Vote Charlie!

Recovering, welcoming

Posted at age 28.
Created . Edited .

I skipped the annual naked bar crawl Wednesday morning. The race no longer conflicted as in previous years, but having run it, I was less enthusiastic about the bar crawl than I imagined I would be. I relaxed at camp for the afternoon, and Dave arrived with Matt in the evening. With Erik and Phillip, we all went out for a sober night out exploring. We checked out the guild workshops around The Man before seeing some of the more prominent art – Firmament, Sonic Runway, the lighthouses – and briefly visiting The Temple. I had a good time, but also felt my first slight longing for a partner with whom to share this adventure.

This entry is No. 7 in a series of 14 entries.

Wednesday, August 31: Slept 05:13 to 11:46 and 13:59 to 16:54.

This year many friends planned to join the naked bar crawl that occurs each year on Wednesday. I ended up doing it my first year – it was a mess – but have been unable the past two years since the Burning Man 50K Ultramarathon was the same morning. But this year, the race was moved to Tuesday, and I thought I’d actually do the bar crawl once again. Well, plans change!

I woke up at 11, either at the same time as or an hour after the pub crawl started. I was exhausted from the race and then dancing all night, and was quite content to stay at camp. Erik and Phillip went, though late, as did a number of others. I relaxed, browsed the event book and took a nap. Later those two returned with word of adventures next to Steven in a nearby camp’s tent, and then at 18:30, Dave arrived with his friend Matt.

They drove a car Dave rented in Chicago before picking up Matt in Denver and passing through Wyoming and Utah. Despite coming from the north, they ended up having to drive down to Gerlach due to the access being closed. Before that, they spent a good amount of time assisting a couple whose rental car got a flat tire on the rough, gravel road. It shouldn’t have been a big deal, but apparently the newer car’s design made replacing the wheel needlessly complicated. They didn’t hit traffic till they reached Gate Road at around 16:00 or 16:30, and only then due to a dust storm strong enough to warrant the organization to stop traffic with cones.

Erik and Phillip tried to attend this year’s TED talks. It was announced they would be held not at the original venue but at the bigger DISTRIKT, but the dance party there was apparently raging unstoppably such that the talks could not get started.

I spent time cleaning the yurt and organizing my electronics and gear. I tried freeing more space by stacking the water containers, but that ended regrettably leaky. I also repurposed the circuit board from my hat to my coat, for I didn’t want to finish soldering another one and figured I wouldn’t need to wear both at once. It was a bit clunky, but it mostly worked. Sometime after dark, I took my third shower of the week, with the sponge.

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Dave and Matt arrived Wednesday evening, as expected but later than originally planned. They set up their tents and then headed out with Erik, Phillip and me to take some photos and explore.

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Dave and Matt arrived Wednesday evening, as expected but later than originally planned. They set up their tents and then headed out with Erik, Phillip and me to take some photos and explore.

That night I went exploring with Dave, Matt, Erik and Phillip. I hoped I could take the opportunity to focus on photos for a night, but my foot ended up hurting and I was quite tired after just a few hours.

The story continues in the captions below before some concluding paragraphs.

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As we biked toward Esplanade, we passed Panorama and decided to go up and have a look. I thought it might be more interesting for Matt to first see Esplanade on the ground before going up and seeing it all, but it was still breathtaking either way!

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As we biked toward Esplanade, we passed Panorama and decided to go up and have a look. I thought it might be more interesting for Matt to first see Esplanade on the ground before going up and seeing it all, but it was still breathtaking either way!

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Equipped with my SLR, I managed to get a better photo of these lovely trees, which come alive so beautifully at night despite looking dry and dead during the day!

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Equipped with my SLR, I managed to get a better photo of these lovely trees, which come alive so beautifully at night despite looking dry and dead during the day!

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We again happened upon El Pulpo Mechanico, the fire octopus friend we camped by a couple of years ago.

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We again happened upon El Pulpo Mechanico, the fire octopus friend we camped by a couple of years ago.

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We again happened upon El Pulpo Mechanico, the fire octopus friend we camped by a couple of years ago.

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Once on Esplanade, we decided to head to the Man, who was quite a bit smaller this year. The theme was DaVinci's Workshop, so the Man's feet were alive with "guild workshops, modern day maker spaces conceived in the spirit of the Renaissance."

