Sorry for the delay in posting, dear readers. I have had so much going on since I got home from Burning Man. Additionally, I find that it is a little hard getting back into the swing of things after such an intense experience. However, I want to give you a taste of my journey.
Burning Manwas everything I thought it would be, yet nothing like what I thought it would be. I have been staring at this screen trying to think of something to write for the past couple days. To be honest, I have a bit of writers block. I have no idea how to write about this experience that will not diminish it somehow. However, the journey from Ivy’s house started with five questions. The content of the questions I do not remember, but the answer sequence was “Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, No.”
As Ivy and I got closer to Black Rock City, I found myself getting more and more excited and nervous. Pondering if I forgot anything, if my shoes were going to be comfortable enough, if the theme camp I was camped with was going to be friendly, if I was going to fit in or feel horribly out of place. We pulled up to the town of Gerlach, Nevada and it was then that I saw the line of cars leading into the Black Rock Desert. I told her it reminded me of the ‘Fire Worm’ scene from the movie The 13th Warrior, as a row of tail lights snaked into the horizon.
We edged closer and closer to the entrance gate. It was still dark, but dawn was approaching. You could feel the excitement of everyone in their vehicles. The line switched from one lane to two, then three, then five lanes. We would inch forward for five minutes, then stop for another five. There were Port-O-Potties (referred to as The Blue Room on The Playa) every so often, so between pauses we would run and use the bathroom. In line you see rows and rows of jam packed cars, RV’s, U-Hauls, Budget Trucks and “Art Cars”. Additionally, there were a lot of rented RV’s. One of which happened to be full of people from Switzerland. We chatted with them a bit. The whole lot of them had never been to Burning Man before and flew into San Francisco, rented an RV and were coming to Burning Man.
There was a small pickup truck with 3 passengers and a whole lot of gear, one person was driving it and the other two were pushing the truck. Every one of them had grins on their faces, even though they now had a vehicle that was not running. You could hear one of them yell, “It’s all good, we made it home!” Knowing that they had over 5 miles of dust, at minimum, to push the truck through was impressive. The pure elation you could sense from that group got me a bit more excited.
Some RVs were full of neon lights with various forms of dance music resonating from the vehicle, the inhabitants already having a dance party even though we could not yet see the end of the line. Vehicles decorated like giant bugs, fur lined bikes hanging from the backs of cars, RVs with bikes and random gear along the roof, and almost every vehicle had some form of Burning Man )’( symbol on them. Waiting in line did feel like you were in queue for the most epic experience possible. I had never been to a concert, festival or gathering that had this kind of energy build up in one place.
We scoot forward for hours until finally you can see the bright stadium like lights of the entry gate. As we pull up the collective excitement can be felt as everyone gets more and more excited. Daylight was slowly starting to creep into the sky. We could finally see the end of the row. Ivy and I were directed to the Will Call line which snaked around another quarter mile of cars.
Parking the car and walking to Will Call, we made a note of where the car was so as not to lose it. Standing in line we ended up in front of a few girls from the UK who this was their first burn. We chatted a bit of what to expect and Ivy coached them with some valuable Veteran Burner information. The line took over an hour, but it was worth it.
We were then ushered to the entry gate, where they inspect your car thoroughly to check if you have stowaways. After a funny conversation and a shift change, we were let through. The picture to the right is right after we were let through the inspection point. Right on our way to the Greeters Station, where you wait to get in.
While waiting to be Greeted I got a bit emotional. I had MADE IT TO BURNING MAN! I am always so afraid to get excited about things until I know without question that it is happening. I was at the gates of Burning Man, it was happening. We were listening to a CDs that Ivy’s husband had made for most of the multiple line journey. Ivy happens to turn on a Burning Man station (I think it was BMIR, but I am not sure). She catches the beginning of a song that has a tremendous meaning to me for many reasons. It was that moment I burst into happy tears.
Ivy would not tell me what to expect from the Greeters Station, and I’m not sure I should really tell you. If you are a veteran, you receive the warmest hug and a joyous “Welcome Home!” from a couple people in your line. If you are a ‘Birgin’ you get introduced a little differently, and it’s really quite awesome. I erupted into a laugh and happy tears again. As we got back into the car Ivy whispered, “Hey, Welcome Home.” I really did feel like I had come home.