Monday, September 14, 2009

Burning Man 2009

My first Burning Man experience. After 10 years of wanting to go, I finally went this year with my husband. So glad I did. It was a wonderful experience.

Lots of preparation goes into Burning Man since you have to be 100% self-reliant - bring all your food, water, shelter, first-aide.We rented and drove this RV through the desert from El Monte RV - a burner friendly RV company - to Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Me and my baby. I drove it through the desert, the windy passes, and even up the narrow streets and hills up to my house afterwards and parked it right in front of my house. Something my husband thought would be impossible. So I did the impossible.Heading towards the entrance - excitement ramps up as we see other burners & we know we're close after driving for hours through the desert.We have arrived. The infamous fence around the perimeter we'd read so much about. Quite a feat considering how large the event is.Me driving the RV. A 1st for me & I loved it. So glad we took the scenic route.Uwe ringing the Playa Virgin bell & declaring himself a Citizen of Black Rock City.

Greeters at the gate meet individually with each and every person who arrives. Nice personal touch. Anyone whose first time it is at Burning Man is called a Playa Virgin and an initiation is in order.

We heard from other Playa Virgins that they were made to lay in Playa dust and make sand angels on their backs & stomachs. Our greeter was nice & just had us ring a bell and gave us big hugs (although he got so excited to meet virgins that he forgot to give us the printed schedule).

We felt welcome from the start.
We found a great spot on the corner to setup camp. Great vantage point to see all the lit up art cars as they drove by.

This was one of my fav's - a house. People were sitting inside drinking tea. Love the idea!
A lit up fish art car.

You could hear the art cars coming before you actually saw them. They were booming with music. I'd run to get my camera in anticipation of the next cool art car to appear before my eyes. Felt like Alice in Wonderland. So much fun! Thunderdome! Just like the movie Mad Max.

Yes, there was a tournament going on inside, but the human bodies swarming all over the outer metal dome was the most fascinating part.
Woman holding fire. Beautiful.The eternal flame they keep going for the burning of the Man on Saturday.
Someone loves their mom.
One person stands inside this spinning cylinder with thousands of led lights.

You can't help smiling when you see the grin on the face of the person inside.

One guy who experienced it asked, "Am I still alive?" Our first glimpse of the Man.Two Playa Virgins. A panoramic view of the Man. The Opulent Temple. This year it's the "temple of forgiveness" with four entrance halls, intricately carved wood, multiple floors and a central altar that opens to the sky.

It's hard to believe this also goes up in flames. They burn the temple on Sunday.
A true 3D interactive Rubics Cube, with 4 players.We knew we were getting close to our camp when we'd see this sign. Love it. Self-reliance is a big part of it, although the kindness of strangers is amazing out on the playa. People fed me and gave me drinks & good company. Uwe and I chillin' at our camp.

Our neighbor was a guy from Wisconsin fluent in German. We met all kinds of interesting people out on the playa. Got painted with friends I met at camp - Jeremy & Taylor.

Daytime wandering around was such a fun adventure. Everyday there was something new to discover.
Bronze sculpture in Center Camp.Another sculpture in Center Camp.

Having a chai latte in Center Camp was a little bit of home & felt like such a luxury. This experience makes you realize how much we take for granted in our daily lives.
Uwe's favorite interactive exhibit. The phantom you see is Uwe jumping to another colored circle. He said he could have done that for hours it was so much fun. Each time you step on a circle, it turns a different color.

It was fun to watch him be a kid again.
A couch swing. So comfy!
Uwe wearing his burner gear: head lamp, goggles, dust mask.Our camp was directly across from the Barbie Death Camp. Where else can you have a death camp and a wine bistro?A mirage in the middle of the desert - a Buddhist Temple.
Couldn't resist taking a photo with my pink, Chinese parasol.
Freshly squeezed OJ.

I met this fellow with the same tin camping cup, although his made mine look like a baby cup.
The Playa at night. The Man burning.
A crowd of 40,000 people all sat down in cooperation so that everyone could see the man burn. That blew my mind. Oh the possibilities!Even after the nuclear explosion that nearly melted my face, the man stood for a long time before finally succumbing to the fire.

Burning Man was an incredible, life changing experience. It was so much more than I expected. Everyone should experience it at least once in their life.