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Dreams of Flight, figures flown with helium balloons, created by Michael Gard.

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We explored some of the guild workshops in the piazza by the Man.

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We explored some of the guild workshops in the piazza by the Man.

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We explored some of the guild workshops in the piazza by the Man.

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Exploring the playa Wednesday evening

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Exploring the playa Wednesday evening

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Exploring the playa Wednesday evening

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Exploring the playa Wednesday evening

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I loved these whale creatures.

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This is Firmament by Christopher Schardt. It displays beautiful patterns and plays classical music while the audience lies underneath taking it in.

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This is Firmament by Christopher Schardt. It displays beautiful patterns and plays classical music while the audience lies underneath taking it in.

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These excited me so much. I was hoping to build a giant cloud, but time and size led me to a simple umbrella. These clouds are a smaller version of what I was thinking, but perfect for bikes, obviously!

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We stopped by the temple around midnight Wednesday for a short while. I intended to come back later during the day, but time flew too fast, so I am glad I at least visited it here!

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We stopped by the temple around midnight Wednesday for a short while. I intended to come back later during the day, but time flew too fast, so I am glad I at least visited it here!

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We stopped by the temple around midnight Wednesday for a short while. I intended to come back later during the day, but time flew too fast, so I am glad I at least visited it here!

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We stopped by the temple around midnight Wednesday for a short while. I intended to come back later during the day, but time flew too fast, so I am glad I at least visited it here!

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We stopped by the temple around midnight Wednesday for a short while. I intended to come back later during the day, but time flew too fast, so I am glad I at least visited it here!

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This is a pretty good bike lights idea, taking advantage of darkness's deception instead of simply trying to light the whole thing.

I loved the Sonic Runway, and wish I had spent more time trying to capture it! (I do have a couple short videos I hope to include here soon.)

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These LED rings were amazing. They coordinated with each other and the music and looked like a 3D display. I later found they are a project called Sonic Runway, and are an upgraded version of what appeared on the playa a decade ago. The effect is actually that the visualization moves at the speed of sound, so when you stand at the far end, you can see the sound waves coming toward you and reaching you at the moment you hear the sound. I didn't realize this watching it from afar, and knowing how it worked only makes it more amazing!

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These LED rings were amazing. They coordinated with each other and the music and looked like a 3D display. I later found they are a project called Sonic Runway, and are an upgraded version of what appeared on the playa a decade ago. The effect is actually that the visualization moves at the speed of sound, so when you stand at the far end, you can see the sound waves coming toward you and reaching you at the moment you hear the sound. I didn't realize this watching it from afar, and knowing how it worked only makes it more amazing!

Official video promoting the Sonic Runway project before it was completed

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Towers of the Black Rock Lighthouse Service, which each day seemed to evolve, or perhaps construction simply wasn't finished by the start…

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I loved how people could just walk onto this roaming desert island and hang out.

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Exploring the playa

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I think this is the soundcamp Osiris, but I'm not sure. In 2013 they built a huge pyramid structure that served as a dance club. Maybe this is different people…

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I think it's Pinky, one of the ghosts from Pac-Man.

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Apparently this camp actually stays in these little houses, which they call Suburbia.

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Many little art cars roam the playa

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Many little art cars roam the playa

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Many little art cars roam the playa

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I think it was called Pink Heart camp

We returned to camp around 01:00. Erik still had some energy, so we went to get grilled cheese that was going to be ending at 01:30. We initially couldn’t find it, as I was confused how addresses worked on the portals and plazas. Shortly after we joined the line, one of the chefs announced they were nearly out of sandwiches, and he counted down the line to see who was likely to get one. He stopped about four people ahead of us. We figured we would wait, just in case, and we did indeed end up getting a half sandwich each. The last ones served! They tasted pretty good, though I think they either used a strange cheese or put some sort of citrus juice on it. We walked around a bit, and then returned to our bikes and headed to bed.

For the first time that week, I felt some longing to have someone to cuddle. It was my first year at Burning Man without a partner, and Erik’s first year with a partner. The role reversal was not lost on either of us. My longing wasn’t so strong that I went out in search of affection, though, but rather my longing for sleep won out that night.

The story continues in Lost at day, seeking friends.

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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