Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Burning Man 2007 Recap: Monday, August 27

Burning Man 2007
Originally uploaded by marytsao.
Burning Man: Day One
Monday, August 27, 2007

San Mateo, CA

We woke up early, 4:30 AM, and made it out the door by 5:17. Our RV was packed and ready to go and we were excited to be hitting the road to Black Rock City, Nevada, home to the Burning Man festival.

Once we hit Highway 80, we started seeing other motorists on their way to the festival. We were in the slow lane, so lots of times we got a honk and wave out the window as others passed us on the left. We could tell others going to the festival by their jam-packed cars and their colorful bikes. Everybody was excited to be on the road.

We stopped in Reno to eat our last take-out meal at P.F.Chang's China Bistro and to stock up on water. We had to go to two grocery stores to get enough water. We also stopped in Target, and it became obvious from the stares and comments that the general mood in Reno is anti-Burning Man. That probably has something to do with the aftermath of the event, when thousands of dirty people dump their garbage in random Reno dumpsters on their way home. At least one checkout person warned us to "be careful" and that there would be "weird people" at the event. We were happy to be back on the road and on our way to Black Rock City with the rest of the weirdos!

We made it to the line of cars waiting to get into the event around 3:00 PM. It probably took about an hour to make it to the front, where two surly women checked out our RV to make sure we weren't hiding any "dirty hippies," people who were trying to sneak in without a ticket. We were harboring no dirty hippies and made it through the gates to the greeter station, where a naked man gave us four welcome packets and exclaimed, "Welcome home!"

We drove straight to our camp, KidsVille Village, and figured out where to park our RV and set up our home away from home, shade structure, and Tsaobug Movie Theater. We started setting up camp and had the whole thing ready by sunset.

As soon as the sun started setting, the moon started rising. That night was the full moon, and as was the custom at Burning Man, people started whooping and clapping when it made its appearance. In general, people at the festival clap and cheer for all natural events, such as the sun rising, the sun setting, the moon rising, and rainbows. Tee hee.

We were tired Monday night from our day of travel and only went out for a bit, riding around the Playa with the kids in the bike trailer, checking out the art that was already up and watching some of it in the process of being created. I remember seeing a woman wearing nothing but a bikini, a welder's smock and hood welding a sculpture (It might have been Koilos). Alas, I did not have my camera with me to capture the moment.

We also spent some time in the exhibit hall at the base of The Man. I'm sorry I didn't wander around more in there, as it was closed from then on due to the premature burning of The Man that night by arsonist Paul Addis.

Speaking of The Man burning, that night I did hear a collective noise of the crowd while I was sleeping but didn't get up to investigate. I thought it might have been from the total lunar eclipse, but it probably was in response to The Man being on fire.

I do know that cozily ensconced in our RV, I was one happy camper -- happy to be at Burning Man and happy that everything had come together like it had. The greeter was right, it did feel like coming home.