Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Burning Man 2008: Our Arrival...

Otter, Ops and I left So Cal for our Grand Playa Adventure on Tuesday August 19th late afternoon. We (meaning THEY) drove Big Lucy through the night and about 12 hours later we arrived in Gerlach, NV. Seeing as how it was around 4am'ish Wednesday morning we decided to pull into the gas station for our final fill'er-up before trekking the remaining few miles into Black Rock City. We pulled Big L right up to the pump and decided to crash for a while until the gas station opened in a couple of hours. About an hour or so later I awoke to the sounds of someone using the pump next to Big L. I peeked through the blinds only to realize that unlike past years the pumps had be upgraded and were now capable of taking credit cards 24/7. After our little nap and top-off we shot off for the Playa.

At this point the sun was creeping up over the mountains. The Burning Man Festival Welcome Home sign at the entrance of the event hadn't been installed yet so we nearly missed the turn off. After backing Big L up a few feet we started our 5mph crawl to The Gate. The one thing that sticks out in my mind about arriving at the gate at sunrise was how f'g cold it was that morning! Seriously see-yer-breath cold! The Gate Keepers were all bundled up and gathered around a burn barrel drinking a bottle Jack Daniels. Otter threw on his sub-zero handmade Otter coat and was in complete heaven. Then the gate procedures continued....since we were early arrivals we had to supply our early entry passes, tickets and photo ID's which then had to be taken away for verification. The Gate crew began inspecting Big Lucy for stow aways. It took (what seemed like) forever. I hopped out and starting snapping some pics, naturally. Once the Gate Keepers finally came to the conclusion that Big Lucy's enclosed bed frame was not harboring any sneakers we were finally allowed to pass.

I don't recall being greeted at Greeters station that morning. I'm guessing since it was so early in the week AND so early in the AM there were no greeters on shift yet. We pulled Big L right up behind the Greeters 'office' where we were to begin working at 10AM. By 10 o'clock greeters station was in full-effect. Collating the What Where Whens, Maps, Stickers, Tips sheets and Recycle tags for the following three days (8 hours a day) in an air conditioned box was an absolutely divine way to begin acclimating to the harsh Playa conditions. Since we were pulling full-time shifts for those three days Topless Deb gave us meal cards which allowed us to eat at the commissary. I must add that the Commissary food was STELLAR! This is the first time in 9 Burns that I actually noticeably GAINED weight on the Playa. There were tons of Vegetarian and Vegan options to choose from...even when I didn't have an appetite I'd throw down a full plate of yummy deliciousness. We never did rally early enough to enjoy breakfast in the mornings...but it wasn't missed. Even in the default world I'm not a breakfast eater.

The commissary was one of my favorite places to hang that week. I totally looked forward to meals if for no other reason than to people watch. It was nice to see so many familiar faces after a day or so. We sat a couple tables away from Larry Harvey one afternoon and saw tons of other recognizable faces from BMorg & Tribe.net. The one thing that was most apparent as I sat there each day trying to burn the beautiful mental images of the hustle and bustle of the commissary into my brain was that everyone had indeed spent the day WORKING. There were very few, if any, 'costumes', no fun fur, no bright/blinky/glittery anything....just wall to wall black, camo and khaki with the occassional yellow medical team tee shirt sprinkled amongst the crowd.

Okay, all for now. 
More later...

1 comment:

  1. Once more unto the dust. Thanks, Shutter.

    Love, Jimmoi


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