Driving Across America

Sunday, September 3, 2000

Burning Man: Day 2: The music was blaring all night not to mention the non-stop laser show lighting up the sky. I didn't think I would need ear-plugs or eye-shades like the web page recommended. Wrong again! I was stiff and tired but I got up anyway. Most people bragged about not having showered for a few days so I didn't bother bathing.

I heard there were about 20,000 people at Burning Man this year. Each year since 1996, the attendance has doubled! This would be why the camp is SO HUGE!

There are two realities at Burning Man: Day and Night. Each has it's own surrealness to it. The nights are very cold and the days are very hot. As the heat rose, the clothes disappeared. Seeing topless girls become very common. Some people chose to go without clothes all together (except for shoes) ... and maybe jewelry on their private parts.

I took a walk around the art-playa and saw and got caught in some huge dust devils. The pieces were huge and usually interactive and made to climb on or walk thru. There was so much space between pieces, it took about 15 minutes to walk from one to the next sometimes. I was tired, and there was nothing to hit, so I just walked with my eyes closed so I could take a nap while I walked. I discovered that you tend to drift off course when you do this.

I came across this guy serving flaming potato chips from the remains of the burned man. You had to reach and grab a chip on fire and pop it in your mouth. They were quite yummy! I saw this other guy riding a very tall bike. People had some very interesting ways to get around including this raft on wheels.

People are dancing constantly day or night. It could be 6 am and all you'd have to do is follow your ears and you'd find people dancing. Sometimes you'll see a person dancing to the music in their head. You don't hear anything, but they do. Here is an interesting looking guy dancing to some techno during the day. Here are some people dancing and swinging glow on a rope. Here are people dancing holding road flares as sparklers.

I would have had these cool looking pictures in the Black Light District. For those of you who don't get it, it's a play on words based on the Red Light District. Instead of prostitution, this district surrounds you with black-light. People come dressed in colored clothes that glow in the black-light. I took a bunch of great pics of people dancing with these really bright colored glowing clothes (due to the black light) but these were all lost due to my camera malfunction.

Trampolines are very popular. About every 10th camp-site had one. One guys was bouncing up and down on his on his Mt. Bike.

Half way thru the hot day, I setup my tent in the shade of my truck and took a nice long nap. Now I'll have some place to sleep tonight when I limp back to my truck.

I noticed that most people at the Burning Man were thin and good-looking. About one out of every 1000 people was fat and about 1 out of every 1000 people was either black or asian.

One nice thing about the Nevada dessert is that there were no bugs like mosquitoes or gnats.

The sun has set and the temperature has started to drop. I get up and decide to see what is going on.

I came across an artist burning his 50 foot couch. It was about halfway burned when a car pulled up full of crazy people. Leaf-Blower Man jumped out with a huge leaf-blower strapped to his back and began to fan the fire with his blower. Then he aimed his blower at the base of the fire and the red-hot coals shot everywhere. The crowd scattered as sparks flew everywhere. Leaf-Blower Man then proceeded to chase the large coals around the dessert, blowing them with his blower. Actually he was chasing people with these red-hot coals. It was one of the funniest scenes I've ever seen!

A girl in a ghost-buster jump-suit leans back on the car and drops her shirt and yells "I need women to service me!" Two girls jump to her service saluting her saying something like "Reporting for duty Captain!" and the proceeded to suck on her nipples. This place gives you the feeling that there are no rules and that anything is possible. It's almost total chaos at times.

Mr. Mega Volt came out and stood between two giant Tesla coils and began playing with lightning, literally. The crowd chanted "Mega Volt! Mega Volt! Mega Volt! Mega Volt! Mega Volt!" until someone started chanting "Tasty Treats! Tasty Treats! Tasty Treats! Tasty Treats!" It wasn't long before the entire crowd was chanting to Mr. Mega Volt "Tasty Treats!" I love how random this place is! As you slowly get involved in what's going on around you you soon get absorbed and become part of it.

One of the biggest rules was "No Fireworks" but this was also one of the most violated rules. Fireworks were going off almost constantly.

I could have seen and done 10 times more had I brought my Mt. Bike.

As I limped back to my truck (my feet and legs were hurting pretty bad at this point, from walking so much) I noticed that the street signs were missing. I guess people had taken them as mementos. People have been leaving the entire time I've been there and the camp is now about half the size it was when I got there. For this reason, the definition of what is a camp-site and what is the road, begins to blur. This makes it a little difficult to find your camp-site especially since you get turned around on the playa and you have no idea which way your facing. Luckily there are some large landmarks to use. I notice that the longer I stay at Burning Man, the better my sense of direction gets. Another thing that helps is that people's camp-sites tend to be very unique, so that helps with navigation as well.

Date Created September 15, 2000
Last Updated April 12, 2006
Contact: patcoston@gmail.com