The Green T-Stake ceremony marks the end of DPW’s work
As they say in the biz, it’s a wrap. Today, the cleanup crew swung the last rake, picked up the last traffic cone, chased the last piece of runaway moop. Black Rock City is gone, leaving no trace…
It was a good day all around; in fact, it felt a lot like the last day of school. Line Sweeps meandered through the outer edges of the city, then took a walk down Gate Road. There was so little moop that we ended up taking a few unscheduled breaks, just sitting around on the playa and chatting.
Meanwhile, Special Forces were finishing up the last of the hot spots, and Coyote was driving the width and breadth of the city to gather all the t-stakes. For the last few weeks, this place has looked less like a city and more like a miles-wide field of cones.
But as the day wore on, the cones disappeared and the playa slowly returned to a state I hadn’t seen in a long time: the Black Rock Desert, empty, barren, and majestic again.
Everyone felt good about it. We’ve worked hard for this, and it really is an amazing thing to be a part of: raising an entire city from nothing, and returning it to nothing. It’s a sense of accomplishment that I’ve rarely felt from any other experience.
Like I said, everyone felt good, so we did what DPW does best: we had ourselves a celebration.
We gathered at… well, there were no streets left, so I don’t know where we were. The Green T-Stake ceremony, as a matter of fact, marks the removal of the last stake from the playa. Like the Golden Spike ceremony, it was led by Coyote – and Marian made sure we all had plenty of champagne.
When it came time to pull the up the t-stake, Coyote called DA up to bat. Everybody cheered and hooted and raised their glasses as he removed the very last trace – the last evidence of all our work and play in these past two months.
Being a part of the DPW has been a long, difficult, meaningful, and incredibly inspiring experience. I’ve learned plenty in these two months: more than hard work, more than creativity, more than honesty and trustworthiness, this group of people has a certain understanding about the world that is rare to find. You’ll see me out here working next year; until then, kudos to the entire crew for a job very, very well done.
Photos by Cloe: