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Return to default world

Posted at age 28.
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Early Monday morning, we got underway just a little late and joined the thousands of others fleeing the city. Our timing was unlucky, and I had to fight tiredness and my bowels while driving seven hours before the first toilets. The traffic also meant Dave and Matt would not be able to join us for food, and they barely made it to Salt Lake City in time for Matt’s flight. The rest of us had a huge lunch near Reno, Nevada, and thus I was satiated for the final nine hours of driving while Erik and Phillip mostly slept.

This entry is lacking details of the final days, and I hope to add more.

This entry is No. 13 in a series of 14 entries.

Monday, September 5: Slept ~12:30 to ~04:00. Uncertain since Fitbit died unexpectedly.

Exodus was complicated by a missing person alert that had apparently closed the gate for most of the night. We left a bit late, at 05:40, but then had another almost six hours of waiting we hoped we would avoid by leaving around 04:00. Some people were of course impatient, but largely I was pleased to see everyone so chill. Some even sang and played music on the roofs. I took short naps at the wheel after each short pulse of driving. I also really needed to go to the bathroom despite doing so right before leaving. But I endured.





Space was even tighter in the vehicle on the way back because I miscalculated how much of what was on the roof I could put inside after removing all the water jugs. I just wanted to get on the road, though, so we ended up more cluttered than would be ideal.



By 12:45, after being in the car for seven hours, I was finally able to take a bathroom break at the porta potties set up along the road in Empire, Nevada. We wouldn't get home till almost 22:00, another nine hours later. That meant the return trip surprisingly was longer than the journey there! But it was worth it!


Empire, Nevada


Empire, Nevada

We stopped for lunch at Black Bear Diner after a failed attempt to go somewhere else that ended up being closed, not because it was Labor Day, but for a private barbecue competition.


I ate SO much, again, at our first meal after Burning Man.


It took a few bathroom breaks for my system to even out, and despite being away from normal bathrooms only 9 days, I looked so foreign in the mirror.

Tuesday, September 6


In the days after returning, Erik helped me clean up and pack our gear, and we wrapped the yurt better than I did last year by myself with a giant tarp. Only we had to take it apart again to get it out the back door, but it worked out.


Hopefully the bikes fare better in this bag than unprotected as last year.


Erik made me a lovely dinner with some of the leftover food he and Phillip bought, and we ate in the garage while working. Thanks for everything Erik!

Wednesday, September 7

My fourth Burning Man adventure ended Wednesday upon my dropping off Erik at San Francisco International Airport, but of course my own story continued unfolding. An experience that very afternoon led me to decide I must move out of my beloved house. I see now this has been in the works perhaps since I moved here, and I tried to explain in Darkest before dawn.

This concludes my story of Burning Man 2016. If you’re craving more, check out The golden stool.

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