August 11th, 2013  |  Filed under Building BRC

And today’s task from hell: Intersections

August 11th, 2013  |  Filed under Building BRC
Dylan was one of the leads for the work on intersections

Dylan was one of the leads for the work on intersections

We’re playing a little catch-up here, but we wanted you to know about the third step in the big three-step process of playa preparation, a hellish exercise called “intersections.”

You know how the city roads are laid out – from the Esplanade that rings the city out along twelve concentric streets named for the letters of the alphabet. Those streets are intersected by roads designated by clock points, from 10 o’clock around to 2 o’clock, with 6 o’clock being the center point. You can see a map of the city here.

So that’s all fine and dandy and neat and tidy, but in order for the grand design of the city to make sense, to be useful, what each of those intersections needs is … signs. And what each of those signs needs is … a stake to put it on. And what each of those stakes needs is … a pounding.

Yep, today’s fun task once again involves the torture device known as a stake pounder. And you’re going to need plenty of them, because there are 317 intersections, and each of them gets three or four stakes. Then you throw in the emergency signs that also must be put up and, well, you’ve got a lot of pounding. Again.

Booya and Dylan are the crew team leads, and Just George once again is in a leadership position. And their plans involved a new approach this year, one that threw the maximum number of resources at the task. Instead of letting people who had come together to tackle the fence filter off to separate crews, they kept a large number of them together to do the intersections.


“It’s a marshaling of resources,” George said. “And it’s better for morale because keeping all these kids together builds team spirit. … It’s easier for the Fluffers to support us, too.”

A task that had usually dragged on for at least three days in years past was done in two this year. And George, the former military guy, was once again proud of his troops.

“If I’d have had them when I was in the military, I’d have made general.”

George’s affection and admiration was obvious, but it didn’t prevent him from requiring his people to do some pushups in the dust when everything was finished. That’s the sign of a job well done out here. You get to do pushups.




Stakes were thrown out along the route to be pounded by the crew following behind


Feral Kid looking for something to pound


Four corners to an intersection, four stakes to pound


Lexi had at it






The road crew did a huddle at the end of the task


Then they got to do a bunch of pushups


Intersection crew, 2013

14 Responses to “And today’s task from hell: Intersections”

  1. Cobalt Says:

    John Curley your reporting on the building of our city is genius. If ever there was a way to build anticipation and excitement this has to be it. Can’t wait to be home.

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  2. Molly Says:

    Thank you all! !!

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  3. Chill Says:

    Thank you for all your hard work! I’ve pounded in a few T-posts in my day and I feel the pain of your blisters and your sore “Popeye” forearms! I will respect your work even more; especially when I’m running my bike into one of them at night after doing a bit too much partyin’! : )

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  4. John Says:


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  5. OmFu Says:

    Very cool to see the building of the city. You guys and gals are the lifeblood of Burningman! See you soon.

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  6. Dani Says:

    Thank you for the hard work! And for documenting it! Seeing the roads and all the open playa makes me want to get in my van and drive there NOW.

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  7. Aurora Says:

    Thank you!!!

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  8. Rebar Says:

    Nice work Intersection Crew!
    Man I almost busted a tear at that one pic. I’m dropping for 20 right now!

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  9. Magic Kristian Says:

    Hulk smash, smash, su-mash!

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  10. Topless Deb Says:

    Thanks everyone! What a pleasure to read each day.

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  11. joz Says:

    Full salute to the hard working crews !

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  12. TA Says:

    Amazing hard work. Mahalo

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  13. Lee Myerhoff Says:

    This gets me where I live for BRC. What a great effort for the larger community. You ahve my admiration and my thanks- even though I will have to miss the burn this year.

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  14. Diagonal Says:

    You ordeal, pounding stakes in by hand, inspires me to think about creating a pounding machine powered by legs instead of arms. Leg muscles are x-times stronger than arms! Also, I thought about the stakes: perhaps a purchase of 1 1/16th hex bar, dedicated to intersection stakes, would facilitate the pounding as well as removal. Smooth sides means easier to pound in. For removal of the hex bar, you could put a big ol’ wrench with a long extension, anywhere on the bar, and start walking in a circle. The outer points on the hex bar would ream out the hole, and the bar would slide easily out of the ground (post-Burn).

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