“7th Street” is located just outside of Eureka in Diamond Valley. I created this image in May of 1998 when Trish and I were exploring the state creating images for a “NEVADA” calendar long before we ever considered moving to Eureka.

WARNING: sunshine is habit forming!

030609#11(DiamondMountains)“Diamond Mountain Sky” (2011)

For nearly a decade we had been creating images for “NEVADA” calendars and eventually our “NEVADA” book, both published by Graphic Arts Center. This was before we made the move to Eureka in 2005. So, we were already very much accustomed to the sunshine, low humidity and the high elevation of the Great Basin Desert. It wasn’t long before we learned the shoulder seasons were the best for our outback adventures that were just outside our door living in Eureka.

001“General Store” (2009)

Moving from the damp and rainy climate of the Pacific Northwest to a completely new landscape in a completely new climate zone was nothing short of exciting! Eureka is a small community (pop. 500ish) and at 1,975 metres, it’s high in the mountains of North America’s Great Basin Desert. Eureka gets about 22 centimetres of precipitation a year that mostly falls as snow. Eureka, also enjoys 300 days of sunshine and due to the high elevation it usually doesn’t get too hot during the summer. We found the artistic possibilities to be endless in every direction. The flip side however, it’s a very long drive before you find a real grocery store.

009“Eureka Angel” (2005)

123109c#33(NEVADA)“Snow On It” (2009)

111417#14(TwoHeadStones)“Two Headstones” (2011)

123109d#11(EurekaAngel)“Sky Angel” (2009)

Eureka has several very photogenic historic cemeteries, a frequent stop during our daily walks.

111417#16“Main Street Cowboy” (2017)

023“Walt’s Western Art” (2017)

070416c#8“Alpine Hotel” (2016)

111109#7“No Trespassing” (2009)

013“Hardware Store” (2017)

Eureka is filled with historic buildings in various stages of decay, or if the property is lucky, restoration. Trish and I walk regularly and most of the time I would pick a camera that inspires me that day and take it along on the excursion.

040313c#1(EndOfTheRoad)“End of the Road” (2013)

010210b#9“Mobile Living” (2010)

007“Little Trailer” (2010)

Eureka’s mobile living is not quite as old or as historic as other buildings in town. However, mobile living is part of a miner’s life, whether they are hauling their tree limbs from camp to camp, or moving their 5th wheel to the next big thing. I find these homes to be very interesting photographic fodder.

052013c#5“No Outlet” (2013)

Living in Eureka was an interesting experience to say the least. We were consistently amazed at an ever changing landscape, providing ceaseless inspiration for our art work. Plus, the wildlife we encountered while in Eureka was nothing short of amazing (I’m not a wildlife photographer, so don’t expect that). Our photographic library in both analog and digital grew exponentially, a tribute to the fabulous space known as the Great Basin Desert. And yes, we have images available for license.

So, why leave, you might ask? Several factors forced our move. Economics and death threats lead the list. Nevada Tourism changed how they promote Hwy 50, “The Loneliest Road in America” and at the same time, the Eureka County Commission cut funding for tourism and economic development. This double whammy effectively stopped tourists from visiting Eureka ending our seven year run of the Eureka Gallery. Next up, quite a few locals made our lives miserable. The so called art collector that encouraged our move to Eureka in the first place, turned out to be a sociopathic narcissist (run don’t walk away from these people). Plus, the last couple of years we received numerous death threats from newly empowered, uneducated, racist gun nuts. The last year we lived in Eureka we mostly hid out of fear, going out at odd times for errands and exercise. Just flat out being gone was our best option. Clearly we didn’t fit in Eureka, time to move on…

Photographic note: All of the images on this post were created on film with either a Kodak disposable, Holga or Hasselblad camera.

All images © 2018 Deon Reynolds

 

 

 

 

 

Wheat Paste Installations over Time

Trish and I have installed several large scale wheat paste murals over the past few years. I’m really impressed with their longevity and the over all quality achieved with an image created with a tiny 35mm black and white negative, printed on 20 lb. bond paper, then wheat pasted to a wall.

