A new day

Trip Start Jul 04, 2009
Trip End Sep 06, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's a bit early.  Vinny's out cold.  Joe isn't moving much either.

I head over to Center Camp.  There's a large tent structure with a stage, a lot of seating, a small open floor area and a bunch of espresso machines and cash registers.  They sell drip coffee, espresso drinks (iced or hot), electrolyte drinks, lemonade and that's about it.  It's the only place that sells anything except the 3 ice stations in the city.

There's a singer/songwriter on stage in front of a small crowd.  There's a growing line at the few registers open selling coffee.  There are a few people who look like they've slept on the painted plywood seating all night.  And, a few who are writing in journals, doing tai chi or yoga, or just waking up.

I head back to the motorhome and find signs of life.  We do a little breakfast and One of my co-workers has a golf cart that he lends us.  Vinny hops on his bike and Joe and I get in the golf cart and we head out generally toward the Man zig zagging our way from one art piece to another.  There are tons of sculptures out in the open Playa area (away from the camp area).  The size of the Playa and the number of art pieces is stunning.  It’s impossible to capture the size of the place in a picture.  Even the pictures taken from airplanes/skydivers don’t get across the shear size of the place. 

From a distance, the art pieces are tiny specs in the vast desert.  You just head toward a dot and see what you stumble upon.  My favorite is an obelisk that has a music looping system to create your own music in the desert off a keypad and effects keys.  There’s a beautiful “tree nest” at the far edge that you can climb up through the trunk, then sit in the nest.  There are metal figures, an iron pipe ‘nest’ with Fabrege-esque eggs in it, video screens showing performance art, all kinds of things.  The artists put generators away from the art to power the stuff that needs power.  It’s endless and fascinating.

Dougie Fresh pops by.  He says there's another spot that has a more reliable electrical connection.  He takes me over to look at it.  It's a tight squeeze in behind some other vehicles at the outer edge of First Camp between Picasso Camp and a camp called "The Dump".  It's VERY near Center Camp and across the street from the largest Ice station.

I get the boys to pack up and they follow me over on the bikes while I thread the needle to put the motorhome into the spot.  It ends up we're camping near some DPW folks and some folks who provide some outside services to BRC, Black Rock Solar, BRAF (Black Rock Arts Foundation), etc.  The people next door end up being great fun.  (Names withheld to protect the guilty.)

The weather is hot.  The air conditioning is working....and so is the refrigerator.   Life is good.

We wan We take naps in the afternoon.  We eat dinner.  We feed the neighbors...we have clearly brought too much food.

NOTE TO FUTURE BURNERS:  Seriously, you'll be lucky if you eat 2 meals a day.  Don't bring so much food.  And make sure that 2 dinners can be made easily because either there will be a dust storm or lots of stuff going on that you want to participate in so you just want to grab something.  You'll get up late and either eat breakfast or lunch, but rarely both.  Definitely, bring snacks.  On the otherhand, DO bring enough to share.  We fed DPW folks that were tired of cooking for themselves or eating commissary food (they'd been on Playa for a couple of weeks), friends who dropped by, people we'd never met and hungry neighbors.  Food was a great way to meet people.

As the sun went down we headed past First Camp and said hello to some of th LLC members, got a flame shot over our head by Will Roger's art car (which scared me half to death).  We wandered through the new art cars in front of DMV, then headed around the Esplanade clockwise this time...exploring like Raccoons:  moving toward anything shiny and burning.

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