August 10th, 2010  |  Filed under Building BRC


August 10th, 2010  |  Filed under Building BRC

It was an auspicious number that marked the date for the fence this year.

Eight, nine, ten.

We’re not much into numerology, but we get as big a kick as anyone when the numbers line up so neatly. There’s another one coming up in October, too. Ten ten ten. 10/10/10. And that happens to be the date for SF Decompression, but jeez we’re getting way ahead of the story. Because we are at the beginning of the beginning again, and there’s so much to look forward to.

For a lot of Burning Man workers, 8/9/10 was the first big day in the desert. We don’t mean to disparage or overlook the people who’ve been here in Gerlach, for … what? Two and half weeks already? Coyote has been here, and Logan, and Makeout Queen, and Playground, and Dominic, and a handful of others.

But it’s beginning again for everyone today. As Playground said this morning, “Live it, love it, breath it.”

And that’s what you have to do for the next three weeks. You have to live, love and breathe the Burning Man, and you have to do the things that need to get done so that the Black Rock Desert is ready for the 45,000 or so people who will come to feel the spirit, see the art, dance in the desert and burn the Man.

And in the most public way, it all starts with the fence.

The logic is simple. You need to put up a temporary fence that will catch the trash that no doubt will be blown out of place by the blinding windstorms that will rake across the playa and turn your nice new Coleman tent into prayer flags.

But then the logic quickly breaks down, because really, there’s no doubt about it, there are lots of easier ways to put up a fence than to pound approximately 1,600 five-foot long metal stakes into the hard desert floor BY HAND, every 25 feet for seven and half miles. That’s the circumference of the event this year, seven and half miles. But you’re not done yet. After you pound the stakes, you have to hang plastic rope between the stakes, so you have something onto which to tie the trash fence. And you tie the trash fence onto the rope that connects the stakes with …. oh, about 31,680 pieces of string (figuring 20 pieces of string for every 25 feet) and … well, you get the idea. It’s a bear.

And no one could be happier about it.

In fact, the people at the front of the line kicking out the rolls of trash fence looked like they were doing a Can-Can, arm in arm as they danced their way across the hot and VERY windy desert floor.

The people who were pounding the stakes got FASTER as the day grew longer. They did the whole thing in double time, and when the finish was in sight, they were SPRINTING to grab the final stakes.

The first crews were out on the playa by 5:30 in the morning, hoping to avoid the worst of the midday heat. So if you showed up at Bruno’s restaurant for breakfast at 6:30, the normal time to start the day around here, feeling pretty good about yourself because you moved heaven and earth to make it, well, too bad, you were too late. You didn’t get to be one of the first people on the playa this year. Hell, if Porn Star had driven through the night for 10 hours straight to make it on time, what was your excuse?

So that’s what’s going on here in the little town of Gerlach, and out on the Black Rock desert. The family is gathering again at the place they like to call home, and they’ve showed up, as they always do, very ready to work.

You’d think people might get jaded about it by now. It’s been happening for 25 years. Twenty five years since Baker Beach, and 20 years out here in the desert.

And of course the event has changed. It’s huge, it’s governed, and if you ask 10 people why they come, you’ll get 10 different reasons. The radical self-reliance and appreciation for the absurd? Nah, it’s about the DJs. The creative energy and mutually encouraged self-expression? Nah, it’s just fun to watch stuff burn.

Whatever. We think that we shouldn’t approach whatever this is with beginner’s mind, because we’ve been around it a little bit now. But once you’re here, and you feel so many people pulling in the same direction, trying to make something happen that you can’t quite articulate but that you know moves you toward what you sense is good and worthwhile and beneficial and liberating, well, your eyes DO grow wide again, almost in spite of yourself.

So it’s exactly the same this year, and of course very different, too. The desert is different, that’s for sure. It has rained the past two nights, and there were puddles along Main Street this morning. The desert looks greener, like the great dying-off that happens in the heat hasn’t quite happened yet. There are wild sunflowers along Route 447, ferchrissakes.

But two things are the same: You can’t explain whatever this is, and you have to work to make it happen.

Oh, and one other thing’s the same, too: It’s good to be back.

Coyote's wrist showed the worse for wear at the end of the day

If you're going to keep up with Just George, who runs the fence operation, you better get up early.

69 Responses to “8-9-10”

  1. pixi Says:

    wow! great job guys! thank you for all your hard work! cant wait to see all of you in 18 days!

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  2. Somo Says:

    Seriously, thank you, thank you. Funny, I’m excited just by seeing the fence.

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  3. kenna Says:

    GO DPW!!!

    keep it coming, jc. bring me HOME!!!

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  4. Tangles Says:

    THANK YOU DPW!!!!!! You guys R-O-C-K!!!!

