Burning Man, 2010, Day Two

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J. is currently napping.  Had a full morning.  We did a parade around the camp and said “howdy” to the neighbors.  We blew up the pool and went “fishing”.  Her mama set up her play house and we went pretend shopping to fill up the shelves.

Lunch was busy at the commissary.  A lot of people, including myself, missed breakfast.  Last year after Early Man, the commissary made a big brunch since they figured most folks would be sleeping in.  Thanks to the pallet of PBR that was on site for the Early Man burn.  But this year, commissary did not do that and many people missed breakfast.

Lunch was crammed.  But to give credit where it is due, the food here is so much better than it has been the last two times I have come up with J’s family.  They work for the Burning Man organization and as such get those perks.  And since I’m their nanny, I too get perks.  It is such a relief to not have to worry about bringing food or water out to the playa.

I still had to do my fair share of preparing, but I travel pretty light and I know how to pack.  I had everything ready to go and packed up waiting on the curb with plenty of time to enjoy a snack curb side and drink a cup of tea while waiting for J’s mom to pick me up.

The tourists on the cable cars got quite an eye full.  I’m already a colorful San Francisco presence in Nob Hill as it is with my tattoos and my bike (not many people bike commute in Nob Hill).  Add to that my travel get up for heading out to Burning Man, and I say the tourist got a nice taste of San Francisco flavor.

The trip to Reno was hot, as per usual.  But instead of pushing through to the playa on the first day, we stopped and spent the night in a friend of the families home in Reno.  Fell asleep to the sound of crickets.  Was rather a delight to fall asleep beneath a thin sheet with the window wide open, not something I’ve done in San Fran in some time.

Yesterday morning we headed up to the playa after a quick breakfast and a side trip to the radio station where J’s mom had a radio interview on the morning show.  The ride from Reno was the best ever.  Intermittent cloud cover kept us cool in the car and J. was an amazing little traveler.

We got on playa around 3:30 pm.  Right before the big dust storm white out hit.  Rumor had it that Larry brought it with him.  I cannot confirm or deny that fact.  But I will say that we ran into him in both Nixon and Gerlach and the timing was a little eery.

The storm lasted until about 10pm last night.  But we made do.  Goggles were donned, bandanas wrapped around faces, and a good liberal coating of dust. I am beyond fortunate this year to have been provided with a trailer.  It is certainly not the Hyatt of trailers, but it is four walls and a roof and A/C.  Made for such a much softer landing then I have ever had out here.

And fortunately for me, I missed the dreaded playa head ache that just about attacks everyone on the first day.  I had already had it in Reno.  Altitude change does me in every time.

After dinner, which I was really happy to have after road food for one and a half days, camp really came together.  Hung some Christmas lights I found in a cabinet of the trailer and as I brought my Ipod cube, music was jamming.  Had impromptu dance party with J. and friends from Black Rock Solar.

After J. went to bed me and Amani headed back over to the commissary where a wedding was being held at 8:30.  We walked slowly through the dust storm, a total white out, getting slightly turned around by heavy machinery.  It only took us about twenty minutes to walk the usual five minute walk.

On the way we stumbled across one semi-stranded woman.  She was completely nude, no shoes, no water bottle, and no clue where the fuck she was.  She did have goggles on, but no dust mask either.  I had many a judgement, I can tell you.  I know there’s lots of nakedness out here, but put shoes on.  And always carry a dust mask and a water bottle! Always.

The wedding was brilliant and dusty and tear inducing.  Had several cups of hot tea and shot the breeze with Amani.  Ran into my favorite photog, Curley and his lovely lady Erica.  And Shawn, aka Ranger Delux.  Apparently the ranger name, “Sir Lix A lot” had gotten shot down, this was his second attempt at a name for himself.

Was awesome to see him and he and I, Amani, and Eric from Tech, rode out in his truck, hereby named the “Pepper Mill” for all the color full light effects it had going on, to the Early Man burn site.  We hung out and caught up until about ten when finally the dust storm abated and they lit the Early Man art pieces up.

The theme this year is Metropolis and the pieces reflected that.  My favorite was a miniature replica of the Empire State Building with King Kong attached to it.  It was done in scale and just adorable.  It never ceases to amaze me the attention to detail that artists put into their work only to shortly there after burn them to the ground.

I called it a night at 11 pm and headed back to camp.  My trailer was a dusty mess, but it was my trailer and I zippered myself into my sleeping bag and was out like a light.  I actually over slept this morning.  I am used to the sun shining hot and bright through my tent to guarantee a wake up in time for work.  Not so today, the A/C coupled with the shade of the trailer had me sleeping past my normal wake up.

Thus the late arrival at breakfast.  Where I got to watch the DPW guys stumble in from their late night PBR and assorted other party tricks.

It has been a really nice landing so far.  And I am excited to see where the event goes this year.  There are some amazing art pieces going up around me.  The Temple is outstandingly beautiful.  Can’t wait to go for a scooter ride with Curley and check out the art a little more close up.  And tonight, off to the hot springs in Traego.

And hell, it’s Burning Man, who knows what’s going to happen today.  Already ran into a waitress I used to employ at the Angelic Brewing Company ten years ago who is working on the neon for the Man sculpture in the line at the commissary for lunch.  Many, many adventures yet to be had.

Will keep you posted.

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