Thursday, June 11, 2015

North Pole Shade Tent, Burning Man Shade Revisited!

It has been a few years since we last attended Burning Man........... a four year break after attending for 7 years!  Looking at what Burning Man has evolved into today, I can gladly say that we were on the Playa at the end of the "Golden Age".  I still miss the dust though..............  It's funny how the Playa never quite leaves your life, even when your life has headed off in other directions.  The memories are there, and every year when August rolls around, I can't help catching myself keeping track of the date..........

Ah yes, dusty memories!

When we left the Playa for the last time, 4 years ago, we rolled up our North Pole Shade Tent, dust and all, and stuffed it in the duffel bag.  It has remained as a "Black Rock Time Capsule" ever since.  Well, yesterday I opened that time capsule and I could smell the dust again, literally!  It also stirred the dusty memories of "life on the Playa".  Amazing times.

I set up the shade tent in the back yard to give it a good hosing and scrubbing.  As I pulled out the tent, a cloud of Playa dust rose around me.........chalky dust on my hands, in my lungs and that familiar smell, that taste on my tongue.  It is amazing how something as simple as "dust" can cause the memories to come rushing forward from the past. 

The Playa has given me many gifts, some I wanted and some I didn't know I needed......... gifts on so many levels.  Well, the Playa reached out across time and distance and gave me a little gift again.  After pulling out the tent, there at my feet was a perfect, hard ball of Playa dirt.  You may leave the Playa, but the Playa never leaves you!

The shade tent went up with no problem, and with a tinge of sadness, I fired up the hose. The water ran down the tent sides in a beautiful shade of "Playa White".  We will forever have a bit of the Playa in our own backyard!  
Like the memories of the Playa, you can never quite wash all of the dust away.  As the water dried, it was plain to see that the shade tent would forever carry a bit of the Playa with it.  When you've been rolled and cooked in Playa dust, it is forever a part of you...... that goes for tents as well as people!

A little Playa Story of my own:

As I write this, the North Pole Shade Tent is standing in the backyard, being bathed and freshened by the Pacific Northwest wind.  A world away from the Playa, but somehow the wind still found it!
Today I'll re-roll and pack the shade tent away, ready for a new series of adventures.  But, no matter where that old tent goes, I'll always have the pictures in my mind of it on the Playa, in the dust, and bathed in the Black Rock winds.

I find it interesting that the original posting I made about this shade tent, is and remains, one of the top postings on the blog!  The blog entries are viewed several times a day and as The Burn approaches each year, the number of views go through the roof!  For those of you who have found this posting first, here's a link to the original "Burnin' Hot Shade" blog posting:

I am happy to report that after 3 years on the Playa, and 4+ years left in a Playa-Dust filled duffel bag, the tent is still in fantastic shape and ready to go!  We made one very small repair to one of the screened side panels where I tore it by accident.  Aside from that, and the permanently infused Playa Dust, there is not a thing wrong with it!  We love this tent!

Here is a quick recap on the tent: 

The tent has a circular footprint of 30 feet, and the height is 12 1/2 feet tall.  It has zippered, screen panels that open and roll back and a hanging wall divider that can be moved around inside for additional shade.  The tent is supported by one center pole that is constructed of heavy metal pipe, very much the same as the "Costsco Parking Shelter" frame pipes.  There are 3 radiating support poles that stabilize the sides.  These poles attach to a loose hub around the center pole and "corkscrew" mount to grommets on the tent.  The base of the center pole has a series of hols so you can stake it in place.  The center pole is supported by the tent itself, no guy lines.  You just lift the tent up with the center pole and then stake the perimeter of the tent in place.  10-15 minutes and this amazing shade tent is up!  For Playa use, I use rebar to stake the tent, but for "normal" use, heavy tent stakes will suffice.

If you can find one of these tents, grab it!  Unfortunately, they are not making them anymore.  When you've used one of these North Pole Shade Tents on the Playa, you'll never use anything else again!  We used a huge geodesic "parachute dome" on the Playa for years and absolutely loved it, but when we retired it for this shade tent, we never looked back!

Here are a few parting photos of the North Pole Shade Tent as it sits in the backyard................

Here are a couple of "Vintage" shots............

The first time we set it up, pre-Playa

First year on the Playa

No comments: