I’m going to skip around a bit in the order of my travels and spend this week on Burning Man.
The technicolor, smart art festival that is Burning Man was a blast this year. I had a fantastic time! Yes, I lost my ticket on the drive across the country but the Burning Man folks were kind enough to switch it to a will-call ticket with no hassle. Whew!
The playa itself was in top-notch shape with none of the “sand duning” of the previous years. One could zip about on a bike with great ease. The weather was quite tame with temperatures in the high 80s during the day and low 60s at night (though it got colder later in the week). There was only one major dust storm and it was nothing like the whiteouts of previous years.
My Favorite 10 things (in no particular order)
The Trojan Horse – a towering statue of a horse that burners dragged on the playa and set alight “Man style”. My only complaint is they did all this on Friday with made the actual burn on Saturday seem a bit anticlimactic – same event, different figure.
The Pier – such a simple idea but it really created a space that everyone loved. People hung out on it, napped in the hammocks below, and everyone had to drive their bike under it at least once. It had speakers located underneath which served up a constant stream of wave noises.
El Pulpo Mechanico – Perhaps the coolest art car ever. This steampunk, octopus-mecha monstrosity constantly wiggled, clanked, and spat gouts of fire from all 8 of its tentacles and head. It made quite the spectacle as it motored across the playa.
The Temple – Of the big three (Man, Woman, Temple) it was the Temple that stood out this year. It had the “Gamelatron” installed which was a large number of mechanically actuated drums, chimes, shakers, and cymbals. They provided a constant symphony of exotic, almost Tibetian, music throughout the structure.
The Big Fireworks Show – Friday they had a fireworks show a few hours before the burning of the Trojan Horse and it was without a doubt the BEST fireworks I’ve ever seen – and by a very wide margin. It’s hard to express how well choreographed and presented these pyrotechnics were but they put to shame everything I’ve ever seen on the National Mall for the 4th of July.