Burning Man 2011- Rites of Passage

At the end of August I found myself on the playa for a third time.  Each year is different and each tribe member has a different experience at the burn.  Here is the story of my burn:

One of our trailers blew a tire just outside Alturas, California.  It was a good omen that in less than an hour we had installed the spare and purchased a new tire.

The incredible disappearing beers were spotted as we shifted the load on the trailer at our hotel in Cedarville.

We were on the road sometime between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. to beat the crowd, everyone else must have had the same idea.  The party began during the 2.5 hour wait to get to the greeters station.  Last year I was the passenger and had a blast passing out cold watermelon to the neighboring cars.  This year I had driving duty on the way in and missed an impromptu hula lesson.

Last year out big project was a mutant vehicle we called the Sistine Scaffold.  This year we decided to have a stationary scaffold as he centerpiece of our camp. We thought the view might attract some of the neighbors.  We arrived at our camp spot during the heat of the day, but for the first time I did not have to set up camp during a storm.

Here is a time lapse video of the scaffold going up

The dust rises as new residents move into Black Rock City.

Time for a well deserved break in the shade.

The neighbors dome had babies.

More dust as the population of Black Rock City grows, at least the light is getting better.

My first hug if you don’t count tribe members or greeters.

First visit out to the playa.

Spotted the lamplighters on the way out to the man.  Two members of our tribe volunteered the first night and we got to see them in action as they finished at the temple.

Our first look at the man.

This year was a first for the man, he was striding instead of standing.  After climbing the stairway you look right up the man’s crotch, hmm.

Then I looked out and fell in love. The Temple was an amazing structure and I returned many times to make photos.

One of my favorite mutant vehicles.

Another look at the man.

The temple was already attracting a crowd.

The next morning we played a little grab ass with some of the art.

Out near the trash fence on tutu Tuesday we found some nice people at  the Black Rock Bijou.  We did visit it once again but missed the movie.

Art on the playa.

The temple disappears in the dust.

God was not answering Tuesday morning.

Our neighbors dome had more babies and got some clothes for them.

Neighbors on the other side.  Seems like I have seen California flags in this area each year.

Back out on the playa.

It can go from nice to this in just a couple of  minutes.  On Monday the wind was from the predominant direction.  For the next couple days it shifted nearly 180 degrees and then calmed down for most of the rest of the burn. By far the best weather of my three burns.

Messages left at the temple.

Charon, my favorite piece of interactive art on the playa.  There were ropes that had to be pulled to get it spinning.  At night once the proper speed was reached strobes came on animating the skeletons.

You can see the skeletons in action about 1:10 into the video.

While I was taking this photo a cyclist rode by and commented that ” A fellow can get dusty down there.”

Yah another photo of the temple.

At this artwork visitors were encouraged to write their shame on it before it burned Saturday.

The Temple at sunset, we visited it three times at sunset to hear the earth harp concert.

The Trojan horse was one of the bigger burns.

A party out on the deep playa breaks up in the late morning.

The side of the Black Rock Bijou on our second visit.

Looks like I was not the only one who thought the street names were a little weak this year.  What a cool gift.

Some of our tribe members arrived late and wanted to know what the must see items were.  The first place we took them was the sunset earth harp concert.

Burning the art from regional events.

You develop a rhythm after a couple days, out early to see art on the playa and then back to camp for food and rest before one outing in the heat of the day. Back to camp for more food and rest and then out again for the night.

Camera under a balloon photographing the temple, brilliant idea.

At the temple.

Happy recipients of neck coolers out at the bicycle course.

Oldest , youngest and sassiest members of the tribe.

Enjoying the view from our scaffold after dinner.

See what I mean.

That must be a challenge landing in a huge dust cloud at dusk.

I had heard for years that there was nice sunset like light early in the morning. . .

Lots of other folks out to catch this light at the temple.

Even the shadows look cool.

Heck even the playa looks cool.

One last run into center camp on Sunday.  Most of the camps on the esplinad were packing up.  The party was still on at center camp where we spotted the flaming tuba and the rest of the burning band.

Getting rid of extra drinking water as we packed up camp.

We went to see the temple burn Sunday night and then planned for an early departure Monday morning.

Don’t ask why it is Burning Man after all.

There she goes.

Hope to see ya on the playa next year.




2 thoughts on “Burning Man 2011- Rites of Passage

  1. Andy, these photos are stunning! The temple from 2011 was magical in the light, especially at dawn and by fire light! No doubt you are having a glorious time this year too. We look forward to viewing the newest set of images! Have a blast!

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