You can’t really explain Burning Man in one short post so I won’t try. If you are not familiar with it, just Google Burning Man and see what comes up.
There were four of us in two planes. Mark and Ken in Mark’s Cessna P210, while Graeme and I went in my Cessna T210. I also had three bikes, a big cooler and full camping gear so it was quite a load. Mark had one bike and maybe a couple of water bottles. Geesh. (I’m kidding, Mark)
What I found from Burning Man is that you can get out of it what you want. We spent a night in a slightly drunken state walking around watching the massive fire effects and stopping at wine bars. That was fun. We also spent a quiet morning biking around out on the playa looking at the incredibly creative art work, and that was also fun. And it was most definitely fun landing your plane on a makeshift runway in the desert!
Burning Man is supposed to a participatory experience – they don’t want everyone to just come and look around or it wouldn’t be the crazy event that it is. So with that in mind I wired up some black-light LEDs on the bike handlebars that pointed back up on the rider. I powered them with a Lithium 18V power-drill battery strapped under the seat. Then I had my son make some tie-dyed T-shirts with fluorescence dye. It turned out really nice and at night the shirts would glow like crazy.
Note: Ken Kurtz passed away after a long fight with cancer a few months after our trip. He always wanted to go to Burning Man so I’m glad he was able to finally make it. I met Ken in 3rd grade and we shared many adventures together all over the world. Ken was an intensely honest man (he always struggled with difficult questions like, “honey, do I look fat in this dress?”) with a level of integrity that I will always admire, and he was also an eccentric goofball. I will miss him.