Vote Charlie!

Lost at day, seeking friends

Posted at age 28.
Created . Edited .

After a low key Wednesday, Thursday was quite packed. As with Tuesday, I felt it broke naturally into two parts. We struggled to coordinate our activities given our various whims, and thus it was only after quite a few delays that I went out in search of friends whose addresses I had written down before coming. I only ended up finding my friend Luke, whom I met in Singapore last year, but I was glad I did, for I was apparently the one who introduced him to Burning Man and much of his inspiration for coming. Then I experienced my first moment of losing my group, though it didn’t last long. Overall I had a nice daytime adventure with Dave, Matt and Steven checking out the catacomb, an open mic, a tea house, a rowdy parade and more.

This entry is No. 8 in a series of 14 entries.

Thursday, September 1: Slept 01:53 to 08:10.

I woke around 09:30. My Fitbit malfunctioned overnight and woke me up with vibrations and the screen indicating it was constantly starting a timer, only I was not pushing the button to trigger it. I am not sure what went wrong, but I put it on the charger and hoped it was some effect of a low battery. The Fitbit never did start working properly, though.

I had not been using any facial products during the week, but did at least use some disposable wipes on my face Thursday and put on sunscreen. Erik made eggs, spam, green peppers and instant rice.

_CNG6412.jpg

By Thursday the days were not getting as hot.

_CNG6415.jpg

We tried reducing our kitchen water usage by wiping dishes with moistened paper towels. I tended to just keep my dish in the yurt and not wash it at all.

Phillip seems to have a very different way of thinking than others. After sitting down to eat, Erik asked Phillip to get him a water refill with two scoops of Gatorade powder. When Phillip returned and Erik tasted it, he asked Phillip, “How many scoops did you put in here?” Phillip said, “I don’t know, three? One?”

_CNG6437.jpg

Erik and Phillip never bickered.

Endless delays, finding a friend

I wanted to take time today to find some friends in other camps, namely, Luke from Singapore and Matt, who ran the race with me unexpectedly. I also wanted to take photos of other camps’ infrastructure to get ideas for next year. Dave said he would go, and then Erik and Phillip said they would go also, but it ended up taking a couple of hours to mobilize.

_CNG6419.jpg

Steven brought his own bucket, but I forgot if it was for wastewater or to warm water for washing. It certainly made a good chair for him!

_CNG6429.jpg

Our yurt worked really well again. This year I added two new solar panels, though I discovered one was unplugged late in the week, after we drained the batteries using the fans too much on a cold and cloudy day!

_CNG6422.jpg

My side of the yurt. By Thursday I had attempted to clean the yurt once or twice already, but gave up trying to avoid stepping inside with dirty footwear. Eventually I gave up trying to step on the bed, too…

_CNG6424.jpg

Erik and Phillip's side of the yurt.

Matt left first to go practice juggling at a camp near 6:45 and C. Next Dave left to go to the porta potties, saying he would meet us by Matt. Erik and Phillip suddenly wanted to go get genital identification cards made, but I said I had been waiting hours already, and they should just go and then try to meet us at the juggling thing.

DSC00976.jpg

Some people cared more than others about trying to prevent dust from getting into their vehicles.

DSC00979.jpg

I wonder how much this helped, given it's clearly not airtight.

I went with Steven to 6:45 and C and found Matt right away. He ceased juggling upon seeing us, and as I told him we were still waiting for Dave, Dave appeared. They were eager to go exploring, so we moved on sans Erik and Phillip.

DSC00982.jpg

Reminds me of my youth…

DSC00988.jpg

This made me laugh.

We headed to 5:00 and L to look for Disco Chateau, which supposedly contained my Singaporean friend’s camp, Olympus. I asked around and was told the Olympus people wore medals around their neck, and then I found a boy wearing what I thought was a medal but turned out to be a shattered style mirror pendant. He was not in Olympus but directed me across the street. I was skeptical across the street qualified as within the other camp, but I inquired at a tent of people and found out it was indeed Olympus. I told the woman I was looking for my friend Luke as the guy sitting next to her turned around and looked up. I was pretty sure, but said out loud his full name, and then he recognized me.

