Vote Charlie!

Joy, right at home

Posted at age 28.
Created . Edited .

Friday I explored area neighborhoods with Steven, and we were later joined by Eric and Mike. I documented some interesting structures and collected ideas for next year. I made a quick trek to the playa before sunset to try to photograph some of the art before it was too late, and on the way back tickled a curiosity that nevertheless went unsatisfied. I went out with most of the camp, which was finally complete with the arrival of Brett and Scott and others. It was a bit of a strange night, as I didn’t feel terribly energetic, but I felt good and wanted to be with friends. Once most of us returned to camp a few hours after midnight, I made use of my speaker system to play some tracks I collected over the year. Those hours listening to music with friends around the campfire ended up being some of my most satisfying hours in days.

This entry is No. 10 in a series of 14 entries.

Friday, September 2: Slept 05:26 to ~12:30. Uncertain since Fitbit died unexpectedly.

I woke around 12:30 and again found my Fitbit was dead. Dave had made me a burger, which I ate after putting antiseptic cream and a bandage on my wound from last night and making a trip to the porta potties. The burger had double the bread, for the buns had gotten squished and Dave used a full one for top and bottom. I liked the texture, and it tasted pretty good!

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Somehow injured myself jumping into the giant sheep, BAAAHS. I felt a bit like Steven, who the night before was secretly bleeding from trying to open his bike lock.

Dave and Matt went for ice, and then they went exploring. Erik and Phillip also went exploring. I stayed at camp eating for a while and talked to Steven. Three guys from Germany came by looking for directions to some galactic themed camp, but they could not remember the name. They were also without bikes, for they left them at the camp in question during a dust storm and then failed to retrace their steps once things settled. Steven and I then also went out to explore and take photos.

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Exploring Friday

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Exploring Friday

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I wanted to wait in line at Flying Falafel, but there was so much more to see and so little time!

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Ships make great art cars

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While exploring Friday, I found an art car I really liked called Forest House, by Christopher Bouton. The first floor is spacious enough for bikes so you don't have to figure our where you left your bike after hopping on a moving art car!

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While exploring Friday, I found an art car I really liked called Forest House, by Christopher Bouton. The first floor is spacious enough for bikes so you don't have to figure our where you left your bike after hopping on a moving art car!

More about Forest House.

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Distrikt is another popular daytime dance place, but I never ended up there.

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You can tell it was hot since everyone is under the shade structure!

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Exploring Friday

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The free Wi-Fi could feasibly be a joke or reality. Such is Burning Man.

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I would like to make this. Maybe 10 times bigger. :-)

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Exploring Friday

One camp at which we stopped was Champagne Campaign. We had some drink and hung out a bit.

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Steven and I stopped by Champagne Campaign, a camp providing libations in the name of reducing political tension through social lubrication.

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Friday afternoon at the intersection of 8:00 and D.

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Life lessons at Camp Settle This Like Men, where "If violence is not the answer, you've got the wrong question." Hah!

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I love seeing children at Burning Man, but I have yet to actually have a conversation with any or their parents. I do try to make an effort to smile and say hi, though! These boys seemed to be having a great time announcing to passersby to "Have a great burn!" and greeting people.

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I think my brother Tim might like this "midnight poutine" camp!

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I have been on the lookout for parachute based shade structures, and I think this is the biggest I found. It seems to be at least 72 and maybe 100 feet across, based on that ladder, which is probably 24 feet. (I should have just asked, or measured myself!) Anyway, I picked up a 100 foot parachute on Craigslist after the burn, so hopefully I'll be able to put it to use next year!

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Exploring Friday

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Exploring Friday

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Exploring Friday

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Exploring Friday

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This is an interesting evaporation pond concept, but I think it's more for show than for efficiency?

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Exploring Friday

We ran into Eric and Mike after exploring a few blocks of the gayborhood, and we biked around with them a bit. The four of us went to Mystopia to find Eric’s friend who was present but showering. We explored some more and ended up at Fuck, a bar.

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Eric and Mike both looked so cool!

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Eric and Mike both looked so cool!

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Exploring Friday

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Exploring Friday

I talked with the bartender about fraud and authenticity for a while. It was one of those conversations where you’re both playing a role and trying to outwit the other, or at least not break character, but it was made all the more ridiculous since his role was a fraudulent bartender. I never did find out if he really was a passerby and not the bartender, but he was at least the bartender for me, serving three shots of Bulleit whiskey because he was convinced I was actually trying to get drinks for my two friends who forgot ID. That was one contrivance I did not negate.

