On Sunday night, I received an email from a friend already out on the Playa. Apparently the gate crew were so flummoxed by his pet squirrel that they completely forgot to tear his ticket. He emailed, offering it to me, knowing the circumstances adhered to the conditions under which I would attend — no money was generated for the BORG by my attendance. The ticket was left at Will Call for me.
Another email from Danger Ranger warned me of a 3 hour white out and the fact that all cars were being held at the Gate until the dust settled. I decided arriving at night and sitting in the relative cool beat waiting in a hot car in the sun, so off i went, deciding to take my friends up on their offer to bring just my Playa finery - no food, no water, not even a tent, and off I dashed, leaving *early* for the first time ever.
I arrived on the Playa Tuesday morning before dawn. There was no evidence of the previous day's white out. The sky was twinkling with crystal stars and glowing planets, and the moon which I had been watching rise since leaving the Sierras for Reno was high in the sky.
i read the "Who What Where When" guide in my car and as the sun began to tickle the horizon, i took some photos. The Guide, btw was completely UNIMPRESSIVE. With a handful of notable exceptions, the entire fucking playa theme camps were all about sex (and not getting any, i am quite sure) and bondage. Or Yoga. Or Tantra, or Sex... did i mention Sex? mostly talking about Sex, true, But god, how frustratingly boring. Where once the Temple of Atonement was the Esplanade portal to kink and bondage,etc. now more than 7 camps were honing in on the act. Maybe there is enough to go around? ::shiver:: I got hit on, believe me, but it all seemed so desperate, so "we're on the Playa! that means you like me, right?" ummmm, i need to hide in my tent now. Yes, TENT. After eshewing such a travesty of comfort the past 8 years on the Playa (and elsewhere) my van, Spencer, has apparently coughed up a furball and needs a new starter and a battery, Smog certificate, registration, yadda yadda ... to the tune of $700. So it's on the curb collecting much less dust than my poor Honda, Dallas, which had never been exposed to such detritus and dust and really hasn't figured out how to survive in snotty Palo Alto more white than green. So really, that's another $100 to get Dallas detailed.
Black Rock City seemed pretty deserted compared to the past few years. There were huge spaces in every camp's allotted area - we gave some of our space away to some very nice people. I heard there were two prime Esplanade camps that were "No-Shows."
Still, your experience is what you make it. I had a blast. I met new people. I talked to people I already knew and learned even more wonderful facets of their beings. I slept well. I ate well. I drank fresh frozen blender drinks with fresh mint. I saw the Flaming Lotus Girls / Swarm / PyroBoy show on Friday. I laughed at Newt's Bar, bravely perpetuated by Spoon in Newt's absence, danced to Wish You Were Here at Fandango, and crashed other folks' shelters during the white out on Saturday, which I think lasted more than 6 hours!
One of my favorite Art Cars this year is Lady Sassafras, from New Orleans. Like 3 years ago, i returned to civilization to discover that NOLA is again being threatened by a killer storm. My friend there is blogging it live: http://www.mojono.com
More later ...