Monday, September 06, 2010

Burning Man

Well, another year went by that I did not attend Burning Man. It's on my bucket list. Burning Man is an annual week-long event held on a dried up lake bed in Nevada, in the burning heat, with 10,000 people self expressing themselves, clothing optional. Sound like fun?!!!!
An entire city is set up in a horseshoe grid system. The streets have names, there's various camps set up and you have to bring EVERYTHING you need to exist in 110 degree heat for a week. Like water. Lots of it. When everyone leaves, there is no trace that 10,000 humans have been there. One needs to read the first timer's guide before even going because you could die out there!
(btw, all these photos of Burning Man Fest are borrowed cuz I wasn't there... yet!)

Started in 1986 on a beach in California, a few guys burned a hand made wooden man in a bonfire as a form of self expression. Twenty four years later it has grown into a wild, whacky, wonderous (and sometimes 'what was I thinking?!') art fest. Everyone is a participant and nothing is too weird. The small wooden man has grown to 40' tall and is set off on Saturday night in a pyrotechnical extravaganza.

I really don't know how folks do it, because they have to bring all the materials with them, then build it, and light it and move it again. But there are such amazing pieces of art, installations and costumes. The light show at night must be awesome, LED's rule! Various camps are set up, this year there were a few hundred. Each camp has a name and theme, 'A Shack of Sit', (our sit don't stink, come and hang awhile!), 'Tangoed Up in Blues', (stop on by and dance), 'A Tissue & a Plan', (yep, come get a tissue and they'll give you a plan too), 'Safer Sex Camp' (you know), 'Soft Long Pants Camp', (they serve Chai tea, duh!) and 'Camp Oh No You Didn't!'

How he do dat?!

Road Warrior type vehicles abound.

It seems no sculpture is too large or extreme.

Someone brought their little nest

Last year there was even an artificial turf slide!

So who's with me next year?!!!!

Back track 5 years. In the summer of 2005, my husband and son, Garrett, biked across the states. Bev and I joined them on Leslie and Marshall's ranch in Montana. We did not invite 10,000 people to our party but we did have a fair number to have a good time. Mild vs. wild.

In honor of Burning Man, the boys took it upon themselves to make their own Burning Man. They found some 4x4's, plywood and other stuff and in no time, had assembled a figure with outstretched arms and legs.

Little Burning Man (LBM) was loaded into Marshall's turquoise Dodge

and slowly driven up

the hillside

where he was lovingly unloaded and set up to oversee the prairie. It doesn't really seem so high up but coming back from getting supplies, we saw LBM from 12 miles away!

We all did our best impression of Burning Man, with LBM way up on the hill.

We did try to burn LBM. We stuffed dried sage into his armpits and crotch, built a nice bonfire under his legs, set all that on fire. But LBM did not want to burn to his death. So OK, we sat around him and marvelled at the scenery around us, and were quite glad that 10,000 other people were not sharing our quiet experience.


LemonyRenee' said...

I'll tell ya what . . . you go and I'll stay here and wait to read all about it. ;)

Unknown said...

I get a first hand review. One of the Dr. at the small animal clinic I work at goes each year.

She just got back and when I get to work on Sat. I expect to get the details.

What can I say? High stress job equals a large amount of detox.