180507011“Roper”, our largest mural to date is 9′ high and 22′ across (April 2018). It’s located at the rear of 310 Stewart Street in Carson City, Nevada (not visible from Stewart Street). This image was created with a modified Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable camera reloaded with Kodak Tri-X black & white film. The panoramic crop is created within the camera, so the negative is really quite small. Yet, I find the quality of this image to be nothing short of amazing, unless, of course you’re standing just a few feet away. At that point you’ll see the grain of the film and the wonderful flaws of a crappy plastic camera.

Watch a time-lapse of us installing “Roper” click here

161216052“Sorting” is another one of my disposable camera images, it’s 5′ x 13′. It is located in the alleyway behind the Western Folklife Center at 510 Railroad Street, Elko, Nevada. The image above was shot just after it was installed in November of 2016.

180728016Same mural in August 2018 almost two years on, it is looking a bit tattered, but it’s deteriorating in such a splendid way, I can’t help but love this wheat paste more as it ages.

With the exception of the top image “Roper”, these are true wheat paste installations, meaning we cook up flour and water with a little sugar at the end, let it cool and then roll it on the surfaces as well as over the top of the print as the only glue. For “Roper”, we used industrial grade wall paper adhesive, as Carson City was looking for a longer lasting “temporary art” installation. The Carson City mural site faces west and is blasted every afternoon by the hot Nevada sun. The Elko murals are in an alleyway protecting them from Nevada’s weather extremes.

161216032“Mustang Windmill” same camera, 5′ x 13′, was located in the alleyway behind the Carlin Trend Building in Elko, Nevada. It didn’t fare so well, as it got tagged shortly after it went up, but then, water from snow melt ran off the side of the building down the wall, mostly destroying the image all together. We removed it’s carcass after three short months.

160412_7427“Roping”, 5′ x 7′ by Trish Reynolds was created using a 1920’s Kodak Brownie camera loaded with Ilford FP-4 120 film. This was the first large scale public art installation Trish and I collaborated on (Nov. 2016).

180728010“Roping”, almost two years later, has taken on an entirely new look (August 2018).

170416079The alleyway behind the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada (March 2017)

161216026“Antelope Shute” 7′ x 7′ and “Horses at Potts” 7′ x 17′ Elko, Nevada (Feb. 2017).

170221016“Horses at Potts” at 4th & Idaho in downtown Elko, Nevada. This site too, didn’t fare well, as the abandoned building doesn’t have gutters and the water (snow melt) from the roof pours off the side down the walls, making quick work of destroying the murals. Only a small amount of “Horses at Potts” is visible between political signs as of August 2018.

We love putting these murals up. It’s equally fun to install them, as it is to watch them gracefully disintegrate. Looking forward to the next installation!

All images © 2018 Deon Reynolds

 

 

 

Wild Camping

We’ve been houseless for over a hundred days now. The first month or so, we spent the majority of our time relaxing and enjoying the great outdoors. Relaxing was something neither one of us had an opportunity to experience for quite some time and experiencing the great outdoors is something both of us enjoy very much. Not to mention, I think the two work out quite well together.

170720015Wild camping on the crest of central Nevada’s Toiyabe Range.

During the last one hundred days we have mostly wild camped. Wild camping gets us to the places we want to create photographic images of nature. Some of the best wild camping spots are also some of the more remote spots, inviting nature to take centre stage and visited by few.

Wild camping lets us spend the night where we want to be for early and late light. Getting up really early somewhere, then driving an hour or more to get to that spot is not my idea of fun. Spending the night in a remote location surrounded by nature does.

180803132

180804204Toiyabe Crest, Nevada

Most of the wild camping we do is usually void of any kind of internet or cellular connection. It’s so nice to disconnect and pay attention to natures cycles.

180721236Monitor Valley, Nevada

We found that some county, state and national parks to be a better place to stop and use the facilities (shower/water/garbage) rather than a photographic point of interest. I’m not being derogatory towards the beauty of the parks, but moreover a reference as to how many images there are of the parks.

