We’re going to Burning Man

We hemmed and hawed, changing our minds several times over the last few weeks. But now, we're committed. We spent the money, bought the tickets, and we're going.

For those of you who don't know, Burning Man is an annual event held out in the Black Rock desert some 129 miles north of Reno, NV. The idea is a week long experiment in temporary community – with people coming from all over the country and even across the world to participate. You can find out more about it here . There are lots of crazy “theme camps” and huge pieces of artwork, including a giant “man” that gets burnt at the end of the week.I have been thinking casually about going to Burning Man for a couple of years, but never actually went. P. Chu first told me about it years ago when I moved to CA. Several of the people from my lab in grad school have gone over the years. They all thought it was great, and gave reviews ranging from positive to mind-blowing. Still, I never managed to motivate myself to take the trip.

This year, we had the pleasure of watching our housemate Dan prepare for BM. He has been working on a theme camp and art presentation for months at this point. He went to the Haight in SF to get an appropriate costume. He left papers on the table with calculations on the number of gallons of water that would be needed and the price list for all the equipment, and he left pictures – amazing, intriguing pictures.

I was really excited about going until I found out how much it cost. I'd tell you how much, but Tom gets upset when he see's the number. There were some cheaper tickets earlier, but according to Dan they go really fast. Even he didn't manage to get one of those. Ouch. Forget it.

Then the thought creeped back in. We talked to some people who convinced us not to go, and then more people who convinced us it would be worth it. The deadline to purchase tickets at the current price (ticket prices increase throughout the event) was last night at midnight, and the pendulum had swung toward going. So, we're going.

We plan to leave either Tuesday or Wednesday, and aren't sure if we'll stay until the man burns or not. I guess it depends on how much we like it, or maybe when our water runs out.