Life in Gerlach

A little slice of trailer-park heaven.

We can’t move onto the playa until Sunday, after the fence is up. Until then, it’s a little bit like summer camp here. Summer camp for weirdos and rebels, that is.

The DPW is crammed like sardines into the Gerlach Estates (A Gated Community). It’s a small trailer park, and it’s been overrun by desert rats with strange haircuts. We sleep in campers and tents and bunk beds and truck beds and VW vans, sharing toilets and showers. The trains roll by all night, close enough that the floor shakes when they pass – although we snore right through the noise by now. And in the morning, we all roll out of bed at 6:00, lace up our boots and tie our bandanas, and meander out of the trailer park, down the street, past the Black Rock Social Club and the Burning Man office, under the water tower, to Bruno’s Restaurant.

Breakfast is cafeteria-style, and we all eat our eggs and bacon at big round tables while Mayfield leads the morning meeting. Then everyone grabs two slices of bread, some meat and some mayo, and stuffs them in a paper bag for later. And we all wander back with our little lunch sacks, under the tower and along the road and back to the Estates, to carpool out to the various jobsites for our day’s work.

Night time in Gerlach is pretty quiet, excepting the occasional burst of debaucherous laughter from the Club. After dinner, the radios stop their chattering and everyone wanders home to shower (or not to shower) and have some beers. The nights here are warm and long; most people spend their evenings at the trailer park, hanging out in swamp-cooled rooms or sitting in folding chairs around the lot. We usually stay up a little too late and sometimes make a little too much noise, but eventually the day’s work hits us and we all roll into our beds, and our sleeping bags, and our VW vans, and settle in to sleep with the sound of trains rattling in our ears.

About the author: The Hun

The Hun, also known as J.H. Fearless, has been blogging for Burning Man (and many other outlets) since 2005, which is also the year she joined the BRC DPW on a whim that turned out to be a lifetime commitment. Since then she's won some awards for blogging, built her own creative business, and produced some of the Burning Blog's most popular stories and series. She co-created a grant-funded art piece, "Refoliation," in 2007, and stood next to it watching as the Man burned on Monday. She considers that, in many ways, to have been the symbolic end of Burning Man that was. The Hun lives in Reno with DPW Shade King, Quiet Earp. You may address her as "The Hun" or "Hun". If you call her "Honey" she reserves the right to cut you.

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