Burning Man 2011 Rite of Passage

Trip Start May 11, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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What I did

Flag of United States  , Nevada
Monday, August 29, 2011

What is Burning Man???

 Burning Man is a week-long annual event held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada. It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy on Saturday evening. The event is described by many participants as an experiment in community, radical self-expression, and radical self reliance. This is directly from Wiki. I felt  like I need to explain a little bit about this party because it is so different.

To further my plagiarism  I will now quote from the Burning Man site.....Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind. To  truly understand this event, one must participate.

As you can see from the pictures, Burning Man looks quite odd...I would also say if your a conservative person then LOOK AWAY!  You can chalk it up to a bunch of hippies playing in the desert.   

For me Burning Man had something for everyone!  Tons of art, oodles of theme parties, multitudes of art cars, contest, workshops, seminars, raves, hashes, yoga and the list goes on and on!  When we arrived at the gate we were given a program with activities for every hour of every day.  The activities/parties never stop for 7 full days.  24 hours a day there is something to do...and not just one thing..hundreds of things!  To give you an example of a typical day here is sample of what a program looked like.

7:00-8:00  Coffee and Spanking at Scarbutts Cafe   
8:00-9:00 Hot Yoga to Death Metal at Slasher Camp
10:00-11:00 Bloody Marys in your Underwear at  Camp Dingle-Berry
12:00-1:00  Experiencing Ayahuasca and what it can teach you at Center Camp
1:00-2:00  Free Vegan Coconut Ice Cream during naked limbo contest at Camp Loki
2:00-3:00  Beer Olympics at Camp Grog
3:00-4:00 Orgasmic Workshop at Camp Orgy Dome
4:00-5:00 Pole Dancing lessons with a Hula Hoop at Camp Strips-a-lot
5:00-6:00 Pick up Ultimate Frisbee on the Playa
7:00-8:00 Circus Boot Camp on the Trapeze at Camp Clown
9:00-10:00 Body Painting in the Buff at Camp Long Duck Dong
11:00-1200:  White Party with White Russians at Camp Communist
1:00-2:00  Wash and Get Washed at Camp H2O
3:00-4:00 Techno in a Tutu at Camp Club head
5:00-6:00 Swinger Switcharoo at Camp Fur Trader
7:00-8:00  Sunrise gathering to Ambient Tunes at Camp Hangover 

And the list goes on! The events never stop and there is always a hundred options for every hour!  It's a bit daunting to read the schedule and try to plan an itinerary so mostly we just wondered around from one shiny thing to the next!  I never had to feel bad if I wanted to go to bed early because the action never stopped. 


Art Cars:  Many people contribute by building a crazy looking art car that drives around the desert blasting beats, looking generally out of place or spewing fire.   At night, all these cars were lit with clever lighting that made for a surreal sight in the  middle of the dark desert.

Bikes:  You must have a bike because Black Rock city is massive (50,000 people) there are miles and miles of camps, parties and desert to explore.   People decorate their bike with fur and all sorts of random things.  At night the desert is pitch black and the bikes are adorned with all types of lights ranging from functional to insane!  I'm pretty sure everyone crashes at least once during the festival.   (See photo of Rob!)

Art:  The art  there was amazing and it was everywhere.   From the wooden temple to personal costumes, it never ceased to amaze me.  Artist arrived at the festival weeks in advance just to build something to display.  Some art was thought provoking while others were functional structures for climbing.  Simply put, it blew my mind! The things people can create!

Costumes:    Nobody dresses normal there!  That's for the real world.  The day time is scorching hot so peoples costumes range from birthday suits  to everything else under the sun!  Night time in the desert is bitter cold and that's when the fake fur comes out.  Raver gear with furry boots and vests seemed to be very common but that was due to the the ungodly amount of Dub Step parties.

 Red Dress Hash Yes!  A hash at Burning Man!  American Hashers know how to party so it makes sense that they would put on a run at one of the best festivals in America.  Since the desert is freaking hot and showers don't exists this event turned out to be a bike hash.  Our first stop was at Camp Glitter where while we were fed vodka and Gatorade (got to stay hydrated in the sun)  while our bodies were being smeared with glue and glitter!   Glitter is the herpes of the craft world, and for the rest of the week everyone we met became glitterfied! 

The Naked Water Truck Dash: Since showers don't really exists at Burning Man, one must improvise in order to avoid smelling like a homeless hippie.  Baby wipes only go so far...so we had to get clever.  To keep dust storms at a minimum the water trucks were constantly driving around spraying water.   All we had to do was, get naked, grab a bar of soap and run.   It took me a couple times to figure out that I needed to have my soap very accessible so when the truck drove by I would be ready.  Running naked with many strangers all soaping up at the same time is an experience that can not really be summed up in words.  

Dave, Pat, Ivory, Dan and me  all had a insanely fun time and despite the cost, I'm pretty sure most of us will be back! We are no longer virgins we are Burners!




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