Saturday: The Man Burns!

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

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Saturday, September 5, 2009

I set the alarm for dawn, pick up the golf cart and head out to the Playa to take some sunrise photos.  The light is amazing and the quiet of the morning is a stark contrast to the noise at night.  At night, the dance clubs pounding beats echo and compete with the music from the party-barge art buses.

On my way back to Center Camp for coffee, I pick up a ton of trash left behind by people who had sat waiting for hours for the 'rocket launch'.  I can see why it takes weeks to clean the Playa after the event.  A lot of stuff gets dropped during the night....and some people just leave their smashed beer cans behind.

At Center Camp, I run into a BRC co-worker who says she hardly ever gets to see much of the Event since she ends up working so much.  I mention I have a golf cart and offer to take her and her husband out on the Playa.  We spend a great morning tooling around.  They slide down the giant slide, like the music looping machine as much as me, and we discuss "The Fluffer": an art installation that runs only at night and is basically a dryer in the middle of the desert.  Attendants put your coat in the dryer and you sit on a couch with headphones on listening to trance music and watching a spiral spin ...then they put you in your warmed coat and send you off into the night.

I drop them back off at Center Camp to return to work and return the golf cart just as the dust storms start to swirl.

Unfortunately, today's white-out dust storms are worse than the prior day's.  We spend a lot of time inside the motorhome. 

We notice our neighbors (who work with DPW - the group in charge of preparing the camp) are having a meltdown.  They have been living in a small tent for at least 2 weeks now.  We invite them in for drinks and bacon quesidillas.  Thank goodness we brought the microwave.  There as no way we would have been able to cook outside this evening.  It's nice getting to know our neighbors.

The storms lift and the wind lightens as the time for the Burning of the Man approaches and we actually have a rather cool evening...almost chilly.

Everyone seems to be out at the Man.  The crowd is surrounded by a semi-circle of art cars.

Around the base of the Man are almost 100 people spinning fire and beating drums in a pre-lighting ceremony.

Soon, fireworks start, the Man lights...the base catches on's an amazing sight.  The crowd roars. 

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