Posts in building black rock city
Logan, 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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(photo by John Curley)
They were putting up the king posts over in Center Camp yesterday afternoon when some pretty good gusts came up. Seemed just like old times.
(more photos over here)
Felix Ling had a little trouble finding his stuff on the playa last year.
So you know how hard it is to find your way back to camp some nights (or some mornings)? You walk around for what seems like hours, you get more and more frustrated, then you start thinking bad things about yourself for being such an idiot, then you start pleading with the powers of the universe … please PLEASE let me find my camp! I just want to sleep!
Well this is a story about a guy who couldn’t find his camp. But it wasn’t just for a couple of hours, or for a night, or until it started getting light again. He NEVER found it again.
Felix Ling was out at the Burn last year with a bunch of friends. They had to leave before he did, so they took off and left the camp set up for him to take care of later. Welllll, one thing led to another, and there might have been a little partying, and there might have been a night spent … out and about. But the key point is, when it came time for Felix to go back to his camp, it wasn’t there.
Even though the Man had burned and a lot of the geographic locaters were missing by this point, he KNEW he couldn’t be THAT disoriented. He couldn’t completely lose his camp and his car. But still, it was all gone. No trace.
(photos by John Curley)
(Joe the Builder was having trouble with his radio; holding it up to the sun didn’t help.)
It’s still kind of hard to believe the fence was done in a day. It was a damn triumph. … The good people back in the SF offices updated yesterday’s blog post to point out that yes, the stringing and the tying and the FINISHING of the fence was indeed finished by the late afternoon. ONE DAY.
And I don’t mean to diminish for a second the efforts of the stringers and the tie-ers. There were more than a couple of people at breakfast this morning who were moving pretty slowly. Want to know what they feel like? Try trying doing deep knee bends for seven miles, which is pretty much what the tie-ers had to do after all the stakes were pounded. ..
So where do we go from here? Well, we start it all again, actually. Another early morning breakfast meeting at Bruno’s. Eat up, then listen up, then pack up your lunch and off you go to your crew out on the playa.
But it’s different now. The excitement and buzz of the fence is done. Now it’s weeks of work in the sun and dust. Pick up the lumber and move it to where it needs to go. Count the cables. Unload the trailers. And figure out what all those marker flags mean. (“What the f– are all these flags?” as someone yelled to no one in particular.)
The heaviest lifting is going on at Center Camp, the Man, Artica and, for lack of a better term, Electricity Land.
Hello again early Burning Man fans; look what time it is already!
Your tent might still be dusty, your headlamp batteries might need changing, and your playa bike probably needs a good going-over.
But I can confidently report to you that the couple hundred or so folks who have gathered here in Gerlach to get Black Rock City built in time for the big party at the end of the month have got things well underway.
Folks have been arriving for … oh, a week or so, and in some cases even longer than that. But a big contingent of willing and able hands arrived Sunday night.
Dozens of people were walking down the main street of Gerlach with their dreads and their boots and their bandanas and their yoga bodies and their piercings and their faces happy happy in the beautiful evening light. And lots of folks who hadn’t seen each other in a year were having many happy returns at the Saloon.
There were drinks and hugs and lots of laughs at the bar, and then the parade continued a few doors down to Bruno’s, where a major dinner was served. You could feel the energy in the air; people were gearing up, ready to go, ready to tackle the Fence in the morning.
Ah, the Fence.
You know about the fence already, right? It’s seven miles around the outside of the Burning Man grounds. And it goes up in a day. And they pound metal stakes into the ground by hand. … Oh, sure, you could get a machine to do that, but that isn’t the way of the Department of Public Works. It’s a point of pride to do it all yourself. And so they do. And this year they pounded seven miles of stakes in … wait for it … just over four hours. Amazing.