What City?

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…

Lucky

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.

Breaktime
Breaktime, more

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.

Miss Handler dressed the part
Miss Handler dressed the part

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.

all that's left of the Man
all that's left of the Man

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.

Insane's dust angel
Insane's dust angel

DPW fleet
DPW fleet

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.

Coyote and green stake
Coyote and green stake

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.

DA and green stake
DA and green stake
Me
Me

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.

Aww.

Cleanup crew
Cleanup crew
Super Dave and Dr. Holderdown
Super Dave and Dr. Holderdown
Leeway (and Tomcat)
Leeway (and Tomcat)

Photos by Cloe:

Lo-Dog and Quiet Earp
Lo-Dog and Quiet Earp
Dove
Dove
Fitz
Fitz
Miss Handler
Miss Handler
Bean
Bean

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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