The sense of anticipation reached a high point last night around midnight out at the Man base. The gates had been open for six hours, and blinky crowds and art cars were gathering around the beautifully lit Man base. and everyone was ogling the Man and panting for the chance to get inside and clamber around.
There were a few final touches that needed to be finished first, though. Mr. Blue and his lighting team were making sure the big hanging flower chandelier at the main entrance was secure. The wind had been blowing hard all day, and the crew wanted to make sure everything was stable.
Every now and then an overanxious participant would wander past the safety cones, and one of the guardians would tell them the time hadn’t come yet. So we watched and lingered, waiting for the big moment.
When it came, it was joyous. People couldn’t get inside the Man base fast enough, and within a minute the base was mobbed, and the Pistil had people climbing all over it. A couple of guys scrambled to the very top, whooping and hollering and waving to their friends. Cheers all around.
Although it’s only the first day of Burning Man, the streets around the center of the city have filled in quite nicely. Folks are setting up their camps and dusting off their bikes and generally getting in the swing of things. The Esplanade isn’t crowded with people yet, but there’s lots to see and many places to go.
The skies have cleared of smoke, but the dust was on the heavy side all day Sunday. But there were no hours-long whiteouts, and the wind stayed moderate. After the sun went down, it was time to put on some layers, because the night air was chilly.
There was a staff party at the Center Cafe, and it was scheduled to open for business today. Good thing: The line of cars waiting to get into the city stretched all the way to Gerlach last night.