James & Rachel

"We're covered in peach fuzz, it's actually really itchy. We're gonna go shower really quick." 

James and Rachel of Idle Theory Bus had pulled up the gravel road just minutes earlier in "Sunshine," their 1976 Volkswagen Kombi, trailing a cloud of dust in their wake. They wore denim overalls and flannel shirts and bright smiles. 

The pair are a rarity in many ways - high school lovers who have been together for 10 years, the two partner in work as media content creators (James makes films and take photos professionally, while Rachel is a freelance writer and serves as creative director), simultaneously traveling full time in their bright, clementine hued home-on-wheels between stints of manual labor on farms. When we met them, they were harvesting peaches in Palisade, Colorado, an agricultural region renowned for its peaches. Palisade is home of the Peach Fest as well as the Colorado Lavender Festival and the Colorado Mountain Winefest.

This was the thirteenth farm on which the couple has worked. Rachel reported that one of their more memorable farm experiences was on a goat dairy with newborn kids prancing around.

It was clear from talking with James and Rachel that the two share a deep connection with nature that fuels their love for life on the road. In their more than three years of mobile living, they have spent time living with primitive communities that start fires with bow drills and repurpose roadkill into wearable fur for warmth. In the van hangs a junior ranger vest bedecked with numerous badges from National Parks across the country. A collection of found feathers sits on Sunshine's dashboard and behind the passenger seat lay the remaining scraps of fur from which James had made his own moccasins during a turn on a rabbit farm.

We had our own taste of nature's beauty in our time with James and Rachel. The first night we had dinner together, James drove us out beyond the powerlines onto BLM land, where dun colored wild horses walked slowly by as we ate our hamburgers. The next evening, Rachel pointed out a tiny speck along the rim of Colorado National Monument rock formations and handed us the binoculars - a bald eagle sat serenely in the distance. They spoke with us about the joys and challenges of life on the road. For now, the joys far outweigh the hardships and they have no intention of stopping, although they did express future dreams of possibly owning their own little plot of land one day. They envision a place to practice permaculture, which they find to be the most sustainable, ethical means of farming, a more natural growth method in which plants, earth, animals, and people can thrive.

Hear more of their story in the full audio interview below.