Return from Burning Man
Here are a few photos from Burning Man. I am still struggling with how to describe the experience .. and it WAS an experience. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how much I did enjoy myself. The whole 'city' was impressive in it's shear size not to mention the amount of STUFF that people brought. It wasn't just food and water and tents. Almost every group had something to 'contribute' as in - they set up a bar or a stage or were doing performance art or educational seminars on a VERY WIDE variety of things. Some of them on the bizarre edges of social behavior and others very spiritual as in yoga and reaching to find your past lives. There were also things in between like the bike ride on Thursday - all naked men who met in the middle of the Playa for a ride. I was telling someone about this event that some in our group had watched, and they said .. oh don't worry you get your chance tomorrow. The Naked Woman Ride (different name but that is not for family reading). Well I can tell you that a naked woman might be a beautiful thing but NOT on a bike in a somewhat bumpy desert!
The weather was evidently better than in past years. We arrived at about 1:30 am on Thursday morning. It took us almost 1.5 hours to check in to the gates but there was no real rush as the place was alive!
We walked around and explored until abut 5am. As you can imagine with a name like burning man - many of the insallations had things burning. This was the Celtic Forrest which a friend of George Clyde's contributed to. For those of you who don't remember - George has been an AC lawyer for the last three cups and is also an announcer on a local radio station in Marshall CA.
After a quick 4 hour nap and we were up and about again. We only had two bikes so Arne and I went on about a 3 hour ride to look at the 'installations' out in the desert.
It was impressive! It was also very hot but the sweat just dries on your skin. And this first day I don't think we got above 100 degrees. The next day - not so much! It was hot and we were very happy to have an RV with AC. A couple of people stopped by including Eric Lee my friend and artist from Marin stopped by and we made them icy drinks (G&T) and sandwiches. This is all a philosophy of the 'community' concept - everyone does their best to share whatever you have and there is no money exchanging hands.
Out on the Playa a HUGE open expanse of desert there are things like this 'study desk' set up in the middle of no where and people contribute by writing their thoughts.
?One of my favorite intallations was the birdcage. This is standing on the edge and inside is a multi level swing.
Back to the weather - the final day for us - Friday there was a HUGE wind/sand storm. Again Arne and I were on bikes and we were at The End - literally the end of the playa where they set up a snow fence so people don't wander off and get lost and die in the desert. It is also the downwind extreme of the settlement. Well the wind came up to about 35 knots or more and the dust was incredible. For most of the trip back we couldn't see more than 10 feet. I am glad we were prepared with face masks and goggles so we could at least breath.
Thes pictures are mild compared to real life.! There is a reason taht I had to do 5 loads of laundry when we all got back!
And the dust is even there at night making flash photography not a good idea. This is a picture of Bart reaching for one of the most beautiful night time instillations. All of these were lit up and looked like a trailer with a beautiful garden of colors.. when we got closer it became a little more comical than beautiful. ;-)
Finally what everyone wants to know - yes there were a lot of people walking around naked but after the initialshock of walking to the porta-potty the first morning with my eyes barely open and almost physically running into a guy with a lot of piercing and nothing else on -the naked people just blended into the whole Mad Max - esque scenery.