An army travels on its stomach, and if the DPW is anything, it’s an army. A funky, sweaty, loud and brash army, and maybe not so big on the uniforms, but an army nonetheless, and one that builds up an appetite.
For the first days of the build, everyone eats breakfast and dinner in the big back room at Bruno’s. Some mornings, the scent of sizzling bacon wafts powerfully down Main Street, and you can almost see the weary early risers being drawn to breakfast by the hypnotizing aroma.
But feeding everybody at Bruno’s is pricey, and the room gets crowded and the lines get longer as more workers arrive. So one of the first big tasks of the build is to get the Commissary tent up and running, so everyone can move from town out to the playa and start taking their meals on site.
The wind has been very strong the past few days, and putting up the tent in the gusts and the dust was a trial. It was a challenge to get the center poles in place while the wind was trying to take the whole thing airborne, but various crews came together from all the different work crews to get it done, with Bean and Hayseed providing overall direction.
Meanwhile, railroad containers full of gear are being moved out from the Ranch to the playa, so the Commissary staff can get going now that the tent is up. There are lots of containers on the playa for this early in the operation. Last year, there were 19 containers moved out the first day. This year, there were 60, thanks in part to the double trailers that carry four containers instead of two on every trip.
The huge generators are also arriving fast, and trenches are being dug and lines are being laid to get the electrical grid up and running.
It’s all happening fast and furious in the dust and the wind.