Below are just a few places we’ve been the last couple of months. I have been creating images on both film and digits, so it is going to be a while before we get to see what I’ve been creating on film. Unless there’s a darkroom out there, somewhere…

150608110Smith Creek Playa, Nevada

180721255Monitor Valley, Nevada

180714077Steens Mountain, Oregon

North America, Nevada, Churchill County, Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge.Stillwater Range, Nevada

120108003Diamond Playa, Nevada

170505002Lake Abert, Oregon

All images © 2018 Deon Reynolds

 

 

 

 

 

Nevada Parks

180610006Our houseless travels started out circling around North America’s Great Basin Desert. This is familiar country to us, as Trish and I have lived pretty much in the geographic centre of Nevada for the last thirteen years. All but the southernmost tip of Nevada is within the Great Basin Desert. We needed to stay close to Carson City to fulfill obligations, so, we purchased a Nevada State Park “All Access Permit” which allows the permit holder one year’s entrance, camping and boat launching at all Nevada State Park facilities. As you can imagine, we stop at Nevada State Parks frequently, even if it’s simply for a picnic or a quick shower, the permit makes everything so simple.

180506003Washoe Lake State Park is the leader of our most camped at park in Nevada, due to it’s close proximity to Reno (24 miles to the north) and Carson City (8 miles to the south). Washoe Lake is a pleasant, if not windy respite from the two cities. When we lived in Eureka, Nevada we would have business and/or a need to shop Reno and Carson about every four to six weeks. We would drive to Reno, a four and a half hour drive and accomplish the list of Reno errands, then pick up some take away and camp at Washoe Lake where we could always get a good hike in, weather permitting. The next morning after hot showers, we’d finish tasks in Carson to get on the road for our four and a half hour drive back to Eureka. Washoe Lake State Park has always been a very mellow place to spend the night, rarely ever finding but a few campers over the years. Lately, however, things have changed as we frequently find the campground full or nearly full, plus a growing community of homeless, including homeless families camping the limit. Anymore, we prefer visiting this park during the off season.

180512047On one of our journeys into the Great Basin’s “outback” we stopped at Fort Churchill State Historic Park. It had been years since we had been there and the park had always offered interesting photographic fodder. Upon arrival however we found ourselves in a mass of insects that made staying a bit uncomfortable. Before long we were packed up and driving a few miles north to Lahontan State Recreation Area. The insects may not have been any better at Lahontan, but the wind there seemed to keep them at bay. Lahontan gets busy when it’s boating season. Penis boats roaring across the reservoir at breakneck speeds and twenty-four hour drunken parties dotted along the beaches makes for an unfriendly co-exsistiance between the two kinds of wildlife that is attracted to this manmade body of water. Trish and I found Lahontan to be a delightful wildlife area with incredibly beautiful beaches to camp and hike along. Just stay away during party season!

180515025A flooded Beach #4 along Lahontan Reservoir.

180515012Lagoon at Beach #4.

180525035Walker Lake.

We decided to head east looking for less people and more landscape to explore, but didn’t want to drive US-50 (The Loneliest Road in America) since we had been driving it for so many years. So, we headed south towards Hawthorne, Nevada (Home of the world’s largest ammunition depot), then Tonopah, traversed the ET Highway and then to Caliente.

180521059Walker Lake.

Just before Hawthorne is Walker Lake, our intentions were a quick overnight camp spot, but ended up spending several days as the weather turned stormy and very interesting photographically. We had a beach front camp, few people around us and miles of beach to explore.

180308020Walker Lake.

180526001Walker Lake.

180308008Walker Lake.

Our first park on the east side of Nevada was Cathedral Gorge State Park Cathedral Gorge is near Caliente, Nevada on the eastern side of the state. We would end up back in Caliente several times over the next few weeks as we found the little market in town “Great Basin Foods” to be a well stocked grocery store with most everything one could need while camping in the area.

180601042Moon Caves.

The Juniper Draw Loop trail in Cathedral Gorge State Park is one of my favourites to hike especially at first light. The trail also connects to the Miller Point trail, another great point of interest. We spent several days here, as I like to hike with one camera, one lens, so we would hike the same trail over and over again with a different camera/lens set up.

180601052Moon Caves.

180602043Juniper Draw Loop Trail.

180602045Juniper Draw Loop Trail.

There is a cluster of Nevada State Parks around Caliente. Our intention was to stay in the area for several weeks exploring them. We want to return to a couple of the parks when we have more time, as I noticed several good photographic ideas to pursue. We ended up departing the area prematurely due to high temperatures. High elevation camping was the topic of conversation, with the air conditioner blasting, as we drove north to Great Basin National Park.

1806060013The Cirque, Great Basin National Park.

