MOOP MAP LIVE, Day 7: MOOP Treasure

Hey there sports fans, MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! The Hun here, reporting from Gerlach where morale is high and the DPW Playa Restoration team is on track for a BIG WIN. Yes, it’s mighty MOOP-free out there folks. All of you at home who cleaned up your camps, pat yourselves on the back for helping your home team secure what looks to be a smashing victory.

Drink Water and Easygoin with 2011's biggest piece of MOOP: A length of wire cabling from beneath the Man. To be fair, it was left there on purpose, not abandoned.

In Day Seven of Line Sweeps, the front line picked up its pace. Lean and hungry for MOOP, they marched across 44 blocks — the entire area from 10:00 to 2:00 between Engagement, Funeral and Graduation, and part of Hajj!

44 blocks is a lot, almost as many as the lines covered in the early days of the season. But how did those blocks fare? Was the quick pace due to a lack of MOOP, or to a highly skilled group of MOOPers? Well, it looks like a little of both:

Click to enlarge!

Yep, we had a couple of serious red spots near 9:00 and 9:30, and one along 2:00. A few yellow blocks slowed down the line slightly, but there were also many, many blocks that were clear and green.

Today’s score: 87% green, 10% yellow and 3% red. Great job, you Leave No Trace superstars!

MOOP Treasure: The Cool Stuff We Find

In the context of a Leave No Trace event, MOOP is a bad thing. But sometimes the MOOPers themselves benefit from being the last people out here picking up litter. Truth is, some of Black Rock City’s discarded items are pretty cool.

Truffle shows off a MOOPed button.

There are always stories, and I can vouch that they’re true: a $50 bill buried in a sand dune… two antique silver dollars… a few years back, a diamond ring. Lots of times, though, the MOOP has little monetary value. Out here, we collect it because it’s interesting, or pretty, or maybe just because it’s there.

Darlin' with his "good MOOP"
Part of Stabby's earring collection

After two months in this desert Utopia without any need for money, and a couple of weeks picking up cigarette butts, your sense of value shifts. Sure, we find some cash — each of us winds up with a couple bucks in spare change — but the real goodies are the things we can use. Or at least decorate ourselves with, bohemian pirates that we are.

Stabby with her collection of earrings and jewelry
Wendee Key collects feathers of all shapes and sizes, including this headband.

When we find things that we can’t hang from our ears, braid into our hair, stick in our hatbands or sew over the holes in our pants, we start getting creative. After all, some of the best bits of MOOP have no discernible use. We are driven to find a use for them — despite our nagging sense that maybe it’s just junk and we ought to throw it out.

Cool MOOP, but what to do with it?

This is where it starts to get interesting. People start sorting and organizing their MOOP, assigning value. Ten or twelve people start collecting specific things for specific uses.

nikOpeaches hopes to find a belly dancer who'll pay him well for all these bangles.

This year, Special collected over a hundred stars. Most were given to him by crewmates. He will sew them all onto a vest for next year.

Special and some of his stars
Special's stars

Some of the crew makes jewelry in the evenings. They share their MOOP jewelry as gifts, or keep it, or throw it away if it doesn’t turn out great. Who cares? It’s only MOOP.

Jedi, Deadpan and Scummer crafting at the Black Rock Saloon

Still, mixed in with the detritus there are a few things that someone must’ve been sad to lose. These — mostly keys, but jewelry and other valuables too — will be posted on ePlaya’s Lost and Found board.

Somebody's trip to Italy is on that SD card.

And then there are the truly awesome discoveries: the things that might be worth an awful lot of money in a few years, and are pretty cool right now, and don’t belong to anybody because of gifting and finders keepers. I’m talking about Burning Man swag, which is one of the most common types of MOOP and also the most collectible.

Gonzo found this coin...'s heavy, and a few inches in diameter. Someday it'll be worth a lot.

Still, at the end of the day it’s all stuff we find on the ground. Most of it has little to no value, most of it isn’t that pretty or cool, and most of it will eventually make its way to a garbage bin. We save what we can, but there’s only so much we will truly treasure.

Pillow Talk shows off one of her favorite finds.