Luke and I talked about his experiences so far, which have been good, and he told me the times for his upcoming demonstrations of tarot card readings that night at 20:30 and rainbow chakra crystal singing bowls Friday at 20:30. He mentioned he had to let go of the expectation we would find each other and not let it get in the way of having a good time. I had previously told him it would probably be a few days before I could find friends due to the race, so it was nothing unexpected at least.

Dave, Matt and Steven came over after a while and introduced themselves and talked a bit, and then we went to look for Matt’s camp, Hunting Party, around 3:15 and C. After first missing the camp, possibly due to stopping to take a photo of the U-Haul trailer next to it, we found the camp and determined he wasn’t there. I left a note in his tent, which he previously told me I needed to check out.

DSC01015.jpg

This heart is a lot like mine!

DSC01018.jpg

Thursday I took a bunch of photos of interesting camp infrastructure.

Next we stopped at a random camp for slushies and sat down for a while on the couches. A man at the open mic was telling what seemed to be a recent story of personal growth or maybe just pain. It involved accidentally killing a dog while speeding to work in Canada and then looking for the pet owner accompanied by the police officer who witnessed the whole incident. The story was quite long and suspenseful in that the man didn’t know if the cop intended to give him a ticket or arrest him at the conclusion. Well, the cop ended up arresting the pet owner instead, for this whole time he was telling was a joke.

DSC01021.jpg

We stopped at a random camp advertising slushies, and then sat down for an open mic where a man told a long sad story that turned out to be a joke.

DSC01025.jpg

I liked these shorts, and wanted to remember how much I liked them, so I took a picture. Not creepy.

Getting lost before the catacomb

The four of us then headed to the Catacomb of Veils. Dust prevented us from seeing it from a distance, but thankfully we had a general idea where it was, for I picked a bad time to veer off. I saw what appeared to be a large drilling rig and a bunch of people forming a perimeter, so I stopped to ask one of the men what was going on. He said they were building a lookout tower, but he wasn’t actually sure if they were drilling a hole or the rig itself was going to become the tower. I guess he volunteered to help without inquiring much first. Suddenly the wind intensified, and I couldn’t see my friends, nor did they apparently hear me when I yelled their names.

DSC01026.jpg

I temporarily lost Steven, Dave and Matt when I made a quick stop to ask what this was going to be. The guy I asked wasn't sure, though he was volunterring to help with whatever it was. Then a dust storm kicked up and it took me 10 minutes to find my group!

I kept biking in the general direction we had been heading, though slowly due to the visibility. After 10 minutes, I found them, shortly before arriving at the catacomb. We parked and walked around, and I took some photos. There were a number of cute gays around, and people were writing some messages on the walls, as seems common at most art pieces these days.

_CNG6463.jpg

Exploring the Catacomb of Veils, a project that was funded on Indiegogo. It seemed to still be under construction all week right up till they burned it. Not sure if that was planned.

_CNG6453.jpg

Exploring the Catacomb of Veils, a project that was funded on Indiegogo. It seemed to still be under construction all week right up till they burned it. Not sure if that was planned.

_CNG6451.jpg

Exploring the Catacomb of Veils, a project that was funded on Indiegogo. It seemed to still be under construction all week right up till they burned it. Not sure if that was planned.

_CNG6459.jpg

Exploring the Catacomb of Veils, a project that was funded on Indiegogo. It seemed to still be under construction all week right up till they burned it. Not sure if that was planned.

_CNG6438.jpg

Exploring the Catacomb of Veils, a project that was funded on Indiegogo. It seemed to still be under construction all week right up till they burned it. Not sure if that was planned.

