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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Burning Man

From Burning Man

I went to Burning Man for the last four days this year. It's impossible to fully describe what it's like, but I'll try to capture some of it.

I got in Thursday evening and was excited to get out and about. Most everyone else had been there since Monday, so were a little more laxed about the evening. We decided our destination was going to see a band called ALBINO! play. Now at Burning Man, having a destination and getting there are two different things because there are tons of distractions along the way. First we stopped at some random trampolines then at the Hookah lounge where they had cool music and fire dancing, and then there was an art car with a band playing.

We made it to see Albino and I don't think it took over an hour to get there, that's pretty good time. Burning Man is also known for its absurd and extravagant costumes and this year was no different.

Guy with tutu and headdress. My costume was a full suit.

So after albino we wandered around some more. We came up on a temple of sorts burning. It looked pretty cool. Then we rode on a few art cars and ended up on the other side of the playa. We then stumbled onto the coolest art car ever, the home brew art car. They had kegged their beer and had taps in the back. It was delicious and one of the last solid memories of the night. After that there was rave domes and wanderings, we made it home safe.

From Burning Man

The next day I got up to volunteer for the BLM which was basically driving around and taking pictures for monitoring purposes. It was a good excuse to drive around on a golf cart checking things out.

Bike powered blender with margaritas.Superheros

The temple this year was pretty neat. It was done by a different artist and it had it's own flair. The coolest thing was the double helix staircase in the middle to get to the platform. Going up you would look people in the face that were going down, trippy. As usual it was a solemn place of reverence which always seems weird and appropriate in the middle of a huge party.

That afternoon we looked at more art. We figured out the weird blocks were actually Tetris blocks. There was the faux pool, the Bummer (an oversized hummer), a temple, a massive rubber ducky art car and so much more. I also found my favorite theme came of the year called F-ing Unicorn camp and they had the best game called Uni-corn-hole.

Then there was the best bar. It's called The Deep End and it is always bumping during the day with the best drinks around. It's always at 9 o'clock and D, and I go there at least once a day. This year the drinks were Absinthe smoothies. (Half bottle of Absinthe, frozen strawberries and limes, two redbulls a little powdered milk and blend. Mmmmm) Check it out.

Friday afternoon is the legendary critical tits ride. It's like critical mass where bikers ride through major cities, but it's all topless women. It's more of a women empowerment then parading for guys. There are probably 5 to 10 thousand people with ages ranging from 8 to 80. Pasty art takes on a whole new definition. It happens at 4 and at 3.45 people come streaming from all parts of the city to the middle to ride or cheer on. The whole scene is quite amazing.

That was basically one day. We went back to camp to take a nap before going out and were treated to on of the most amazing sunsets. If you ever wondered what it's like to see a sunset in 360 degrees, this is as close as it gets.

That night we went out and saw the Lotus Girls fireworks show, then an art display burning, and looked at some cool night art. Unfortunately it was dusty this year so night pictures looked like a lot of spots, so I didn't take my camera out. There was one display that had book covers welded out of steel and they had a gas fire coming out of them. Then there was the wheel of fire where they built a fire in a circular cage and there was a crank to spin the cage and eventually centrifical force would hold the fire on the outside of the cage. It was like a flaming clothes dryer.

So that was ONE day. Saturday Jessica and I cruised around on golf carts again. Saw more art on the open playa and they were prepping the man to burn that night. About noon dusty gusts started to build up and by one it was almost a complete whiteout. At about the same time our golf cart stopped working. So we hunkered down and waited. In a little clearing we shook the golf cart and it started working so we made a trip back to camp without stopping and got back just before the worst part of the storm hit. So we were safe in a trailer waiting out the storm for about four hours. It happens and you just have to deal. I was just glad I wasn't lost in the dust.

Luckily it all cleared up by about 8 and the burning of the man proceeded. It was awesome. The party is always intense. We found a great place near the north side so we could get close and there was great 80's music coming from an art car that we never found. The fireworks were great and the man burned perfectly. The entire thing was on fire at the same time and it completely collapsed like a building coming down. It was hard to widdle down the photos.

What a show!!! After the man came down the fire dancing came out. There was so much fire dancing you get picky after awhile. They make really great pictures too. Then Jessica and I wandered the playa from party to party and hopped on art cars. The ducky was out and looked awesome, but we didn't try getting on. We passed out about three and it was a great night.

We had enough so we decided to come back Sunday afternoon, so we could have Monday to work on moving in to our new house. On the way back we got a flat tire, bound to happen on Jungo. But it was better then having to leave the same way as the rest of the traffic.

I'm already thinking about going back next year. Word around town is we're going to put together a real camp next year. Anyone is more then free to come out and join me!!!

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