Black Rock City, Nevada - Tuesday morning was an odd one. I had went to bed early that night absolutely covered in dust (along with everything we had,) and awoke to calm weather, and a nice sunrise. The madness that was brought on by the sleeplessness from the drive in was gone (and trust me I slept for 13 hours after I finally napped out,) and I realized that I really was at Burning Man. Coffee camp was up and running, so I went to get my morning jolt. The coffee woke me up pretty nice and very quickly. I finished my cup of coffee and got dressed and cleaned off for the morning (the mud face ran rampant from where I had drooled in my sleep, and I also managed to ruin a razor trying in vain to shave without water out there.) After that, I decided to stick around camp for a while, and besides, we were in no hurry to go out and try to see everything. Those of us who had been there before knew that it was physically impossible to ever see all of the city. KB woke up from what looked to be the most uncomfortable position ever, doubled over in a camp chair. Shortly afterwards, he got changed into the bug eye Willy Wonka goggles that he had from the first time he went to Burning man.
I found Mr. Pete about an hour after I had woken up and started telling him what Burning Man was like, knowing full well that I was about to give him a tour of sorts so that he could experience at least a part of it first hand. I also knew that it was early in the week, and that after he had picked up the basics of navigation, he would be out on his own the same way that I was. We started the journey at least somewhat early, and made our way out towards Esplanade lane. We met stilt walkers along the way, a few of them actually. They were kind enough to allow us to snap a few pictures before we moved on, and one of them even had the idea of taking a picture of us from his perspective about 3 feet above us.
I love the randomness of Black Rock City.
After we hung a right on Esplanade, we saw a tree that was made of a wooden frame with ballerina shoes as the foliage. The artist that designed the structure went by the name of Butters and had said that she had built it in the middle of the dust storm from the day before. I find it simply amazing that out of something that made so many people so very miserable that something so beautiful and awesome could blossom like that. This is a depiction of the lovely Ms. Butters and her friends at their exhibit.
We continued on in our journey to the strange center of the city, and along the way, we ran into what I'm sure was supposed to be an art car, however the DPW (Department of Public Works) had not taken it out at any point during the week. It was a tree, but not like any tree that most people have ever seen. In fact, its more like a tree that would come out of one of Tim Burton's nightmares. It was made entirely of the bones of animals (faux bones, worry not vegetarians, no animals were harmed in the creation of said art car.) I had never seen anything like it, nor will I see anything like it again until next year at Burning Man.
We ran into a guy with the most awesome necklace that I had ever seen made for Burning Man farther down the road. It was made from Stained glass, and was very obviously designed with much care and attention. Myself and Mr. Pete asked him if he would like to meet our good friend Bob, and we went walking back towards center camp, and then onwards. After meeting with Bob, we traded a few finger lights for some awesome Alaskan smoked salmon (which by the way has my vote for best food of the week), and while that trade was taking place, we noticed a girl with a beautifully painted back. Yes, I mean back, here I'll show you.
We hung out and chatted over a couple of beers, and had fun while doing so before myself and Mr. Pete made our departure for Center Camp. Upon our arrival in Center Camp, we found what I am affectionately referring to as the art car to the underworld, complete with walking statues of Anubis leading the cart along. Music was blaring from the top, and in the center of the hieroglyphs, was the logo of the man with his arms raised.
After taking some pictures of this most awesome art car, I showed Mr. Pete the post office. My favorite sign by far was actually located on the front of said post office, but I feel that letting that sign speak for itself would be far better.
Mr. Pete found some post cards that he liked there at the post office, and traded some finger lights (and later a solar flashlight) for some of the post cards depicting events and art exhibits from years previous. I honestly don't think there was a single post card that he did not send out to somebody (I'm pretty sure that the last one he sent out was to himself as well.) Just as we were leaving the post office, I ran into the one person that I wanted to say hi to more than any out there, my friend from San Diego named Flutterby. I walked up and said her birth name (no, you don't get to find out what that is) and she screamed and threw her arms around me. After that, I gave Scott a hug because I had not seen him since the last time I was at the good Captain's house (and no I'm not talking about Tuesday.) It was so good getting to see them, but other than Sasquatch, Lady Frog, and Beauty, I didn't really see anybody else from San Diego that I knew. After the greetings, I headed with Mr. Pete into Center Camp. Mr. Pete had not seen center camp yet, and from the look he had on his face, it blew his mind seeing what the central camp of Black Rock City actually looked like. I took a seat while Mr. Pete looked around center camp and snapped many many pictures. While I was sitting, I bummed a guy a cigarette and he gave me a really really cool metal turtle that is hanging on the balcony outside of my apartment at current moment. Sometimes the more random gifts are the best ones you can receive at Burning Man. I met another interesting character named Raine while I was sitting at the bench in center camp taking a rest and smoke break, and I gifted her some inscence as it was her first time out at the burn. She, in turn wrote the following in the notebook that I happened to be carrying at the time:
And An Ode
If we dance free with love and hate, we choose to choose the other. Whether the other is hate or love, balance is all that center of the same, as I am you and you are me, we all have weeeeee! with ups and downs, my in is your out. my hate is nothing more than misguided love for you, and I do.... love you. familiar and powerful cam we capture each other in this moment? I believe so, a camera can break, but my words ring eternal in your book of life. Up, down, love, hate, no wordsw are all words, and we exist to exist.
I thought this was cool, you can go ahead and think whatever you want.
Shortly after, myself and Mr. Pete headed back to camp and waited out the rest of the afternoon.
In the next volume, the Captain and the Col. venture out into the unknown of Black Rock City, and find more drinks than the average 2 unofficial officers. Same blog time, same blog channel. Okay, maybe not the same time, but definitely by tomorrow evening. Until then, my quote of the day and closing bit for this article, "Shirt cocking is not art. Lose the shirt or put on some fucking pants."
Burn, Baby, Burn.