_CNG6439.jpg

Exploring the Catacomb of Veils, a project that was funded on Indiegogo. It seemed to still be under construction all week right up till they burned it. Not sure if that was planned.

I followed some people down a hallway that turned out to lead to nowhere, but it was interesting, especially since the air was quite dusty at times, but being in a building, that seemed ominous. I made a meager attempt at ringing a bell I passed.

_CNG6444.jpg

Exploring the Catacomb of Veils, a project that was funded on Indiegogo. It seemed to still be under construction all week right up till they burned it. Not sure if that was planned.

_CNG6448.jpg

Exploring the Catacomb of Veils, a project that was funded on Indiegogo. It seemed to still be under construction all week right up till they burned it. Not sure if that was planned.

Meandering home

The group was pretty ambivalent about where we went, so I checked the book for things going on in the area. There was pineapple upside down cake and drinks I was curious to try, but we didn’t end up there. Nor did we end up at a beer tasting. We turned to meander back toward our camp.

DSC01029.jpg

Cute tents

_CNG6465.jpg

Some sort of convenience stop, where undoubtedly everything was free.

DSC01035.jpg

Who wouldn't want to go inside Madam Zelda's House of Mirrors and Reflections?!

While I was photographing structures, we saw a large performance stage enclosure that looked interesting. Upon investigation we found they were serving tea and invited us to sit. It was the Skinny Kitty Teahouse, featuring an apparently real dead cat on the counter and four flavors of tea that were all more sophisticated than any I had encountered before. We all got tea (I did twice.) and relaxed for a half hour or so. Steven was offered flavored ice popsicles (“otter pops”?). Matt and Dave mostly talked while I and Steven did Steven said we should go to a restaurant back in San Francisco and not say a word, to see how well we can communicate with the server and with each other.

DSC01038.jpg

We happened upon the Skinny Kitty Teahouse and took a break on the couches with some delicious teas! I tried some masala chai.

_CNG6469.jpg

We happened upon the Skinny Kitty Teahouse and took a break on the couches with some delicious teas! I tried some masala chai.

_CNG6470.jpg

We happened upon the Skinny Kitty Teahouse and took a break on the couches with some delicious teas! I tried some masala chai.

_CNG6477.jpg

Steven was offered an ice popsicle, and had to find someone to split it with.

The we headed back to camp via Esplanade.

_CNG6481.jpg

I liked the bright pink people in the desert.

_CNG6485.jpg

She struggles as do we all.

_CNG6486.jpg

The dust comes and goes, and you might end up being chased by a giant insect.

_CNG6489.jpg

After the catacomb, Matt, Dave, Steven and I biked back to camp for dinner.

_CNG6492.jpg

I still can't get over how short the man was this year! I almost never used it for navigation as in years past.

_CNG6495.jpg

Always love a desert ship.

A rowdy parade and police

As we approached 7:00 street, we saw what appeared to be a parade heading away from the Man. Once closer we saw it was a fairly wild group of people, mostly driving vehicles that would fit in with the Thunder Dome Death Guild or street racing or wrestling types. They seemed angry, but I’m guessing they were playing along with a theme. Dave got sprayed with water as we passed, and then there was sudden police action. At least five police SUVs pulled up focusing on a camp the parade was passing. I asked one of the Black Rock City rangers – who are members of the community, not law enforcement officers – what was going on, but she didn’t know.

_CNG6500.jpg

On our way back to camp, we saw some kind of parade going down 7:00 street. It was mostly raucous street racing or wrestler types yelling and angry. I assume it was some sort of theme. It was interrupted by about five cop trucks that suddenly pulled into one of the camps. Nobody I asked knew what was going on, but the Black Rock Rangers tried to keep the crowd moving.

_CNG6502.jpg

On our way back to camp, we saw some kind of parade going down 7:00 street. It was mostly raucous street racing or wrestler types yelling and angry. I assume it was some sort of theme. It was interrupted by about five cop trucks that suddenly pulled into one of the camps. Nobody I asked knew what was going on, but the Black Rock Rangers tried to keep the crowd moving.