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Exploring Friday

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Exploring Friday

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Eric making the case for passport substitution in ID checking

They decided to go back to camp, but I went out to the playa for some photos since I had not yet made it out there that day.

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LEOs are an ever present force, for better or for worse.

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Medusa by Kevin Clark and the Rhino Redemption Camp

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Medusa by Kevin Clark and the Rhino Redemption Camp

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Medusa by Kevin Clark and the Rhino Redemption Camp

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The Black Rock Lighthouse Service towers

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Conversing outside the temple Friday afternoon

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Again I passed the temple on the way back to camp, hoping to come back later and actually spend some time there. It was already Friday night, though, so I had only one day left before it would be off limits in preparation for its burning.

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They seemed to be saying goodbye to a friend together.

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Grateful for the strange sight of the shading clouds above me with beautiful clear skies everywhere else!

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Sky divers landing on the playa early Friday evening.

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Exploring Friday

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Exploring Friday

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Exploring Friday

When the sun neared the horizon, I also headed back to camp, but made a detour past what I thought I had heard from Eric was an Asian camp. Some weeks ago I talked with a friend who mentioned he had gone to Burning Man last year, and he was part of a gay Asian camp. I thought that was interesting since I didn’t recall seeing many Asians at all, much less a camp full of gay ones. So when I joked earlier about wanting to find that camp, Eric told me it was Tsunami, I think. I found the camp in the directory and saw it was all the way over by 3:00 and B. That seemed strange for a gay camp, but then Disco Chateau and some others were quite far from the gayborhood this year.

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Exploring Friday

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The 10 Principles

Well, I found the camp in question, which consisted of a bus with some fashion runway out front. I thought that made it seem plausibly the gay camp, but I saw no gays or Asians or even guys around. In back I saw some white girls sitting at a table that I thought was part of the same camp. Oh, well, at least I tickled my curiosity! I biked back to camp around 18:00 along A Street.

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Exploring Friday

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Most of these street signs will be gone in less than 24 hours, despite the pleadings of the Burning Man organization.

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Center Camp

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I'm going to miss these toilets!

No one was home when I arrived, but Danny, Dillon and Brett appeared soon. Dave, Matt and Steven were all absent despite heading back to camp for dinner when I left them. Erik and Phillip appeared soon after and said they had been at Pink Mammoth dancing, and Steven was there.

I was hungry.

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Our camp on Friday

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Our camp on Friday

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Our camp on Friday

When Dave returned, he made “taco bags”, which consisted of small bags of Doritos that we smashed and added meat, onion, lettuce, cheese and tomato, and they were quite delicious! I had four pink treats, later two more, and drank and went to Mystopia. I got there later than most of the camp and found it crowded inside their main dancing tent. It seemed chill enough, but I mostly hung around outside getting drinks by entering the front side of the tent and then walking around to the back to talk with Erik and others. I did do some dancing, but nothing intense. Then the group headed to BAAAHS and out for the night.

I don’t recall who was with me most of the night, but I ended up back at camp around 03:00 or 04:00 and put on some music while we sat around the campfire. I never quite finished a playlist for Burning Man as I had hoped, but I managed to throw together enough tracks to keep people satisfied. I got complimented by Danny and Brett, and given their DJ prowess, I felt pretty good.

I did worry about waking Dave and Matt, but Erik seemed only minimally concerned, and I guessed Dave wouldn’t want the camp to stop have fun for his sake. Eventually I gave control to Dillon, who plugged my speakers into his phone and played some tracks I really enjoyed. At some point Erik was trying to sleep and turned off the music. Danny and Brett were set on going out, but Dillon said he would probably stay. I also opted to stay, and went to bed around 05:30.

Dillon later said he ended up going to the temple for sunrise, which was amazing. I wish I could say my sleep was also amazing, but that night I did not sleep well. One time I woke up and almost puked. I can only guess it was something involving my nighttime supplements and what I ate, but who knows. I had been developing a cold over the past few days, I thought in retrospect, since I had been blowing my nose more and felt somewhat congested. Maybe it was just the dust.

The story continues in Man burns, desert chills.

Entries in this series

  1. Unpacking Burning Man 2016
  2. The journey ‘home’
  3. Social apprehension
  4. Race prep by day drinking
  5. Third ultramarathon fastest yet
  6. Feeling astonished, validated, home
  7. Recovering, welcoming
  8. Lost at day, seeking friends
  9. Lost at night, seeking joy
  10. Joy, right at home
  11. Man burns, desert chills
  12. The Temple
  13. Return to default world
  14. Bonus: The golden stool

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