It rained in Black Rock City on Monday, and it maybe wasn’t the most fun in the world.
Among the things we discovered during the storm was that a) it was a good idea to bring waterproof boots, and b) it was not a good idea not to bring anything else that was waterproof. Oh, and the lovely Center Cafe, which provides such delicious shade during hot, sunny days, as well as very delicious iced mocha drinks, does NOT provide shelter from falling raindrops.
We maybe were not alone in making this discovery.
People were trudging through the muck, building up their playa boots and looking for safe harbor. It was a different kind of distress than what you experience during a whiteout. During the rain you worry about your stuff, and you worry about how long the storm will last, and you worry about how you are ever going to get dry.
It was hard to get reliable information about the last time it rained really hard at Burning Man, and for how long. Our best source was Durgy, of the Black Rock Beacon, who remembers coming to his first burn in 2000, and getting rained on most of Thursday through Sunday.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, except to expect the unexpected,” Durgy said, which is exactly what he got.
With all the rain and muck, did it make him regret coming Burning Man? “Hell no!” he said. “I was with a bunch of good people. … We came to watch the Man burn, and we did,” he said.
Yesterday’s rain lasted maybe an hour, starting at around 5:30. It was not a warm rain; the temperature was chilly, considering it’s the desert. No one could use their bikes, and the gates to the city closed because vehicles don’t do well in playa mud.
But just as our clothes were starting to stick to our skin, the rain tapered off and the skies gradually lightened. Then there was a fabulous double rainbow, and the air felt sharp and fresh, and the hills were glowing as the sun got low in the sky.
The rain actually firmed up the playa, and getting around by bike during the evening was a lot easier because of the showers, which was very nice. And our clothes dried very nicely, thank you very much, as we stood around a burn barrel.