Monday, September 2, 2013

Back from my tenth Burning Man: 2013

I have returned safely from my trip to the Black Rock Canyon of Nevada.  The weather was great, with nary a single dust storm the whole week.

The art festival was again spectacular.  Every year the scale of the art and theme camps seems to outdo itself, and this year was no exception.

My own experience this year was laid-back and mostly in-camp.  I did get out a few times, but not as much as in previous years.  But that was fine for me, as I have already experienced plenty of great times on the playa with the interactive art, massive rave camps, etc in my previous nine years, and have a bit of a jaded, "been there, done that," feeling towards it all.  But I love seeing the virgin and newer burners experience these things for the first time, and having their minds blown.

Instead of going out a lot, I hosted several events in our humble theme camp, Cartoon Commune, including Laughter Yoga and a cartooning workshop.  They were quite well-attended and much appreciated by the attendees.  Other events in our camp included daily Longevity Stick exercise, 60's dance party, Goth dance party, Improv Comedy, Open Mic Nite, Life Drawing, souvenir button-making, fortune-teller, and massage parlor.

Our camp was better than ever this year thanks to the hard work of my campmates, Gerflash, Fountain, Nostrildamus, and the rest.  My Uncle Mike set up a display of his artful 3D pictures with the red and blue glasses, which were a big hit.  We had a large shade space for our guests and ourselves, with a stage, benches, chairs, LED floodlights, and some frontage art consisting of dream catchers made from hula hoops and old magnetic tape.  As always, our lovely and inspiring wind-powered gray water evaporation system, the Gray-B-Gone Evap-O-Tron, constructed from a design found online, handled our gray water beautifully.  Louis (aka Fountain), arranged a small kitchen complete with a "rocket stove" from recycled coffee cans and newspaper, and a "kitchen sink," so we were able to cook fresh hot meals for our camp dinners.  I made a vegan stew, (Louis is vegan), and other meals included sandwiches, felafel, chili, and lentil soup.  The massage parlor was a carport structure with privacy tarps on the sides, with two massage tables and all the necessary lotions and oils.

I made a shrine from a repurposed medicine cabinet decorated with scenes of my favorite playa experiences, and with portraits of some of my favorite inspirational figures on the back.

My personal dome was especially comfortable this year, with a queen-sized air mattress with warm flannel sheets and blankets, topped with a ornately-patterned comforter and a few throw pillows.  I covered the rest of the floor in cushions, except for my gear which stacked neatly in waterproof bins.  An extra layer of shade on top made it semi-cool in the heat of the day, with the door wide open and a small vent in back to let the breeze through. 

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