1806060022 The Cirque, Great Basin National Park.

Wheeler Peak Camp is at over 9,800 feet offering a wonderful break from the heat below. We even needed to put sweaters on in the evenings. The trails from this camp offer several amazing hiking options.

1806060063Teresa Lake, along the Alpine Lakes Loop trail in Great Basin National Park.

1806060073Stella Lake, Great Basin National Park.

After several months of van life, we still find that less is more and spending more time at locations that turn us on artistically pays off big time. As much as we like the parks, both Trish and I find “wild” camping to be the best camping of all!

All images © 2018 Deon Reynolds

 

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.

062212#1(Roping)

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.

IMG_9160

 

 

 

Time to Move

Time

With the EPA deregulating many rules inclusive of the mining industry, the small community of Eureka, Nevada, an area rich with new geological discoveries, has been experiencing an uptick in activity. Drillers rolling in, new mining companies opening offices, 5th Wheel trailers filling empty lots, rentals full and real estate seeing an increase in activity.

BuelStreet

In the middle of winter we were seeing activity on our 1880 Bank Building! One weekend alone, our real estate agent had multiple groups coming through to view our property, this after five years of thinking we were never going to sell the place! How exciting when the first offer came in! Unfortunately, it turned out to be an insultingly “low ball” offer that we ended up turning down… Then, the very next week a new door opened, our agent called to say a gentleman was on his way to see the building and would we be there to show it? He drove two days to get to Eureka from the Pacific Northwest. We showed the place to him most of the day, crawling through every passage possible and climbing ladders across the roof checking out every detail. He saw the good, the bad and the ugly. At the end of the day, we had a hand shake deal and all parties were quite happy. He needed to drive back to the Northwest and sell his property, so we agreed to close in 90 days. The first morning he returned to the Northwest he was awaked by a knock on the door, a woman standing there asking, “would you be interested in selling your house?”. It’s amazing how things fall together when they are meant to be…

Sunroom01

At first we thought, 90 days is plenty of time to pack up and move out… Wrong! When you live in a community as small and remote as Eureka, Nevada, things just take a lot longer. We’re so lucky we had started to purge our stuff nearly a year earlier. Best guess is we have sold, given away, donated, recycled or discarded nearly half of our belongings. For the first two months, we concentrated on packing and boxing up everything for long term storage. We would have clothes purging sessions. We both had lost considerable weight and most of our clothes no longer fit. So, most of our clothes were donated or repurposed. We held moving sales to find new homes for our unwanted stuff.

Next, where do we put everything? With a little research Trish found a storage unit and mailing address (forwarding service) in Carson City, Nevada.

Storage

Did I ever mention that Eureka, Nevada is a remote community? Depending on which direction you go, it’s a four to six hour drive to get to a city of reasonable size (a real grocery store). At first we thought we’d not put the miles on the Sprinter and rent a truck. Well at .89 cents a mile plus daily fees and insurance we quickly came to the realization that turning our Sprinter into a cargo hauler would save a lot of money. Not to mention, it was easier on our aging bodies to break up the packing and moving.

SeatOut

Our 2012 Mercedes Benz Sprinter has a Van Specialties interior. We knew the camper interior came out without the use of tools, but had never removed it before. It took about an hour, included taking out all of the camping gear too.

InsideRear

InsideFront

Cargo Hauler! The maximum allowable cargo capacity of our Sprinter is 5,880 lbs. On at least one trip to our storage unit we had an estimated load of around 5,000 lbs. The Sprinter handled it amazingly! Drove like a Mercedes Benz and got 20mpg doing it!

Studio01

It took several trips to storage to empty the building. We have come to the conclusion we still have way too much stuff. We plan on figuring out how to get through the storage unit and reduce even more…

Rusty

Rusty was somewhat stressed-out through the packing and moving parts. We kept his food, water, beds and litter box in their same places to help reduce his stress, but he was still stressed. Once we moved into the Sprinter he completely relaxed and is ready for adventure!

LivingRoom

The last week living in Eureka we were camping in our building.

Gone

“Gone” Our last day in Eureka, Nevada was Monday, April 30th 2018…

Parking

By the time we had reverted the Sprinter back into a camper and packed it for extended adventure, Spring had arrived and we are now mobile…