marc17 (marc17) wrote,

Burning Man 2013

2013 was a good Burning Man. Probably not the best but, although some bad things happened, certainly not the worst. Several people this year said "You don't always get the Burning Man you want, but hopefully, you get the Burning man you need." In thinking it over, the event is a sort of spirit quest. I do not necessarily mean that is even a spiritual manner, but rather it is a major undertaking where people find themselves in an unfamiliar setting, with different social rules and mores, while suffering from the inevitable heat, cold, altitude, dehydration, sleep dep, alkaline attack of the environment, and stresses that come from trying to get things done under those conditions. After a week or even a few days of that, even when prepared, things start to crack. It's no surprise that there are common stories of friendships, camps, relationships, and even marriages breaking up before it's all over with. This is not always in a bad light. Just as often people get a look at themselves and those around them to realize what it is that is important to them and the time to be introspective about it. Another common story is that Burning Man is a life changing event, and I do not doubt that. It is a physically harsh environment which takes its mental and emotional toll and just making it through is an achievement in itself.

Anyway, some bad things happened. Several of our normal campers in Black Rock City Hardware Shoppe could not make it. Two were running a business after their partners left and could not spare the time. One was working on a tall ship during that time and would not be able to make it. One could not make it as she had no healed up enough from surgery to go and had to back out two weeks before leaving after finding even the highway trip down to Olympia putting her in too much pain. Despite being short staffed we headed down in good spirits and this was helped by making good time and a stay over at hot springs in Oregon. Then, perhaps 10 minutes after we had gotten onto the playa and been shown our assigned camp location, we opened up the truck and started throwing out the sleeping pads we had used the previous night. The first two people in line picked up the pads and began carrying them off to the side. Along the way, they began to bounce off each other like sumo wrestlers when Piston rolled her ankle, put her weight on it, and suffered a tib fib fracture. We had to stop, locate medical help, and then arrange for a car for her boyfriend to driver her into Reno. Meanwhile, the county sheriffs department and other law enforcement, in what is essentially a dispute over money since they tried to change their charges for the event but got spanked in court because there were already contracts in place, were ticketing anybody they could. They ticketed the DPW for not having a BRC DMV license weeks before the BRC DMV were even on site. They ticketed one friend who was telling other people who had gotten tickets to talk to the law enforcement liaison for Burning Man and fill out the forms asked for by law enforcement for "Obstructing Justice".

Good things happened too. Everybody joked about their tickets as they will almost assuredly be dropped. Camp got set up with no disasters despite being down many people. Our neighbor camps were old friends on all sides. Piston showed back up in good spirits. The mobility camp next door who help the disabled around the playa loaned her an electric scooter to get around on. The Clown Camp behind us offered their art car to driver her (and us) around on and watch the burn. Instead of our friend that had surgery, we took down a doll to represent her in pictures. We proceeded to spend the week getting pictures with her doing interesting things, making out with Frenchmen, and in the shower with hot girls. We met with all sorts of friends that we hadn't seen since last Burning Man, met new friends, and there were at least three different (actual real, binding) weddings on the playa between friends. The art was amazing. The Burn was awesome. There was too much to do.

My 2013 Burning Man Photos

Trey Ratcliff's Burning Man Photos

Burning Man 2013 Time-Lapse: Seen Miles Away From A Mountain

IRDeep's 2013 Burning Man Photos

The Atlantic Magazine 2013 Burning Man Photos (#24 is a bad picture of the art car I was on during the burn. The one in front of the octopus.)

Scott London's Photos of 2013 Burning Man

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