Burning Man 2006 – Part 2

Posted in Burning Man, Personal News at 10:30 pm by divinity

Monday, August 28th, 2006 – The Playa in daylight

The sun rose and the tents quickly heated up Monday morning, forcing us awake and outside. We spent the day marking off the boundaries of our land and setup the portrait studio so we would have some shade. Nicole was nice enough to swing by and say hi and helped us get things up. If it weren’t for her, I think George and I would have had a hard time getting our shelter up.

We went exploring, checking out art pieces on the playa that we hadn’t seen last night. It was a very different look during the day. You really appreciated the vast nothingness and the seemingly endless desert, with the mountains rising far off in the distance. Plus the sky is just incredible. A huge blue sky, dotted with white clouds, and just pure and beautiful looking.

We spent a lot of time just hanging out with the DDI crew and relaxing. We had to adjust to the desert before we started running around like madmen! Rubin showed off his overkill gas mask (while Leah watched) that he had acquired when a dust storm threatened to roll in.

Later we did however get a chance to see Uchronia, aka The Waffle out in the distance. If I remember correctly, Doc showed up at GPS and we started getting to know him. We even made some time this day to go out and fly the kite that my dad had sent me. I’ve never had an easier time flying a kite. We also ran into a guy who had a much bigger kite that was a suitable means of transportation when you add in a board with big wheels.

After quite a bit of flying (as well as some crashing), we headed back to camp and got ready for the evening.

It felt like we had been there for days already and we fell right into the swing of things. We were truly introduced to our first dust storms and learned how to deal with those. Here’s a picture of me in what would become my normal nightly attire that everyone seems to enjoy:

That evening we spent some more time at DDI and went out to the Waffle to check it out while it was all lit up and the music was going. We made it an early night as the city was still setting up and we figured we could use some good rest for the days to come.

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 – The Playa Task and DDI
Another hot morning ejected me from the tent and started my day. After a breakfast of fruit cups, granola bars, and a fill up of my Camelbak, we biked over to DDI to see what was happening there. We just happened to run into the SF0 Minneapolis crew while we were there and realized that the Playa Task was today!

George headed back to camp, not really in the mood for running around in the heat, while I wandered around killing time and then headed to Center Camp to meet up with everyone for the Playa Task for SF0. I ran into the impressive sculpture made out of scrap metal out front.

Gadget organized a wonderful little activity for us to do in teams. We split up, and I opted to go with a team of people I didn’t know. Turns out Team Dust was me, Ink Tea, and a couple of people who had no idea what SF0 was but thought the event sounded random enough to check out.

We received our clue from Gadget and deciphered the spanish sentence into something about a lazy alpaca by the bathrooms of low tea. We headed off to a bank of porta potties where we figured the next clue would be. Once on the road, we quickly turned into Team ADHD, getting distracted left and right. Ink Tea, in her leopard print dress, had to break off from the pack to chase down a zebra art bike, we spent some time going through some interactive art pieces and even got distracted helping a topless girl walk on stilts for the first time.

We finally made it to the porta potties and sure enough there was a piece of paper with an alpaca on it with little slips of paper to rip off with a string of numbers on them. Someone had already ripped off a few, and I wonder what they thought they were for. While there we also noticed someone had equipped one of the johns with some music (video), and another porta potty was dubbed “Your Mom.”

After getting the slip of paper, it was back to Center Camp, and we spent the next hour or two waiting on others, hanging out, Ink Tea drawing on Rubin’s face, doing other small SF0 tasks, and then deciphering the coded message.

Then, under the direction of the decoded message, it was out to the Black Rock City airport to find the SF0 box, which contained a flask of scotch and some granola bars. The journey along the way involved hat stealing and camera breaking races.

A quick find of the box, the flask was passed around, granola bars consumed, photos taken, and then everyone headed back to the city. I ended up splitting off to go refill my empty camelbak while the others dispersed into the crowd.

Back at camp GPS, the rest of our crew had started to arrive, RVs galore! Introductions were made, and we hung out for a bit helping unload things and set up. Then it was back across the playa to camp DDI. Along the way we were distracted by some fire dancing on a large platform that had been erected. Some incredibly performances by a talented staff spinner with incredibly cool neck spins, an attractive and topless girl who knew what she was doing, and various art cars that stopped by to shoot off their flamethrowers. I’d post the pictures, but anyone that’s tried to take night photos of fire with a low-end camera and no tripod knows the blurs that they become.

DDI was open and running this night and I knew that I had to play. I had waited so long since I had first heard about it online, and then Nicole had shown me the bits and pieces at NIMBY. I jumped into line and ended up waiting an hour or so before it was my turn. While waiting, those of us in line got to know each other, sharing stories, ideas, drinks, etc. It finally came to my turn and Mary helped me suit up in one of the proximity suits and walked me over to the platform.

I climbed up and thought, “hey, I’ve played DDR before, this should be a piece of cake.” Apparently I have forgotten all of my DDR skills from years past, and I was terrible. But as far as getting shot with fire in the face, I’m a professional now. Needless to say, even with my poor performance, I still had a good time and walked away with a smile. I’m not sure if Rubin’s “this is rabbit, give him special treatment” comment resulted in more fire than normal, but they definitely picked some hard songs to dance to.

(Yes, that’s my head engulfed in flames!)

(Where did I go?!)

After I was done with DDI, I loaned my shoes to one of the people I had met in line (you can’t play with sandals and he was my size), and hung out watching the other people in line get shot with fire. then it was back to camp GPS to wash my feet and get a fresh pair of socks. Apparently sometime around 3am we headed out and checked out the Serpent Mother by the Lotus Girls and then I assume we went to bed shortly after, since Wednesday was going to be a big day.

-A Huge thanks to Rubin for some of these pictures. I’m glad he remembered to grab his camera when I forgot. 🙂

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