Ready to welcome you home

gate-copyThe stakes are in, the fence is strung and the flags are flapping in the breeze. All that’s missing is a line of cars and vans and RVs a couple of miles long, and things would look like opening day.

The sense of anticipation here is building, even though there’s a certain serenity to the Gate scene now.

Last night the Gate crew held a fence-tying party. Everyone was invited to participate, in return for copious amounts of beer and whisky. Wild Child reported this morning that he’d never seen a jankier fence, but thanked everyone for helping anyway.

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Is it hot enough for ya?

Joe the Builder checked on the Center Camp crew
Joe the Builder checked on the Center Camp crew

Ok, so the word for today was hot.

I mean, hot hot.

I mean, really really goddamn hot. And you know what? It’s cooled off since yesterday.

Yesterday it was 108 degrees in the shade. Some say 109, some say 107, so we’ll go with the average. It was hot yesterday, and it was hot today. Sun beating down on your head and shoulders hot, and oh by the way, there is no pool. No beach.

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BMIR will soon be on the air

There were warnings at the DPW meeting this morning to watch out for each other. “If one of you breaks yourself, the whole crew suffers.”

So the word went out that electrolytes were available, and to watch out for each other, and to watch for the signs of heat exhaustion. The question was put to the assembled group: What ARE the signs of heat exhaustion?

“Irritability!” someone shouted, irritably.

Of course, it might not just be heat exhaustion that causes irritability. I mean, this is a group of people who labors all day long in the sun, and again I mean realllly labors — digging, pounding, dragging, hammering, bending, you name it — and then at night carries on whole lot more. There might be a few PBRs consumed. There might be some Jameson quaffed. There also might be stories told in the morning about puking the night before.

And yet there they all are at the morning meeting, getting word about what’s on tap for the day. At 7:30 in the morning, and that’s AFTER breakfast. This is a tough crew. (more…)

Desert travelogue

road-1001-copyThere’s something about Polaroid pictures that says “vacation” to me. And Burning Man is a lot of things, and I guess vacation is one of them. So here’s a little collection of Polaroids to whet your appetite for the trip, and for the desert, and for the drive across Indian land, and for that feeling of excitement you’ll get in the pit of your stomach when you get off Route 80 in Wadsworth and head for the dust and the heat and the fun.

Be careful, though, especially if you haven’t been out this way before. There are a number of places that have reduced speed limits. You’ll really want to slow down to a crawl, unless you want to make a pricey contribution to the local traffic department budget.

When you start heading across Route 447, you are quickly reminded of just how beautiful the desert landscape is.
When you head out Route 447, you are quickly reminded of how beautiful the desert is.

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Fluffer van, ala Garlington

So, when the hot and dusty work is going on all around the playa, when the shade structures are being built and the tents are going up and the stakes are being driven into the dusty ground, a van makes its way around with drinks and candy and electrolyte powders for your water. And the van is a trip, too, because what used to be a big blue van is now covered in the amazing photography of Mike Garlington, aka Photo Mike. I wish I could take photos half as good. It's amazing stuff, and if you see the van when you get out here, take some time to check it out. See how many of the DPW crew you recognize. It's amazing stuff. Thanks, Mike.
So, when the hot and dusty work is going on all around the playa, when the shade structures are being built and the tents are going up and the stakes are being driven into the dusty ground, a van makes its way around with drinks and candy and electrolyte powders for your water. And the van is a trip, too, because what used to be a big blue van is now covered in the amazing photography of Mike Garlington, aka Photo Mike. I wish I could take photos half as good. It's amazing stuff, and if you see the van when you get out here, take some time to check it out. See how many of the DPW crew you recognize. It's amazing stuff. Thanks, Mike. (PS: that's Rugburn posing like the car show model here, although she really wasn't posing. She just kind of looks like that all the time.)

Your money’s no good here, pal

black-rock-saloon6Logan, who pretty much runs the Department of Public Works, which is the fancy name for the group of die-hards and worker bees who are building the city in the desert that will host the Burning Man event, was telling the crew gathered at the breakfast meeting the other day to behave when they are in the Black Rock Saloon, because the Black Rock Saloon is one of his favorite places on earth, and he doesn’t want anyone or anything screwing it up.

The Black Rock Saloon is  in the middle of what passes for town in Gerlach. If you were just casually passing through,  you’d definitely want to pop inside  for a look around. There isn’t all that much in Gerlach, after all: A park named after and built around an old water tower; Brunos, a restaurant and bar that is the local equivalent of a multinational corporation, because it seems to have a hand in everything, plus two more drinking establishments: The Miner’s Club, and Joe’s Gerlach Club. That’s a lot of drinking for a small town, huh.
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