Maybe you’ve heard of Nowhere?
You might think I’m referring to the vast expanse of nothingness that occurs between the urban environments of our lives. In a way I am, but this time I’m referring to the European Regional Burn that happens in Spain. Appropriately named as it does in fact take place in the middle of nowhere.
Once again I hit the road to find out just what the heck is happening in Regional Land. This time, my visit took me to Apogaea, the Colorado Regional Burn.
Located about an hour outside of Colorado Springs on private land, Apogaea is a little treasure tucked up in the mountains. The drive from Denver took about 3.5 hours and was one of the most majestic and beautiful drives I’ve taken in years. Snow capped mountains, green fields, winding streams, big jagged rocks, it’s been years since I have traveled to such mountain country. I had forgotten the massive scale of things in this part of the country and found myself in awe for most of the drive.
Once again, my adventures in Regional land bring me back to you with a little update about Flipside in Austin, TX. Believe it or not, Flipside is my very first overnight Regional event that I have ever attended. This year. For real.
Located just outside of Austin, TX on private land, Flipside is one of the largest and oldest of Regional Events. I’d known about it for years and have always wanted to go, but my former duties as Ticket Manger for Burning Man didn’t allow for travel at that time of year. I arrived in Austin and met up with some fellow BMHQ staffers; DA our Playa Restoration Manager and Carmen from Burners without Borders.
Carmen and DA – my travel buddies in team mini van.
The drive from Columbus to Athens is a short and beautiful one. New bypasses have gotten the trip down to about 1 1/2 hour and the scenery is lush and green. The farther you get from Columbus, the more the landscape starts to change. Farms and old barns start to dot the roadside and the rolling foothills of the Appalachian mountains start to appear.
Athens is nestled in those foothills, in the flood plane of the Hocking River, about 30 minutes from the border with West Virginia in South Eastern Ohio.
I admit that I was tingling with excitement about this visit. I spent eight years living in this small, rural, college town and haven’t been back for a visit in a long time. The very first time I ever heard about Burning Man was in Athens and it was from this town that I made my very first trek to the playa.
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything about Regional Land. This installation takes place in Columbus, Ohio. My very own hometown. Word has it that my little brother it getting hitched, that is something I just gotta see, so I figured it would be a good time to make the pilgrimage home and see what the Ohio Burners are up to.
The drive from Charlotte to Deerfields is fairly quick. Small towns dot Hwy 74 as Phyrebolt and I caravan along. Stopping for supplies and fuel, then heading up into the mountains.
The trees start to change, less of the bright green of spring and more reds and yellows, the first buds that haven’t yet opened to make full leaves. The road goes down to two lanes and starts to make the winding incline to our destination.
Pulling up to the Owl Gates at Deerfields, Phyrebolt hops out of his trusty van and motions me to follow. He lights two sticks of incense and places a large chunk of playa in the middle of the road. Picking up a stick, he draws a line across our path and grabs my arm as we walk across it. Everything is different on the other side. Reminiscent to the year Danger Ranger brought people to the Black Rock Desert for the first time…
Before saying goodbye to Wilmington, I decided that I absolutely HAD to at least see the beach. The quick trek out was worth it and after a quick dunk of the toes into the chilly Atlantic Ocean, I was ready to head inland and towards Charlotte for a Meet n Greet with our Regional Contact, Billy “Captain Sauce” Funderburk.
The day is warm, hot even, the sun beats into the car as I cruise along Hwy 74 across the middle of North Carolina. Trees and small towns dot the road. It’s rural and quiet. A beautiful day for a drive.
Nearing Charlotte, Billy calls frequently to check in and make sure I’m on the right track. He instructs me to hop off the Hwy immedietly if I get lost and to call him. Wise words. Approaching the looming buildings of downtown Charlotte, I’m distracted, loose my place in the directions and quickly hop off and give him a call.
It’s a cloudy, rainy day in Wilmington but it’s warm. Seems the cold spell that hit the South East is finally on the way out.
I spent the morning in a locally owned cafe, curled up on comfy couch chatting with Vespa, one of the board members for Transformus, the NC Regional Burn. http://www.transformus.com/
As the rain sprinkled outside we chatted about everything from Burning Man to the different Regional events and all the amazing Regional Contacts in this part of the world. Vespa is soft spoken and on an information gathering mission. He wants to know the key players and learn about how other events are done so he can apply that knowledge to Transformus. Conversation flowed and hours passed before we realized the time and as he put it “he had to run off and be responsible”.