Vote Charlie!

The Temple

Posted at age 28.
Created . Edited .

The Sunday ritual was the same as every year: I rose late, packed my things while periodically saying goodbye to those who had already finished, ate, and then proceeded to The Temple to watch it burn. I wrote about the temple my first year, so this time I will content myself to describe the day’s events briefly and share some photos.

This entry is No. 12 in a series of 14 entries.

Sunday, September 4: Slept ~08:00 to ?. Unknown since Fitbit died unexpectedly.

Sunday I slept late after my latest night out since our arrival. Everyone packed and prepared for exodus, and most were gone by late afternoon. Erik, Phillip, Matt and Dave stayed with me for the temple burn. Travis also stayed, but we neglected to check for him on our way out. Once past Esplanade, I realized I forgot my camera, and felt compelled to bike back. I told Erik I would find them straight ahead. Once I returned, I found them waiting for me instead of sitting, so I felt a bit bad. They wanted to go around to the other side on account of the wind. We found a spot, and though I knew Sunday is a smaller crowd, I kind of wished I came a little earlier to get a front row seat since I wanted to take photos. It worked out fine, but next time I want to make an effort to be early. Then I can set up a low tripod without blocking anyone and stress out less during the burn.

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By about 7:30 Sunday night, everyone in camp had left except my little group of Erik, Phillip, Dave and Matt. Travis was also around but we missed him heading to the temple burn.

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The temple burn crowd is smaller and more solemn. It's no party like the night prior.

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Less than 10 minutes from the planned burn start time.

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It got dark rapidly, and again I wished I brought my tripod.

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The temple was lit at around 8:18, and the fire grew quickly.

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After four minutes, the entire temple was ablaze.

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The crowd sat silently in awe and feeling the heat even at that distance. Vortexes of smoke sailed away with the thoughts and prayers and hopes and dreams and ashes.

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The crowd sat silently in awe and feeling the heat even at that distance. Vortexes of smoke sailed away with the thoughts and prayers and hopes and dreams and ashes.

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The crowd sat silently in awe and feeling the heat even at that distance. Vortexes of smoke sailed away with the thoughts and prayers and hopes and dreams and ashes.

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The crowd sat silently in awe and feeling the heat even at that distance. Vortexes of smoke sailed away with the thoughts and prayers and hopes and dreams and ashes.

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The crowd sat silently in awe and feeling the heat even at that distance. Vortexes of smoke sailed away with the thoughts and prayers and hopes and dreams and ashes.

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After roughly 40 minutes, it was determined the fire had cooled enough to let those who dared approach the fire. No longer did Black Rock Rangers or firefighters restrain the curious. That duty was now served by only the raw heat.

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After roughly 40 minutes, it was determined the fire had cooled enough to let those who dared approach the fire. No longer did Black Rock Rangers or firefighters restrain the curious. That duty was now served by only the raw heat.

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After roughly 40 minutes, it was determined the fire had cooled enough to let those who dared approach the fire. No longer did Black Rock Rangers or firefighters restrain the curious. That duty was now served by only the raw heat.

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After roughly 40 minutes, it was determined the fire had cooled enough to let those who dared approach the fire. No longer did Black Rock Rangers or firefighters restrain the curious. That duty was now served by only the raw heat.

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Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and now back to what's left of camp, for sleep, we must.

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Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and now back to what's left of camp, for sleep, we must.

We found our bikes and returned to what remained. I spent the next few hours packing and went to bed by 01:00.

Related: Why this year’s Burning Man temple has no name, Reno Gazette-Journal

The story continues in Return to default world.

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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