We’re back. In summary – an interesting place that we will probably never go back to. Oh well.After Burning Man, my mind is filled with some pretty incredible images. Theme camps ranged from our housemate Dan’s camp, Pinklectica, to a bigger-than-a-house tent decorated to look like a jungle and complete with a sod floor and misting sprayers (a welcome treat in the desert), to Fairyland where the materials were provided for do-it-yourself fairly wings or poi, to the anonymous camp across the street where the people had brought pine trees and errected their own forrest in the middle of the dry lake bed. The scale of the art cars blew me away. Where do they keep these things during the rest of the time? There was a two-story tall galleon, a full-on sailing ship that navigated around the city. A 50+ foot long dragon ambled by (there were at least 3 trailers for people to ride on within the belly of the dragon).
Some people had amazing costumes, but I think the predominant style was like a rave at the beach. There were lots of naked and half-naked people. Everywhere. A lot of people look better with clothing.
There were tons of activities all day long. From laser tag games to stilt-walker parades to Aikido to pedicures and massages. (We saw an incredible stilt-walker go bounding down the street one day. His stilts were bent like a goat’s hind legs, and had springs in them, allowing the stilt-walker to leap down the street with 15 foot strides – he looked like a 15 foot tall satyr, blue with horns and shaggy pants/legs.)
Unfortunately, the sense of community that had really persuaded us to go in the end was not what we expected. It was difficult to strike up real conversations with strangers (this was especially tough for Tom, who is hardly the shy uncommunicative type). Perhaps the event has grown too large for this type of interaction. 30,000 people attended last year, and probably even more this year. Maybe it’s just too many people (from the city) to really create that small-town feel.
Ultimately, we decided to leave before the end of the week. It was about 1.5 days longer than Tom would have liked to stay and about 1.5 days shorter than I would have. I suppose that is a good compromise.