one more reason to be happy

Just a little while after the last spire went in the ground, a dust devil came rolling right at us. When it blasted through, a big happy roar went up. You can\'t beat us, dust and wind ...
Just a little while after the last spire went in the ground, a dust devil came rolling right at us. When it blasted through, a big happy roar went up. You can't beat us, dust and wind ...

The last of the hundreds and hundreds of spires that have sprung up in Black Rock City was put in the ground late in the afternoon yesterday. A lot of the people who’ve been digging and pounding and putting up shade and everything else took a little time out to celebrate finishing the task.

It was funny to see all the Mad Max buggies and buses steaming across the desert floor (btw, I am consciously avoiding the use of the word “playa” from here on out. I can’t bring myself to say it or write it anymore. It’s a fine word, and useful, in that you can describe yourself as being “on the playa” instead of, say, at the Ranch or in Gerlach or Reno. But there’s something about “the playa” that’s beginning to grate on me (and yes, the event hasn’t even begun yet). What is it? What’s happening? Am I losing the glow? I don’t think so, but still …)

So anyway, there we were, in the golden light of late afternoon (which is something you NEVER get tired of!), steaming to a spot between 3 and 6 over near the Ghetto (where the DPW folks live), some music happening, maybe a beer or two being opened, to watch the rebar get hammered into the ground to support the spire. There was lots of hollering and whooping as the sledge got passed around, and when the post finally went up, people started to dance around it and hammer pieces of “art” on it to decorate. So check it out when you’re over there; it stands for a lot of what’s happened here so far.

So without anymore la di da, here are some of the folks who took some time out for a little party. (And of course, when it was all over in an hour or so, a lot of them went back to work.)

This girl uses a camera herself, now and then ...
This girl uses a camera herself, now and then ...

JackRabbit on the go
JackRabbit on the go

More pics after the jump, so the page doesn’t take so long to load:

Plenty of shade for these two
Plenty of shade for these two

Domenique, finally out of the cab for a bit
Domenique, finally out of the cab for a bit
It\'s a long way from Montreal, but seemingly worth the trek
It's a long way from Montreal, but seemingly worth the trek

About the author: John Curley

John Curley has been Burning since the relatively late date of 2004, and in 2008 he spent the better part of a month on the playa, documenting the building and burning of Black Rock City in words and pictures. John is a longtime newspaper person and spent many years at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was a deputy managing editor in charge of Page One and the news sections of the paper. Since leaving the Chronicle in 2007, he was a contributing editor on Blue Planet Run, a book about the world's water crisis, and for the past two years has been a lecturer at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. He has also started an event and editorial photography business, and is also working on a book about the "Ten Dollar Doc" from Arco, Idaho, which will make a lovely film someday.

8 thoughts on “one more reason to be happy

  • Thank you sooo much for taking the time away from all the hard work and revelry to post this blog. The dedication of all the people involved in putting together Burning Man is another indication for me why this is somewhere I need to be. I’m planning my first trip to the desert next summer and can’t wait to be there. In the meantime, this gives me a bit of a taste of what it will be like. I wish it could have been this summer but it wasn’t to be. I have my own private countdown going with only 373 days ’til I see the man burn. I’ll just have to savour the anticipation.

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  • WOOO HOOO You guys are all awsome and I totaly wish I could have been there to lend a hand! Soon enough I will be going through the struggels of setting up camp my self! Hope to see you all out there on Monday!

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  • Many happy faces.

    Would love to know what we can call the “playa” if we dont want to grate on your nerves too much. I mean, you are only out tehre for a wee bit so the least we could do is not grate on your nerves. ;)

    Kat

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  • I am a BM virgin, but only for a couple more days! Thank you for all the great commentary and photos that make waiting until Thursday to arrive at least a little more tolerable. Oh, we’ll be part of the InJustUs camp – CAN’T WAIT!!!

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  • I’m thinking I will go with the Ultimate Arcade II design… I need to find someone to build the cabinet as I don’t do wood work & live in a small apartment & have no tools… I’m looking at family members at the moment, hopefully that will work, but we’ll see…

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