That’s all for today, folks. The BLM inspection is just two days away, and the storm front is coming in. Will we be able to have our inspection, or will we be driven off the playa by rain and wind? We’ll find out soon. ‘Til tomorrow, this is The Hun signing off.

About the author: The Hun

The Hun

The Hun, also known as J.H. Fearless, has been blogging for Burning Man (and many other outlets) since 2005, which is also the year she joined the BRC DPW on a whim that turned out to be a ten-year commitment. Since then she's won some awards for blogging, built her own creative business, and produced some of the Burning Blog's most popular stories and series. She co-created a grant-funded art piece, "Refoliation," in 2007, and stood next to it watching the Man burn on Monday night during a full lunar eclipse. She considers that, in many ways, to have been the symbolic end of Burning Man that was. The Hun lives in Reno with DPW Shade King, Quiet Earp. You may address her as "The Hun" or "Hun". If you call her "Honey" she reserves the right to cut you.

14 Comments on “MOOP MAP LIVE, Day 7: MOOP Treasure

  • Randy says:

    You guys are awesome, and doing an awesome job. Wished i could be there to help. Looking on the MOOP Map our Trailer Trash camp is go go go green. Next year for my #2 I am going to try to remember to carry a plastic bag with me. Once out on the playa I came across some broken glass but did dare to put it in my pocket. I may still have some use for my jewels.

    I still need a playa name Randy

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  • Deer says:

    Beautiful moop pictures! Love the collection of stars!!

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  • G says:

    Dang the suspense is killing me! You guys are saving my camp for last, I can tell.

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  • Eric says:

    I requested a ‘Treasures’ article and you delivered! Thanks, The Hun, for the nice read!

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  • Norma Mitchell says:

    You guys are truly the bomb! Enjoyed the treasure pictures and fantasizing I’m there with you. Sending positive vibes and gratitude for your loving spirits. Racey Gracie

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  • The Hun says:

    Congratulations Randy, way to do it right the first time! That playa name will come to you when the time is right.

    Deer, Eric, Norma – Thanks for reading and chiming in! We do it all for people like you.

    G – I’m just trying to keep you around because you leave such good comments. JUST KIDDING but yes, apparently your camp was swept on Day 8.

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  • G says:

    LOL, you are kidding that you are keeping me around, or kidding that my comments are so good? :P
    There must be no day 9, is that a safe bet?
    Hope to say hi face to face next year on the clean pristine DPW pampered playa.
    BTW does anyone ever call you “Hunny” and live to tell about it!

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  • Jan DeLano says:

    I have so enjoyed getting online to read these Moop Daily reports. It has been so interesting, fun, and educational. I am so happy you are doing this.
    Thank you so much.

    I have been just waiting to see our spot come up and had fear that the RV farm behind us was going to just red out our whole section. I am so happy to see that there is only like 2 tiny red squares and the rest is green, green, green. Yeah! We did a good job. 6:45/Funeral.

    Always have respect for the Playa and seeing your blogs and the crew and what they are doing only enforces it. It is just a beautiful thing…

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  • Frank says:

    Great job, everyone! Thanks for doing what you do all these years!!!

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  • skanske says:

    Great photo of Stabby- good to see you! And good to see Peaches, too. Came to our bar and told me a story about broken car window glass on the Exodus road out. It gets ground into the playa and travels by getting stuck in tire treads. You all are truly an inspiration.

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  • Bones says:

    What’s with all the bullet casings? Are those new, or just-unearthed archaeological evidence of the wild early burn days?

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  • David says:

    WOW! Way to go people! One question tho – my camp was in the uncolored area (7:20 and G). Just curious how we fared.

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  • Robert Stolting says:

    The bullet shells are old I’m pretty sure. I’ve seen large bullet shells through out other parts of the black rock playa on my visits. I think many are there from people shooting and not at all burning man related.

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  • little wing says:

    On my walks back to camp from the porto loo I make it point to pick up Moop. I find the usual – cig butts, buttons, water bottles…

    But this year my most treasured piece of moop is a bicycle pedal. So DPW, if someone is still out there pedaling in a circle- I have what they lost.

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