Monday, September 17, 2012

Adventures in The Desert

The Burning Man experience.  Relayed to you as follows.  I flew into San Francisco on Saturday where I was picked up by a chivalrous Sam.  We spent the night at the W Silicon Valley.  It was the least amazing W experience I've had, but it was nice to have a semi-luxurious experience before heading into the dust.  We got ourselves ready on Sunday and headed out in Sam's car.  The trusty car.  We had to Duct Tape it together, and hope it wasn't too hot outside because the breeze was our A/C.  This is the stuff of adventures and good stories!

We passed through Sacramento, where Sam would be moving too after the Burn.  We went through Reno, which was full of Burners and people talking about Burning Man.  Home depot, we discovered, had almost sold out of their rebar!  It is a much needed accessory out in the windy desert to keep your tent rooted down.  I picked up a business book at Barnes and Noble, which I had them hold for me in advance.  Great lazy day Burning Man reading: E-Myth Revisited - how to run a small business essentially.

We enjoyed a huge dinner at Olive Garden and proceeded to wait in line in the desert to get to camp.  I was the most helpful of the two of us during this long and tedious start-stop-midnight-driving-through-dust endeavor by getting rest for both of us, while Sam drove.  By 4:30AM we were in camp.  Luckily we found an open spot underneath the shade structure and we set up our sleeping tent as quickly as possible.  Sleep deeply we did.
When we woke up, Sam and Anthony found each other.  They proceeded to have a lover's quarrel after too long apart.  I was told that this is how they express their affection for each other.  They were so adamant about it that they made a huge public display of their feelings for each other in the Thunder Dome, a spectator arena where pairs fight it out equipped with an arsenal of pliable weapons.

The happy Sam.  No bike this year, but a walking stick instead.  A much more feasible method of getting around the desert. 9:45 and E suddenly doesn't seem so far away.

A huge bug man art piece we found in the desert!  Crazy!

The Playa.  The view of the desert with all of its art and people.  A ship crashed btw.

It's me ready to face what the desert has to bring.  I have no idea what is to come.  Such an innocent, naive look on my face.

In dust gear as a small dust storm passes through.  I'm thinking "this isn't so bad."  Until we get drowned in dust and whited out a couple of times resulting in hungry, dehydrated, grouchy Lia.  Gas mask next time.

Another art piece that I was fond of.  It did get burned, but it stood mighty tall as EGO usually does for periods of our lives.


Awesome artsy vehicle.  Bug?

Ship!  It moves, like everything out there.  You think it will be in one place "Hey let's meet at the distant pineapple, or the green mushroom."  But your points of reference are no longer there, or they are 30 feet to the left.  Very disorienting at night especially.

My first visit to Center Camp, where people hang out, drink coffee and chai, practice art in all its mediums.

Center Camp

So cool.

Everyday occurrence.

Our little tent village under the shade structure.  We had a nice little nook.  The tent I brought ended up being our supplies tent, while the tent Sam brought ended up being our sleeping tent.  He hooked up a hammock and a camping chair.  Excellent ideas!  The little tent on the right housed our food, drinks, and clothes.  What did we eat you ask?  Well, we provided our own breakfasts which ended up being big bowls of Grape Nuts, Cinnamon Life Cereal, Raisins, Almonds, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, and apple sauce.  Mmmmm!  So good.  Lunch and dinner we had at camp.  Lunch was leftovers from the previous dinner.

This was the common area of our camp at Burners Without Borders.  Usually you could find at least 4 people passed out asleep in here.  I enjoyed by Business Book and a fair few conversations and strange observances too.  I handed out many a superfood energy bite in here.

Unicorn day!  This was also hop from camp to camp eating free food and finding vegan ice cream and snow cones day. It was also forget to wear sunscreen day.

The pleasure of shaved ice and fake sweet syrup is immeasurable out there.

We stumbled upon this amazing band that had some awesome stilt tricks to throw around.  I was blown away.  Sam and I were just so happy to have been drawn to this random musical event.

Did you know angler fish are actually desert animals?

If you go inside, the whole ship is side ways.  It is a very strange experience.

Watching a small dust storm from afar.

The leftovers of the dinner I hosted!  Pasta with garlic olive oil cherry tomato sauce, lentil walnut crumble, vegan parm, kale detox salad, and coffee cocoa cookies.

Lovely friends!  It was great connecting with and meeting new people out in the desert.

Another alternative for expressing love.

A chess game at center camp.  On this day I left Sam to his game in order to find a bathroom.  en route to the bathroom, I decided to ask some people at another camp for directions to the nearest porta potty.  I am told that a shot of whisky is necessary to procure such valuable direction.  A shot I take.  They tell me strange things about looking through walls and places porta potties may be, and then insist that the truth cannot be explained without another payment.  So another shot I take and finally and guided to the nearest bathroom.  On my way I am herded into a strange dance party, at which point I am given some sort of vodka drink.  By the time I get to the bathroom and return to the chess game, I am in a new state of mind that continued for the rest of the day and into the evening.  Sam won the chess game if you were curious and the winner got spanked by an asian girl in a mini skirt.  Just another day at Burning Man.

It all comes to an end eventually, and so, after watching the Man burn, sorry no pictures, I was living very much in the moment out there and often neglected to snag my camera, and the temple burn we had already packed up and headed out.  This is mid pack.

And onward we went.  A mere 3 hours to get out of camp at 9:30PM, we took a nap at a rest stop at about 4AM.  Reaching San Francisco and taking much needed showers followed by much needed moisturizing.  It was on this return trip that we stopped in Berkeley for lunch and visited Cafe Gratitude, an amazing vegan restaurant that encourages you to think about how wonderful your life really is.  We got the peach and almond cake to start and the raw deep dish pizza.  Perfect and delicious!  I kind of fell in love with Berkeley and have my eye on it as a future home.  Eventually Sam and I had to part ways, with very heavy hearts.  He dropped me at the airport, and I flew to LA to begin training with Mind Body, the company that makes the management software we use at the yoga studio.


Sabah said...

very pleasant reading . :0 there is much unwritten though ;p

Lia said...

There is much unwritten, you are right, but one has to pick and choose the stories for multiple reasons ;)