Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.
Jenna Shenna Roberts wrote this scary cautionary tale about what can happen if you drive to or from Black Rock City when you’re overtired. Please take it to heart, and make sure your campmates do too … we want to see you again next year!
It has been over 10 months since my rollover accident on the return drive from the last Burn, and I am still working my way out of physical pain. I am not saying this to pander sympathy (although back rubs and hugs are always welcome, why thank you), I say this because the tickets were just mailed out for this years’ Burn, and I want everyone to go to and from the event more gracefully than I did last year.
Photo by the author (luckily).
I know many of you will soon pack hard, party hard, and drive tired. Recently, returning from Symbiosis, my friend Gray said that he thought of me and got a hotel in Reno rather than pushing it. He got nicely cleaned up and then ran into friends and ate and slept well for cheap. I am hoping that writing this will influence more of you to do the same.
I assure you that it’s an ideal alternative to being jolted awake from the gasp of your friend as a sudden jerk to the left becomes the ceiling smashing on the asphalt followed by every side of the metal box you’re in thundering after it as all of your oh so very well organized festival gear spews haplessly across the dusty desert highway while your freshly poignant ‘Now Is All You Have’ dashboard sticker gets splattered with your dear friends’ head wound blood. This run on sentence is brought to you by 5 seconds of nodding off. Read more »
This truck does not exist. Shoop by Loopy.
In the last edition of The Burner’s Guide to Leaving No Trace, you and I got knee-deep into your camp trash can. That was fun, but we don’t need to keep wading around in it, do we? So this time, I’ll teach you how to take that trash and turn it into gold!
Did you know that there is a Burning Man trash economy? Second only to the gift economy, the EXodus TRAsh and Recycling Network (EXTRA for short) is a bustling system of collection points for trash disposal, free recycling, and charitable donations, all of which directly benefit Burning Man and local communities in Nevada.
How does EXTRA work for you and your garbagio? Read on to find out.
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Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat: this post will not reveal a magic solution to Burning Man’s traffic woes. There is no wand to wave to quickly transport you onto the playa and prevent you from ever having another exhausting Exodus experience. If I said that, you’d know I was lying, because getting 60,000 people in and out of Black Rock City using a two lane rural highway is no easy task. Traffic will, for the foreseeable future, be a part of the Burning Man experience.
Exodus 2005. Photo by Borealis Aurora
Yep, I said it. And I know you know it. So, let’s talk about what we can do to make getting in and out of BRC a better experience for everyone, and consider what constitutes reasonable wait times.
We are continually evaluating ways to improve the process of getting into and out of Burning Man. Some of these will require years of planning, while others can be implemented more easily. Here are some of the changes we are working on for 2012: Read more »
[Kristy Evans is a senior manager in the Gate, Perimeter and Exodus Department, where she has helped manage the task of getting people in and out of Black Rock City since 2007. The logistics of traffic, people movement, and staffing a huge department still fascinate her, and with an ever growing city there is always more work to do. She first made the trek to the Black Rock Desert in 2003 and began volunteering in 2005 with Gate. She is a member of the Burning Man Leadership Forum, and you can read the rest of her bio here.]
Exodus Traffic, 2004. Photo by Jocko Magadini
Getting participants in and out of Black Rock City is one of our greatest challenges, and we figure it’s high time to share our ongoing work on the traffic front with you. For most Burners it isn’t the most vibrant topic, except for some of us nerdy types who like to think about systems and logistics (which is probably how we found ourselves huddling around fire barrels drawing traffic scenarios in playa dust for fun).
After the 2011 event, we received more responses (through our Feedback Loop process via feedback here: feedback (at) burningman.com) about traffic and wait times than any other topic. And we are listening. Those of us in the Gate, Perimeter & Exodus Department have been reading your feedback for years and have carefully considered the many suggestions put forth by the community. Read more »
There were flags to the front and flags to the rear on the way out of Black Rock City on Monday.
So we’ve tried all sorts of strategies for making a speedy exit from Black Rock — leaving right after the Burn on Saturday night, leaving early on Sunday, leaving late on Monday — but pretty much to no avail. You’re going to be sitting in traffic for awhile. The good thing, though, is that you’re going to be sitting with other Burners, so you’ll likely be better for the experience. You’ll hear about the philosophy of Be Here Now, if you so choose, and you’ll be offered refreshing beverages, maybe a bite to eat … and some VERY thoughtful person will make sure that there’s a Porta Potty brought in when the line gets real long.
That’s what happened on the way out Monday evening. It took about two and half hours to go from the city to the highway, which wasn’t too bad, considering the entertainment going on all around. How about you? When did you leave? What was it like? Share a story about your Exodus …