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  5. LadyLuck Says:

    Curly, you’re off to a flying start. Great set of images and words. Of course kudos to the DPW they kick ass!

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  6. LadyLuck Says:

    CurlEy! not Curly. I knew that.

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  7. melissa Says:

    yay! thank you DPW!!!! see you soon :)

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  8. OtterPuppet Says:

    Thank you for this!! Cannot WAIT to come home. All of your hard work is unbelievably appreciated!!

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  9. Jax Says:

    AMAZING!!! CAn’t wait to see this all unfold!! I’ll be there next year!

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  10. Robert Says:

    Thanks for your hard work guys,this my first burn see you soon !!! :)

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  11. Bare Says:

    Ya all are MY Heroes, no one does it bigger and better than YOU! thanks for makin our place to return to.. YOU ROCK!! bringing warm PBR’s for all…. see ya soon

    in the dust

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  12. Gretchen Says:

    Seriously awesome!!! :D Hard working bunch!!! Thanks a million!

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  13. Dallas Says:

    Burntropolis has begun. wish I was there to help.

    see y’all out there soon enough

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  14. Rirry Says:

    SO amazing everyone! i cant wait to be back on the playa. thankyou so much for all your hard work :)

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  15. Bluesy Says:

    Oh Hell Yes! Givin’ me chills.

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  16. Courtesan M Says:

    Thank you so very much! One of the few fences I’m happy exists these days, but very happy it does, while it does.

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  17. Fudnbooz Says:

    Thank you DPW, Thank you.

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  18. xhoosier Says:

    what would we do if it wasn’t for all your hard hard work. Thank you!

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  19. mournlight Says:

    Wow…. do those few people realize we owe our appreciation for the whole week to them? If it were not for their hard work, BM simply would not be as it is… Thanks so much.

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  20. Lindsay Says:

    Wow, thanks so much for the pictures!

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  21. madmatt Says:

    Thanks guys!!! This will be my 10th burn, never missed one since the first one. And one of the main things that motivates me to bring a big, fantastic camp to Black Rock City is the amount of hard work, sweat, and passion poured into it by other people, especially DPW and all the other hard working org folks. THANK YOU. See you all very soon.

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  22. Lee-Anne Says:

    Your dedication and hard work is making it all happen for the rest of us.

    Thank you from our little burner family of 4.

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  23. chris Says:

    you guys rock. thank you :)

    so ready!

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  24. Debra Allec Says:

    Thank you so much for everything
    wish I could be there to help
    I’ll be home soon

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  25. JB Says:

    That is some fantastic photography!

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  26. Big Bunny Tutu Says:

    Much gratitude, thank you all for your time and commitment to this years burn. I will be sadly missing it, so reading theses posts make me feel closer to home and fills my heart with joy, life continues… one stake after another…

    Much Love to you all!

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  27. godzero Says:

    Thank you everyone, you are awesome!

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  28. Daniel Doherty Says:

    Thank you guys, am really getting excited to be going home : )

    Nice to recognise a few friendly faces doing the hard work too x

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  29. omey Says:

    Like i said before, I love me a curley burning man blog.

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  30. Toy Says:

    Thank you DPW…see you soon!

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  31. Soulaye Says:

    Dust moves me to tears
    DPW rocks my world
    Coming home very soon!

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  32. Leanimal Says:

    You guys are awesome!! Thank so much for all of your hard work. Can’t wait to get back home!!!

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  33. Moto Says:

    THANK YOU DPW! Your sheer excellence is only trumped by the size of your genitalia. Rock on, I’ll see you soon!

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  34. Donna Says:

    Thank you for all the hard work. Haven’t been back to the playa in five years, but will be there this year, which will be filled with appreciation for everything it takes and everything that everyone does to make the playa home for all us. See you soon!

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  35. Pete Says:

    Getting out all my playa gear (and feeling last year’s dust on my hands) started getting me excited.

    Seeing you all, full of energy, putting up our fence has got me REALLY EXCITED.


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  36. teco/chapin Says:

    Muy bien muchacho/as!!!!

    Buen trabajo!!!


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  37. Snoopy Says:

    Great Job everyone. It always is so awe inspiring when I get out there and see all of the work that goes into getting things set up. You guys are the source of the magic that is the Burn.

    thank you.


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  38. Eclipse Says:

    The Playa looks awesome this year, nice and hard is good! You guys will never know how much we all appreciate you hard work in the most difficult part of this event! But I am so jealous you guys are already breathing the silky dust, taking in that amazing environment….OMG…. IM SO READY!

    Box Office Bitches ROCK!

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  39. Ellen Says:

    What is the condition of the playa at this point? Conflicting reports are appearing on the nets. I’m disabled this year and might have trouble negotiating the terrain if the surface is particularly uneven or soft. I’d really appreciate an accurate up-to-date report!
    Burn on!!!

