ah yeeeessss, my friends, an outrageously glorious excursion to the playa!
20th anniversary of The Burn, and black rock city was BUZZIN'.
there's a strong connect out there in the dessert. everything's electric. i mean, tricked out electric. and alive. so alive.
and yet there's no electricity. and next to no living things. an occasional moth perhaps. and the good luck dragonfly who selectively dive bombs the chosen few.
one guy said he saw a bird once. but he changed his story thrice under cross examination.
be that as it may.
it's the people. super creative, curious, communal people. getting it on in the middle of nowhere. brilliant.
yep, this year was clever.
and then everthing went dark...
ROOKIES... let it be said: this year's freshman contingent was strong. SO STRONG. we had a recruiting class like you dream about, and it mattered.
after you've been to the playa a few times, the sight of a fire breathing gorilla on stilts barely raises an eyebrow. that's where the rookies come in. fresh off the boat, it's all new to them. their enthusiasm fuels the fire. but more than that, this year's crew brought skillz, drive, and pizazz. a privledge to piggy back on their first ride.
ART INSTALLATIONS... man, the art was back this year. big time.
all sorts of cool stuff to check out, from the passage to the boulder and everthing in between. cheers to the gifted out there who make the effort.
Dicky took the prize for my personal favorite. this cat built a shack the size of a dormroom and lived on the playa with four glass walls for all to see. didn't go out once, ala the boy in the plastic bubble. my, oh my. can't wait to get my Free Dicky! bumper sticker.
THEME CAMPS... 477 or so theme camps, all of them with a different angle. yoga, yogurt, ice, ice cream, war, warlocks. it would take a month to visit them all. or a year.
the deep end ruled again this year and remains the best happy hour on the playa, if not the planet.
ART VEHICLES... a dobule decker caboose, a ferris wheel, a flame throwing grapefruit, and two darting cup cakes. and that just captures what i saw on one trip to the bathroom.
one of these years we need to have an art car of our own. something to shoot for.
THE TEMPLE... the temple downsized this year. and god damn if that wasn't exactly perfect.
the temple's been a dominant force the last few years. bigger and grander each year. rife with meaning. the temple's the new man, some said. many felt. but what's the temple all about? life... honoring, remembering life. whatcha gonna do next should never be a question. the temple the size of a doll house weighs the same. let the man have his day. long live the temple. and shine on brother duffy. shine on.
THE MAN... yes, yes, the man went down. as he must. has to... so we can do it again next year. save the man, burn dicky.
but did you see how he caught himself after the first push? cockeyed but still cocksure. goin' down, but not without a good long stare, deep deep into the our souls. i'll see you on the other side, my friend.
SUNRISE SALOON... but really, this was the year of the saloon.
think outter playa. and then keep going. you know, out by the boundary. due east. where the sun also rises.
bitches, i'm normal
not a whole lot to it. doorframe, bar to the right, card table to the left. key ingredients: western doors. crickety sign. whiskey.
and, oh hot mama, it was jelly.
whiskey, whiskey, and whiskey
our first visitor trickled in during set up. should have snapped a picture. never really expected to get more than a few stragglers given our remote locale.
one for the road
officially, the saloon was open from 5am til 8am (more or less).
but there were no officials. and open just meant you were there.
and with a capacity of 40,000, we had room to breathe.
the first night we left a bottle of jack on the bar with two shot glasses.
next morning, the jack was gone. and a nice bulbous bud was left as a tip.
and morning 1 was... a surprise. we were not alone on the fringe.
charlie, what's the special?
shot and a carrot
it was cold that first morning. cold in that the two mile ride to the saloon was cold.
but fun. and fun and fun and fun.
and things spiraled on from there.
an organism was born, and a life of its own ensued.
in retrospect, we lost control of the saloon the second we put her down. bigger, Bigger, BIGGER than us.
morrning 2 was rowdy roddy piper.
regulars surfaced. rituals formed. and it was right f-ing on.
but alas, paddywhacks or consequences?
uh, so, whiskey, whiskey, and whiskey. what got ya?
A-corn and i rode out to the saloon late friday night, but we couldn't find her. we were just trolling the outter playa coming up empty. hey, let's ask these folks, "have you seen the sunrise saloon?"
oh, well, yes. it's right over there.
bunch of jackasses. of course the well-lit entity they were pointing toward couldn't be the saloon. we only have one light at the saloon.
and it flickers at best.
but ok, let's go see.
a closer look, and oh my. a chuck wagon. with a generator. and xmas lights all over the bar. the saloon is decked out. and shining.
you' ve been here for 5 hours?
topless girls dancing on the bar?
shots of hams?
did he say hams.
i've got tools
day 3 was the biggest.
pumpin, pimpin, double decker sweetness.
and that's right, wisconsin, with that deep ten gallon lid. serve 'em up.
and ride the snake... to the finish line day 4.
use the door
and a 15 foot character on stilts did just that. and if i ever find that disposable camera, i'll have proof.
yes, yes, and yes.
shout out, good patrons, wherever you may be.
and stay out
sobering news upon arrival back in reality. a smacking Katrina of a hurricane punished th Big Easy.
and how to reconcile in the wake of the ludicrous debachery we just experienced?
of course you can't.
but we care. we care from the heart.
an article in the sf chronicle actually addressed the issue head on. and the scribe, mark morfor, shaped it right.
life is fleeting. get it when you can. as best you can:
more. more. more of that.
Posted by bojon at September 7, 2005 09:23 PM