scenes from all over

Coyote, one of the mainstays of the DPW team, and the guy who does survey to fix the placement of the man and the streets and the camps, has twin boys who are three years old. Of course, the boys go where mommy and daddy go, so that means they go to the desert for Burning Man. But the couple has a little help this year in the person of Nora, their nanny. Nora's days are normally very full, caring for and entertaining the children, but she got a little time off Friday night. "I saw her riding around and it looked like she was having a good time," Coyote said. There was a spectacular desert sunset last night, plus a full moon. It made everyone very happy to be spending their first night on the playa instead of in Gerlach. Coyote said Nora was a taken by the whole experience. "She said, 'I'm feeling all emotional! I'm happy and sad and sentimental and thoughtful, all at the same time!" "Yep," said Coyote. "That's the playa."


Here's another sign that things are beginning to come together out here. Some of the artwork is already rolling into the desert. It's odd to see the pieces without crowds around them. It's not bad, of course, but it somehow feels incomplete.


Center Camp is coming along just fine. The main posts are up, the ring posts are up, and a lot of the rigging is in place, too. Next will come the tarps that provide the lovely shade from the blinding sun.


So, you know there's going to be a long line to get into the city, right? Especially for the newcomers, it helps to be in the right frame of mind for the experience. Yes, you'll just have driven hours and hours to get here, but your journey will not be complete until you turn off into the road and join the long line of cars and trailers waiting to get into the event site. This is not a quick process. It's more than likely that you'll be waiting for hours to get in, inching along the miles of desert lined with flags as you slowly approach the main gates. First come the gates, where they will check your tickets, and then come the greeters, who will welcome you "home." It'll all take awhile, so relax and enjoy. No matter what the conditions, even if there's a dust storm blowing, you're likely to meet a lot of nice new people on the way in. So have a good time with it. Burning Man really starts in line.


About the author: John Curley

John Curley (that's me) has been Burning since the relatively late date of 2004, and in 2008 I spent the better part of a month on the playa, documenting the building and burning of Black Rock City in words and pictures. I loved it, and I've been doing it ever since. I was a newspaper person in a previous life, and I spent many years at the San Francisco Chronicle. At the time I left, in 2007, I was the deputy managing editor in charge of Page One and the news sections of the paper. Since then, I've turned a passion for photography into a second career. I shoot for editorial, commercial and private clients. I've also taught a little bit, including two years at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and a year at San Francisco State University. I live on the San Mateo coast, just south of San Francisco in California.

3 Comments on “scenes from all over

  • Great pictures and I can’t wait to sit in skin-melting sun and choking dust with 50,000 of my new best friends.

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  • Corvus says:

    “Burning Man really starts in line.” Actually for me, Burning Man starts for me when I stick the key in Moby, the Great White Suburban, and start on the road from Phoenix-metro to Black Rock City. Moby loves to go lickety split but gets thirsty if I let her do that, so we just amble along, playing Spot the Burners; the record is twenty minutes this side of Las Vegas. I allow planty of padding in the schedule — even with a six-hour delay in Vegas last year, we got to Beatty in time for a good night’s rest before the easy push to Fernley/Reno and stocking up. I aim for sunrise Monday morning on the playa so me and a thousand kindred souls roll at 45-mph up 447. I shake my head at those who risk life and limb passing the masses. Do they really thing eight days and twenty minutes will be that much better than just eight days? By the time I get in line, I’ve been at Burning Man for about the past two days.

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  • sidelick says:

    beautiful and inspiring..xo

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