August 16th, 2010  |  Filed under Building BRC

Here comes the sun

August 16th, 2010  |  Filed under Building BRC

How’s that for an omen?

There was a big rainbow over Black Rock City on Sunday night, just in time for the people leaving the Commissary after dinner to look skyward and yell, “A rainbow! A double rainbow!! … A triple rainbow!! What does it meeeeaaannn???”

Of course they were all mimicking the hilarious YouTube video that went around a while back, which you can see here. … The rainbow was amazing, and the number of people who referenced the video was pretty amazing, too.

Honestly though, you never get tired of the sky in these parts. It always bears watching.  On a day like today, when the blue is just impossibly blue, and the sky is filled with puffy white clouds, you catch yourself looking up in amazement at … nothing, really. Just the big vast wide-open sky. It’s kind of silly, but not at all.

With the rigging done, the shade was beginning to go up in Center Camp.

I  think most people were looking forward to the heat and the sun this year. Yes, it’s almost always hot and bright here, so it’s not a surprise, but if you come from San Francisco, like a lot of people here do, you are really sick of the cold and the fog. Even in a city known for its miserable summers, this has been a doozy. Someone said that during the entire month of July, there had only been three mornings with sunshine. I believe it. So dreary. So yes, we were ready for some heat and some light, and we’re getting it.

In another week we’ll want a break. It was hot today, and it’s supposed to get hotter every day until at least Wednesday. Today was very calm, although the wind came up big time toward the end of the day. It was the first real whiteout, and everyone pulled out their goggles and facemasks. One woman was saying at dinner how she LOVED the dust storms, and it’s true. The first couple are magic; the light goes all golden, and your skin gets caked with the beautifying playa, and your hair goes all funky and white, and it’s a little like being in a warm rain, except you don’t get wet. Beautiful.

But it’s also like that first rain in October or November, at least for me. It’s been so LONG since you’ve been in a storm, and you stay huddled inside all cozy with books and soup and a movie. By February, though, you’re over it. Just like you’re over the summer in San Francisco right now. So pack your sunscreen and your goggles, you’re going to need them. And isn’t that a happy thing?

Anyway, after the rainbow last night, a storm rolled through. There was thunder in the distance, and more than a smattering of rain. The sky put on a spectacular show, even by the standards of the desert.

This really was how red the sky was Sunday night, and there was another rainbow over the town of Gerlach. Later, there was some rain and some lightning, too.

Aristotle gave us a ride on a boom lift towards the end of the day yesterday. It was a lot to ask, because the days are long and hard around here, and when the end of the day comes, there’s not much more that you want to look forward to than perhaps a cold beer or two. But Aristotle was kind enough to finish his duties over in Heavy Equipment, then come and give a couple of photogs a lift into the sky.

We saw Limbo Lloyd in town on Sunday, helping out again. He was the one, remember, who rescued us from being stranded in the desert.

I asked if he had internet at home, and he said no. So I invited him into the Black Rock office so he could see the little story about him and look at the pictures. He declined. My guess is he didn’t want much of a fuss made about the whole thing. I’ve got his address, though, so we’ll send him a printout via snail mail when we get back to civilization.

14 Responses to “Here comes the sun”

  1. DustyHugs Says:

    So much magic in the air already… Im not the least bit surprised to see the rainbows… Hope we get blessed with some in 2 weeks :)

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  2. BigBlueDoggy Says:

    I love your updates on the BRC construction! So cool to see all that activity taking place! Really looking forward to seeing it in person soon! Thanks, John!

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  3. John Curley Says:

    thanks so much. See you soon.

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  4. diction Says:


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  5. Will Chase Says:

    That’s right, our heavy machinery operators wear ties. That’s how we roll.

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  6. G Says:

    Keep the pics coming !! AWESOME !

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  7. Mike Hedge Says:

    inspiring and beautiful

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  8. Ian Says:

    Just the sight of the soon-to-be-covered center camp skeleton brought tears to my eyes. Makes me realize how much emotion can be evoked with just the hint of a physical structure that represents sooo much more. The metropolis that we all know and love is taking shape in the desert, but for many, our home is already built into our hearts and minds.

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  9. Raine Says:

    Will Chase: Of course they wear ties. They’re at work, and when you’re at work you wear a tie. Duh.

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  10. Opaque Ray Says:

    Incredible photos, and really well written prose. Thanks so much for your elegant work! I feel like I’m partly there now…

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  11. John Curley Says:

    thanks so much for the very kind words.

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  12. Nicole Doherty Says:

    The sunrise and sunsets at Burning Man are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Absolutely spectacular. A constant reminder of the beauty of the Earth and the Divine in the our Universe. A real spiritual experience for me. Thank you for these reminders above. I can’t wait to gaze in the beauty of the Black Rock Desert horizon!!! So excited.

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  13. Hotsprings Tim Says:

    Yes, the playa is magical–that’s why I try to make it out there at times other than the event. I recall one year there was a great rain shower that turned the whole place into a slip-n-slide for awhile. Once you get a taste for nude mud-bodysurfing you’re ruined for most other pursuits. Glad I’m not the only one suffering from sun deprivation.

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  14. Sage Says:

    What Ian said!

    And yes, a BIG thank you to John Curley for all these updates! All I can say is you keep making my day! :)

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