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19 August 2008
Burning Logistics
Preparing for Burning Man

japonaise camp, c 2007 by philippe gladeThis morning, I sent three boxes of PlayaStuff out to Sacramento. I find it mildly retarded that it's more efficient to mail stuff to our destination, rather than take it on a plane, but such is the way of the world. Fortunately our dear friends Tony & Christina took a small load of stuff out with them in their RV, which they're driving cross-country as we speak: odd-shaped items like our huge umbrella, heavy things like a kryptonite lock for the bikes, and -praise the lord and pass the costumes- the Crinoline of Doom! True friends, they are. The BurningPlans are coming together nicely!

So what are our plans, exactly? We leave on Sunday and fly out of BWI to Sacramento to meet up with our RVmates Keith and Crystal. They've booked a room at a local Ramada, which will serve as our launch pad from and back into civilization. We'll stay there overnight on Sunday, our last night in a real climate-controlled bed for over a week. On Monday morning, three of us will head out to pick up the RV, and the fourth will remain back at the hotel to fill up the collapsible water bottles. It's recommended to bring about 2 gallons of water per person per day, as there is no running water out on the Playa. Burners need to bring their own drinking water, shower water, cooking water, etc, and we've got to bring it all in with us. Add in the fact that it's hot and dry out there on the desert (go figure), and we need to drink even more than usual, and you can start to see how important water is!

ant mischief art car, c 2007 NK GuyThe next crucial item to bring out to The Burn is a bike. Keith & Crystal ordered their bikes from Wal-Mart, but I was reluctant to buy a new item that we'll only be using for a week, so I found a supplier of used bikes on Sac's Craigslist. The Craigger to the rescue once again! Not only are we saving a good bit of money, but we're re-using an existing resource. And this woman is kind enough to meet us in Sac with the bikes.

Once the RV, water, and bikes have been acquired, it's time to head to Wal-Mart to pick up the other bikes and some other supplies like baby wipes, trash bags, and sunscreen. Then it's on to a grocery store to get our vittles for the week, stuff like pasta and peanut butter and dried fruits and nuts. Basic campfood. Although we will also try to find some slightly more epicurean items like that Indian food that comes in foil packets you can quickly heat up and toss over some couscous. Generally speaking, Burning Man is not about gourmet eats. But it's good to be prepared anyway!

gladiator at the Temple of Forgiveness, c 2007 by Heather WhiteHaving acquired all our supplies, and also a fellow CouchSurfer named Andre who is surfing our RV for a rideshare out to Black Rock City, we're off! We hope to get there before dark so we can find the other members of our impromptu camp, Great Balls of Fire. We're not an official organized Theme Camp (such as Barbie Death Camp or Spanky's Wine Bar) but about 20 of us from DC will be camping together to share resources and camraderie. Several GBOFers who are arriving at Burning Man early and will try to secure a space for us near another camp called The Philadelphia Experiment. I think we'll be fairly close to all the action, so we're definitely bringing several pairs of earplugs in the unlikely event that we'll actually want to get some sleep next week. With 55,000 people all practicing the art of Radical Self-Expression, in an environment where just about anything goes, I doubt there will be much time for sleep, but we will have to pace ourselves, for sure!

As promised, there will be tons of pics and stories to share from this experience. Unfortunately there's very little internet access on the Playa, so you won't be hearing much from us till after we return to civilization after Labor Day. So stay tuned!

Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments
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