29 Hours to Burning Man 2008 Launch
This will be my third time, with my first being back in 2001 (it is hard to believe it has been seven years). R hasn’t been back to Black Rock City since the 2001 burn, when we had been dating for a little under a year. We’re actually camping with a number of the same people as we did in 2001. These are old friends that we have known through the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) for years even though R and I are no longer members of the group. This group of friends has organized the Kingdom of Loafington, our little empire of slack, and we’ll be residing at 4:30 and Fairlane for any other late attendees that might see this amongst my friends.
We’re looking forward to this year because we’ll get to see friends of ours especially. I’m also looking forward to seeing Basura Sagrada, which is the Temple structure this year. You can see images of the Temple pieces being constructed on Flickr. In many ways, I’ve felt more drawn to the Temple each time I’ve been to Burning Man. After my father passed away in 2006, I followed the custom of leaving a marker and note for him in the Temple in order for it to be burned with the structure on Sunday night. Among other purposes, the Temple is dedicated to our dead, especially suicides, one of the quiet killers in this era of alienation.
On the practical side, both R and I have bikes this year, which 2006 finally convinced me that I needed to do. The fact that BRC is significantly larger this year is a factor too. They have moved the Esplanade, the innermost ring road, out to where the third street has been in the past, moving everything else out, and added two new ring roads to the outside. This adds a lot of physical space to the site and a bike was pretty much necessary before.
We’ve spent the last week trying to get ready to go and dealing with a lot of uncertainty around our serial killer van. I took it in last Thursday just to have the fluids and systems checked before we drove it hundreds of miles. It turned out that our power steering and transmission was leaking in multiple places, necessitating a replacement of most hoses/tubes and some parts. In the process, the automotive shop managed to damage my driver door with the lift (the door shouldn’t be open, it seems, when lifting) and we had a false report that our radiator needed to be replaced. Since this is a 1974 Ford Econoline, getting any and all parts is difficult and they actually weren’t able to do much more than tighten things up with the steering. For the transmission, they got some parts and replaced old ones. I still have a leaky seal (until I redo the transmission, which wouldn’t be economical…) I drove back quickly from Silicon Valley today and retrieved the van with a day to spare. We’ll be loading up tomorrow, getting a little sleep, and then driving out.
I expect that I’ll post a lot of pictures, as I normally do, once I get back from the trip. Our friends arrived last night and today and we’ll be arriving a couple of days in but expect to stay through late Sunday night. After the Temple burns, we’ll get out in the dark (better than doing so in the Sun) and head back.
So, if I don’t post in the next day or so, I’ll talk to people next week. Because of the way the new comment system works, I expect that most comments will be held for moderation (unless you make a disqus account) until I return.