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  40. Notorious Says:

    blessings to all of you…nothing better than a sunrise at the perimeter fence, eh?
    see all you dusty souls soon-

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  41. Tiffifany Says:

    I heart DPW !!!!!!!!!!

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  42. Mark Says:

    You guys f-ing ROCK!
    Can’t wait to see you all out there :))))

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  43. laurie stevens Says:

    My burn started when I saw these pics and read the great text. Ya’ll are truly the backbone of this beast we all love so much!

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  44. Melissa McCloud Says:

    thanks for all your hard work and incredible contribution–i love you!

    returning to BRC after a 3 year hiatus… can’t wait!

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  45. mer minxy mayven Says:

    so excited to get de-virginized this year……it’s so nice to be a virgin again after 20+years;)
    thank you for your awesome and inspiring efforts, attitudes, kinship, Bless you all with magic carpets and good fortune for eternity
    see you on the playa:)

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  46. recafn8 Says:

    right on, boys and girls. I wish i was there.

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  47. toriturkey Says:

    The foundations of home… thank you so much for making this happen. I can’t wait to trek all the way from the east coast for this.

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  48. Vanessa Says:

    Sounds like an adventure. I’m a Nevadan and have landed in several dry lake beds with a plane however have never camped in one. Being Greek I can appreciate what I think will be an experience of ancient times and self expression in art work. Can’t wait to see and participate in the experience.

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  49. Panda Says:

    Such hard work and all for us! Can’t wait to come home! Great photos too! Much love! xoxo

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  50. Erin Says:

    Hands down better than reading the paper with breakfast! Thanks for sharing and good universe juju to all those involved.

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  51. Whisper Says:

    much dusty love to all of you!

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  52. Lukasz Says:

    Thank you for all the hard work!!

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  53. pilar wwodman Says:

    great stuff, john. so awesome to be seeing brc take shape through your eyes…

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  54. SweeTits Says:

    I’m going to miss BM this year due to a divorce but I soooo enjoy looking at all the hard work that is being done through your eyes! Thank you for keeping my mind dusty;-)

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  55. Bill McClaren Says:

    AWESOME job, folks. It looks like very hard work, but it also looks like you’re all having fun doing it. I guess it’s sort of the “Spoonful of Sugar” Mary Poppins sang about. :-)


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  56. Showerboy Says:

    You guys rock! Any fence builders are welcome to come to Destiny, Oasis for a refreshing shower. 7:30 and A Thanks! The fence is possibly my favorite place at the man.

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  57. 6 Says:

    For those that come before me:

    Thank you for all that you do that I know you do…but most of all…Thank you for all that you do that I don’t know you do!! Like, when no one’s looking, and you do that thing, not only because it matters to you, but because you know it will make a difference for me, for all of us. THANK YOU for doing THAT!!

    Please let it in and allow yourself to be acknowledged and moved by the HEROES that you are!! You ROCK!!

    With all the love in my heart….THANK YOU!


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  58. Tiffany Says:

    This puts a smile on my face! Thank you for all your hard work! :-D I can’t wait to be there!

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  59. olivegarden Says:

    Hats off to the guys on Playa, YOU ROCK !

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  60. stephen Says:

    i’m… salivating!!!!

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  61. Boom-Boom Says:

    I’m trembling with excitement seeing this. Thank you for paving the way for the burning hoards. I can’t WAIT!!!

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  62. Sagerator Says:

    BRC builders: BIG BIG UPS!!! x45k!!!

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  63. Ace Says:

    Cannot quite capture the emotion that this piece brings me. I find myself tearing a bit while reading about fence building and seeing pictures of the great Black Rock Desert. I’ve been fortunate enough to be on the playa in May, and it is truly beautiful. I am incredibly jealous to know that the DPW get to see that amazing metamorphosis from dry lake bed to Metropolis. Good luck to you all, and thank you so much for helping make it all happen.

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  64. viajera80 Says:

    Brilliant! It will be so good to be home.

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  65. Splashdown Says:

    Phhht. bunch a pansies.

    Fuck yer day cause you did it wrong, upsidedown and backwards.

    Oh yeah, and I miss you all muchas!


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  66. Derek Says:

    First timer here. Honestly what would we do without you DPW? I cannot wait to see what I’ve been missing all these years. It’s my first time out here on the Playa, and I’m already home sick. I’ll be dancing around for the next two weeks to let out all the excitment. Ohhhhh boy I can’t wait.

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  67. danny v Says:

    Loooooooooooooooooove it!!!! i wanna do it next year!

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  68. Grandpa Mike Manion Says:

    Yea Nessa!!!! looks like hard work, fun and rewarding….good on ya!

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