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Flying to Burning Man: Black Rock Airport

September, 2012

Although I had been to Burning Man once, my wife Betsy hadn’t experienced it and it really is someone to experience.  At least once.  In addition, I had told my son that should I go again I wouldn’t take him – unless he was over 18, and he happened to turn 18 this year. So off to Burning Man we went, myself, Betsy, my son and his girlfriend.  My wife and I were a little uncomfortable with my son going so we laid down a few rules (mainly that he spend all but a little time with us) and that worked out fine.

You can make Burning Man into whatever you want it to be.  For us, its a fantastic, strange art festival in the desert.  I love to ride my bike around looking at the art and the people.  You are suppose to “participate” and not just look, so we did make an effort to dress accordingly, which is actually kind of tough to figure out what that really means.  I put some antique mountain climbing goggles I got in Nepal years ago on top of  a felt hat I bought in Peru so I figured that made me look Burning manish and I thought Betsy did a great job with a leather vest and lots of jewelry.  From the last trip a few years back I still had the UV LED (blacklight) system I made with fluorescent dyed T-Shirts that the kids used at night on their bikes.

Bikes are critical, especially when camping out at the airport like we did and unfortunately I couldn’t fit four bikes and four people in the plane at one time.  So I ended up doing it in two trips each way.  I went out a day early in the morning to drop off bikes, coolers and tents, then came the next day with a load of passengers.  Similarly, I came back a day after the event to retrieve the gear (I lined the floor of the plane with plastic to help contain the dust).  It was an hour flight each way so not too bad, and still better than dealing with the long drive.  Although I have to say it is a pain cleaning everything afterwards  (plane, bikes, etc.).

What did Betsy think?  She was enthralled and overwhelmed and amazed.   Burning Man does that to you.  Would we do it again?  We decided if we have some good friends going it would be a lot of fun to spend time there with friends.  Otherwise I think you’ll find us in the mountains somewhere next labor day.

Over Black Rock City, 53,000 citizens this year

Cool bike thingy my son found and rode around with the inventor/builder

The “Man”. And someone sensitive to dust.

This thing was cool at night too with fire coming out everywhere

There were supposedly 300 art projects on the playa floor, some great and some so-so, but all interesting.

You have to wonder what this guy does when he isn’t a cave man.

The hundreds of art cars are amazing. Creative, but the engineering is pretty impressive too.

Typical Burning Man. This theater was in the deep playa, away from anything. Its marquee said they would be showing John Wayne movies from 2:00 am to dawn. Huh?

This creeping man was awesome – just strolling across the playa to who knows where.

I spent some time talking to the inventor of this pod. He spent the past year in Wisconsin building this, powering it with two washing machine motors on each “axle”. It left a strange track of dots across the playa.

This dust storm overtook the biker in moments. Betsy went left and I went right. Betsy was correct, and I ended up on a violent dust devil without my hat struggling to get my dust mask on.

Its a big place. This is still inside the fence for the event.

NeyJ and Ali

Self-portrait at a strange mirror project

Our camp at the airport. It is a LOT quieter at the airport since it is a about a mile from the center of the city.  The blue tape is to keep dust out of the plane.

Nighttime at Burning Man is another world

Another art project.

Night time art

Look at the people for the scale. This was a massive VW Bug. there was also a massive VW Bus that was probably made from a school bus. Very cool.

NeyJ and Ali waiting for the man to burn.  All the lights you see are from the hundreds of art cars that now surround the man.

And there it goes.

Um no. THERE it goes.

Homeward bound, somewhere over Nevada

One Comment leave one →
  1. October, 2012 12:48 pm

    love that you came across our theater and enjoyed it! Cheers!

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