MOOP Map Live, Day 2: The Going Gets Tough

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Greetings MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! I’m here on the drifted shores of the Black Rock Desert, where your Playa Restoration All-Star moopers are hard at work removing every last trace of Burning Man. Our home team is hell-bent for victory — but let me tell you, Day Two was no cakewalk.


The day kicked off with a big surprise for our unsuspecting line sweepers: several solid blocks of mixed red and yellow areas. Nothing our well-trained team can’t handle, but undoubtedly a hurdle that set the line off its pace.

What happens when the MOOP Map turns yellow? That’s when the line sweep slows to a crawl. In yellow zones, line sweepers find so much MOOP that they can not keep up a steady pace. Red spots represent full stops, where our Resto All-Stars must get down on their hands and knees to gather up a concentrated “hot spot” — or worse, a MOOPy area that might stretch across an entire block.

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Unfazed but behind the pace, the line sweepers soldiered on, turning the 10:00 corner and making their way all the way down to Esplanade. But behind their backs, the wind had been picking up in an ominous way.

Turning onto Esplanade and Airstrip, the line suddenly found itself directly in the path of the gale. Beleaguered moopers were now forced to walk directly into winds that made it difficult to stand — let alone walk, maintain formation and pick up tiny bits of MOOP.

The desert surface is particularly well-packed this year, so there wasn’t much dust — just occasional blasts of airborne playa crust that stung team members’ wind-burned skin as they staggered on against the gale.

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Despite the challenges Day Two threw at them, our brave moopers still managed to restore 45 blocks of Black Rock City to a pristine and MOOP-free state. Windblown and exhausted from a difficult victory, they stumbled home to rest and hope for better luck on Day Three.

By the end of Day Two in 2012, our line sweeps had mooped all the way from 10:00 to 2:00 on Esplanade-A-B. That means that the current conditions set the Resto All-Stars behind by about 33 blocks in a single day.

Days like this remind us that Playa Restoration is a risky race against time and weather, which can be won or lost by how well the citizens of Black Rock City commit to Leaving No Trace. Resto only lasts for two weeks, and thanks to the massive effort by each of YOU, that’s enough time to make the city MOOP-free enough to pass our BLM inspection. If you and your neighbors were any less strict about Leaving No Trace, then restoring the playa might be an insurmountable task. Thanks to you, Restoration can survive challenges and setbacks like these ones, and still get the job done.

What does the rest of Playa Restoration 2013 hold? Will Burning Man pass its inspection? Only time will tell. For now, here is a preview of the Black Rock City MOOP Map for 2013.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

REMEMBER: This is a work in progress, not the final map. Obviously.

MOOP Map Legend:
MoopMeter-2013day2GREEN: GO! GO! GO! The Line Sweep moves quickly because it’s clean. Minimal time and effort spent in this location.
YELLOW: Caution! The Line Sweep moves at a stop-and-go pace. Moderate time and effort spent in this location.
RED: Full stop. The Line Sweepers are on their hands and knees. A ton of MOOP. Extensive time and effort in this location.

Wondering what the black dots are? Those are the locations where we found larger items left behind on the playa last week: trash bags, abandoned tents, scaffolding, anything bigger than a bread box. All those items have been removed, but we do record their GPS points.

That’s all for today, MOOP maniacs! Tune in again for the next thrilling installment, as the Line Sweeps strive to make up for lost time. Will the Resto All-Stars regain their momentum? Come back soon to find out.

See more photos from Playa Restoration 2013 on Flickr.

About the author: The Hun

The Hun, also known as J.H. Fearless, has been blogging for Burning Man (and many other outlets) since 2005, which is also the year she joined the BRC DPW on a whim that turned out to be a lifetime commitment. Since then she's won some awards for blogging, built her own creative business, and produced some of the Burning Blog's most popular stories and series. She co-created a grant-funded art piece, "Refoliation," in 2007, and stood next to it watching as the Man burned on Monday. She considers that, in many ways, to have been the symbolic end of Burning Man that was. The Hun lives in Reno with DPW Shade King, Quiet Earp. You may address her as "The Hun" or "Hun". If you call her "Honey" she reserves the right to cut you.

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