Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rethinking the Playa

With our Burning Man tickets on the way, it's time to get serious about re-imagining this year's trip.
It all started in the jeep on the way home from the Playa last year. After last year's week in Black Rock City, we both left feeling like it was time to change a few things. The last weekend of the burn sort of left us feeling a bit burned ourselves. The night the man burned, it really felt more than a bit like a huge, overpopulated, frat party. The energy was less Burning Man and more Spring Break at Cabo. The next morning I took a spin around the Playa and was stunned by the sheer volume of beer cans, pee spots and trash. As the sun rose and camps came down, the air started to fill with the acrid smoke of toxic burn platforms........... much more so than in years past.
Disillusionment. Where was that "true" burner energy? It seems to flourish right up to the burn, and then it hides out as the city comes crashing down..............................

After four burns, the time has come to rethink, re-engineer, and re-experience Burning Man. All the way home, the discussion kept coming back around to "how we will do it different" next year. Well, it's "Next Year", this year and we've come up with some basic goals for this year's trip:

  • Scale back the gear.
  • Travel lighter, with minimal bulk and weight.
  • No dome. Find a lighter, easier to set up, shade structure.
  • Leave before the burn and have another adventure en route home.

We are exploring options for a new shade structure. One that will go up quick and easy, will transport without roof racks on the jeep, and will provide daytime shade, but not necessarily dust storm protection. The parachute dome is a real chore and undertaking to set up and take down, and when all things are weighed and considered, too much for one or two people to deal with. So the dome's out this year!
In the years past, we've supplied a large infrastructure as well: tables, kitchen, evap pond, bath, etc. Well, this year we're going 'minimalist"...........we'll cook in the trailer, small roll-up camp table, filter and sprinkle gray water, mini bath............... we're even entertaining the idea of camping near, but outside, Hushville. In short, we're coming at this year's trip from a fresh new direction!
Stay tuned for more breaking news in this story as the count down continues............

Only 221 days to go!

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