August 21st, 2013  |  Filed under Building BRC

Riding High

August 21st, 2013  |  Filed under Building BRC


The Man base and neon crews were scrambling all over the Man again on Wednesday, and they were working on installing power to the motors that will rotate the Man on top of his flying saucer. It’s the second time the Man will rotate; in 2005, he swung around on his base via human power.

The Man his own self was put on top of the structure Tuesday in an early morning lift. In a departure from previous years, there wasn’t the pomp and ceremony accompanying the operation. That may be because there just isn’t much time for it. This is an ambitious project, and the site is still very much a construction zone.

Tuesday evening, Stinky Pirate was kind enough to take us and another looky-loo up in the 135-foot boom lift, the highest on the playa, to get a look at the Man eye-to-eye. Actually, we were waaayyyyy over the Man when the boom finished its ascent. We couldn’t quite stop our legs from shaking, though, which was a bit unsettling. It wasn’t that we were in fear for our lives, because we trusted the machine. It may just have been that our body was telling us, hey, we don’t belong this high in the air. Get us down!

Pirate is one of those interesting, multitalented characters that one meets on a regular basis on the playa. He has a tall ships background, so being on a boom lift on a flat desert floor is nothing for him. “I used to climb on ships, and the difference was, you were a hundred feet up in the air, but you had got there by pulling yourself up on ropes, and then you were rolling back and forth, so no, this doesn’t feel like much.”

Maybe not, but to us it felt like an awfully fine place to be, and we are grateful to Pirate for making it happen.

Here are some photos of the Man being put atop his base, and from our ride with Pirate to the top of the playa:


Crews worked to attach the Man to the base while a crane held him in place


The Man already had his head attached by the time of the lift



Metal Shop Heather did much of the welding to attach the Man to his rotating base



The night before the big lift, a Man base crew worked long into the night to get the platform ready


Sparks from a welding torch lit the crew up against the night sky




By Tuesday evening, Smoke Daddy was back to work on the neon again



As we went up in the boom lift, we could see workers who were hidden from below


The view from the boom lift of the Center Camp Cafe


Stinky Pirate, aka Davis Galligan, gave us a ride


The Man from above


Looking out toward the 3 o’clock plaza



When we were finished our joyride, the neon team was ready to get going


And guys from the Man base crew can’t seem to get enough of the Man


6 Responses to “Riding High”

  1. HK Says:

    Thank you, endlessly!

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  2. moontroll Says:

    I was looking for your post from 2 days ago about the police presence coming down hard on DPW and others to share with some friends but it has been taken down….how come? Doesn’t seem like a good sign.

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  3. OdiC Says:

    “[Editor's Note: John Curley is one of our best and most respected bloggers, however his original story didn't include important details that give a more complete perspective of law enforcement onsite. The Burning Blog editorial staff will always reserve the right to expand a story to provide a deeper understanding. We have made these edits with John's permission.]“

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  4. Victoria Says:

    Fab! Thank you so much!

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