After thinking about it for quite a while, I’ve decided to alter the name of my current project. Not long after starting this project in January of this year, I discovered another photography project was named very similarly – American Nomads. That project, while dealing with a similar idea, had a much darker tone. I actually felt the name was better applied to my work than to his. I didn’t want to lose it, but he had it first and I had to find a way to differentiate the two projects. During a recent portfolio review I attended at the RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco, I mentioned to Ann Jastrab I had attended an RV school as part of my first motorhome trip called, “Life on Wheels”. She suggested that would be a good name for the project. I added the subtitle, “The New American Nomads” and voila, Life on Wheels – The New American Nomads is born!
I am continuing to look for full-timers to photograph on this trip. It really is a natural part of traveling. Wherever we camp, we tend to strike up conversations with our neighbors and the subject of our rigs usually come up at some point. I find these folks are quite different than snowbirds, short-termers or weekend warriors. They run at a different pace, have a positive outlook on life and love what they do. I love to hear of their adventures. Larry and Dorothy have been full-timing since 2003. They are avid kayakers and split their time between the northwest and southern California, finding rivers and lakes to explore. They travel in a 27′ Lazy Daze rig very similar to mine.
Mary was a big help to me in meeting Rich and Renee. She was doing laundry at a very nice RV park in Westfir in the Cascade mountains of central Oregon. Renee walked in and they struck up a conversation. It sometimes can be difficult to tell who is full-timing and who is vacationing just by looking, so in the course of their conversation, Mary mentioned I was working on a project about the full-time lifestyle and Renee said the she and her husband Rich were full-timing. They are the hosts of the park and were very gracious in letting me in to their 40′ “diesel pusher” to photograph them and their rig. Happy Anniversary guys!
We stopped overnight at another small RV park in Eugene to restock. While there, into the space next to us, pulled John and Leanne. John is retired U.S. Army and has been full-timing since 1994. They were traveling with Hoa Le Thi, a friend visiting the United States for the first time, from Viet Nam. They were a very sweet group and John was very knowledgeable about the RVing life. Leanne is blogging their travels and you can keep up with them here. She is blogging their travels here: On the Road.
So the project is going well. I am continuing to find folks willing to let me photograph them and really enjoying the whole process at the same time.