_CNG6505.jpg

On our way back to camp, we saw some kind of parade going down 7:00 street. It was mostly raucous street racing or wrestler types yelling and angry. I assume it was some sort of theme. It was interrupted by about five cop trucks that suddenly pulled into one of the camps. Nobody I asked knew what was going on, but the Black Rock Rangers tried to keep the crowd moving.

_CNG6507.jpg

On our way back to camp, we saw some kind of parade going down 7:00 street. It was mostly raucous street racing or wrestler types yelling and angry. I assume it was some sort of theme. It was interrupted by about five cop trucks that suddenly pulled into one of the camps. Nobody I asked knew what was going on, but the Black Rock Rangers tried to keep the crowd moving.

_CNG6509.jpg

On our way back to camp, we saw some kind of parade going down 7:00 street. It was mostly raucous street racing or wrestler types yelling and angry. I assume it was some sort of theme. It was interrupted by about five cop trucks that suddenly pulled into one of the camps. Nobody I asked knew what was going on, but the Black Rock Rangers tried to keep the crowd moving.

_CNG6512.jpg

On our way back to camp, we saw some kind of parade going down 7:00 street. It was mostly raucous street racing or wrestler types yelling and angry. I assume it was some sort of theme. It was interrupted by about five cop trucks that suddenly pulled into one of the camps. Nobody I asked knew what was going on, but the Black Rock Rangers tried to keep the crowd moving.

_CNG6513.jpg

On our way back to camp, we saw some kind of parade going down 7:00 street. It was mostly raucous street racing or wrestler types yelling and angry. I assume it was some sort of theme. It was interrupted by about five cop trucks that suddenly pulled into one of the camps. Nobody I asked knew what was going on, but the Black Rock Rangers tried to keep the crowd moving.

_CNG6516.jpg

On our way back to camp, we saw some kind of parade going down 7:00 street. It was mostly raucous street racing or wrestler types yelling and angry. I assume it was some sort of theme. It was interrupted by about five cop trucks that suddenly pulled into one of the camps. Nobody I asked knew what was going on, but the Black Rock Rangers tried to keep the crowd moving.

_CNG6520.jpg

After a dusty adventure.

Wisconsinites and dinner

We arrived back at camp and were going to prepare food, but decided to check out a Wisconsin camp for brats. The Cheesehead Camp has been coming to Burning Man every other year for around a decade, but this was the first time they hosted an event for the community and were underprepared for the demand. We thus had no brats, but spent some time talking with Harold and trying some Wisconsin beer, Hopalicious. I’m not a huge beer person, but I thought it was enjoyable. Bitter, but not too bitter.

Harold lives in Waukesha, near where I grew up. He came to Burning Man years ago because his friend’s wife recommended the trip after reading about it on a bucket list article. They now come every two years. He also brought his soon to be son in law this year.

We bid Harold and friends farewell, and he offered to have us back any time for some refreshments. For now, we were going to let Dave work his magic at the camp stove.

FCNG6693.jpg

Happy buggy

FCNG6696.jpg

Pink Mammoth was a pretty popular daytime dancing spot, again. I managed to go once!

FCNG6702.jpg

I asked if they knew what weight their zipline supported, understanding they probably did not know or have a good way to find out. Shortly after, quite a large woman tried it, so that ruled weight concerns out of my reasons to think better of it!

FCNG6706.jpg

Phillip tried it, and loved it. LOVED IT!

Dave cooked steak and potatoes using Chicago Steak Seasoning by Weber. He explained how to check doneness by comparison with the flesh below your thumb.

FCNG6709.jpg

Like some skaterboi.

The story continues in Lost at night, seeking joy.

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

Join the movement!

Show your support by signing up to be among the lucky few notified when I manage to blog. This could be as often as once a day or as infrequently as yearly!

blog comments powered by Disqus