Burning Man 2005

(9/1/05 - 9/4/05)


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I went to Burning Man in September, 2005. If you have not heard of it, BurningMan is a week long festival that about 35,000 people attend that has a ton of modern art (a lot of the art is on fire), free expression, and more than a little bit of insanity going on (controlled, fun, but completely nutty).  The Burning Man festival is held in a remote desert north of Reno, on a dry lakebed called "the playa" (I've never the term "playa" used outside of Burning Man).  If you are curious about the history of Burning Man or what it means, click here for a good timeline and description.

Pictures and video from this trip in 2005 are found below.  At Burning man I met up with a few friends there like Gleb Budman, James Fleishman, Christine, Emil, Melissa Criqui, Chris Pirazzi, Tom Davis, Katherine Chung, and others.  Click on any of the photos below for a TRULY ENORMOUS version, especially the panoramas. This was my third trip to Burning Man.  In 2000 I went with Ramey Echt, Stuart Cheshire, and Pavni Diwanji, and then again in 2001 with Kim Jacobson, Jason Knight, and a few others.

I rented an RV from "Cruise America" which is about the equivalent of Hertz Rent-A-Car for RVs.  Below is my 25 foot RV parked in Palo Alto before I left.


Once you get to Burning Man, you find an open spot to camp anywhere in "Black Rock City", which is the name of the temporary city of 35,000 people that is setup during Burning Man.  Below is a map of the city streets and the general layout of Black Rock City.  Notice that the street names are all "A", "B", "C", "D"...  etc, and that the cross streets are wall clock times from 2:00 through 10:00 (pronounced "two o'clock through ten o'clock") which makes it easy to navigate the city.  My RV was parked at "5:50 and Hysteria".


Ok, once I was at Burning Man, my RV was parked, I walked around and took a few pictures.   On the playa there is a lot of dust, and it is VERY common to see people in goggles and face masks, like the guy below in a small dust storm.


This is a light dust storm (there were heavy ones) out on the Playa.  Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.


Below is a picture of the "playa surface", which is an ancient dry lakebed, extremely flat, very hard surface, ideal for bicycles during Burning Man.  Notice that NOTHING GROWS in this, it is a very hostile, dead, lifeless environment.  Some of the people who attend Burning Man make a big deal about "leaving no trace" and "don't ruin this environment", but it's my humble opinion this place has nothing at all to lose, and it would benefit greatly from a few condos, pavement, and a Starbucks Coffee here and there.  I'm dead serious, I've never seen any place on earth with less life, less worth preserving, this horrid place calls out to be tamed, paved, and civilized.  If we are willing to develop ANYWHERE, the very FIRST place should be on this useless chunk of god-forsaken land.  I guess the only down-side would be Burning Man would need to find someplace even worse to hold the festival, and I doubt that is possible.


A picture of the big "Burning Man" himself (2005).  The man burns on Saturday night, including the platform he is standing on.  Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.  This year, the platform the man stood on was a maze.  You enter by the door you see here below at the front, and then to get to the man's feet you had to navigate the maze.  Inside the maze it is filled with various modern art.


Here I am inside the maze below the Burning Man.  Some of the doors were these revolving plywood circles, you rotated them and would get access to a different set of rooms.


Here a person is rotating the circular doorways in the maze.


When I finally got through the maze and got to the top, you can look down into all the rooms and see people trying to find their way in or out.


This is taken inside the platform under "The Man" (the "Burning Man").  Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.


A panorama of the playa taken from inside "The Burning Man".  Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.


I saw this woman walking in front of me and took this photo.  This is a very "Burning Man" type of costume, she is wearing a bright red wig, and devil ears.  About 3 out of 4 people were wearing something funny or interesting like this.  As you look at these pictures, you can see all sorts of crazy, fun, interesting costumes people wear to Burning Man.


Below is a "G-Rated" (taken at a far distance so that no private body parts can be seen). This is an event that takes place where around 5,000 women bicycle topless across the desert.  Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.  The name of this event is derived from a famous San Francisco recurring protest called "Critical Mass" (started slowly in 1992, probably peaked around 1998 or so) where a mob of thousands of bicyclists disrupt traffic in San Francisco for no clear reason, other than to ask the government to make it easier on bicyclists in San Francisco or something like that.  Anyway, this is just a funny, free-expression spoof of that group.  The entire wall of activity you see in the distance are women not wearing any clothing above their waists on bicycles.  Everyone you see close up are wandering out in the desert to see this amusing spectacle.


I saw these two evil looking dudes at the above event, and really liked their look.  Click on the picture below to see a much larger version.  Notice they are on high tech stilts that are kind of springy.


Below is a picture of "Colossus" which is an interactive piece of art by Zachary Coffin.  This was right outside "Center Camp".  By working together, several strong people can get this monstrous device to spin around (see the ropes hanging from the enormous boulders).  Click on the photo for a MUCH larger version.


Below you can see a girl hanging from her rope as others spin the device around.  Click on the photo below for a MUCH larger version.


A little way away, in the "playa" (the main open space in the center of Black Rock City), you run into all sorts of crazy "art cars" that are driving around.  People put an ENORMOUS amount of effort into some of these, the one below is a walking, fire breathing giraffe that spits fire at night.  There is a guy perched on it's back controlling it, it can move up and down and side to side, and actually walks with independent legs across the desert.


Out on the playa (the center of the huge circle that is Black Rock City) are individual fixed art installations.  Most of these light up at night, usually with fire, propane, flames, etc.  Any photos you see here during the days are a sad, pale comparison to the very VERY cool and crazy look of these things at night.  Below is one of these installations where a circle of headless bodies spit flame out their necks and at night you can roast marsh mellows by playing with the steering wheel at the podium.


Random Playa picture.  Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.  Notice the art cars roving about, and the interesting costumes of people. 


This panorama was taken from on top of my RV at dusk.  Dusk is a very calm 30 minutes at Burning Man, right before everything goes absolutely nutty.  Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.  If you walk though the city during dusk, you can see everybody "getting ready" for going out at night.  This means they are still calm but dressing up in their craziest outfits, filling their water bottles (the desert is very dry and you need to drink water constantly), packing backpacks with jackets for when it gets cold later, supplies, etc.  Even though it is the quietest time, you can feel the excitement building as the flame-art out in the playa and dance parties are about to light up. 


A panorama of the inside of my RV.  Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.  Notice the "Baby Wipes" on the counter, very useful to get the dust off.


The "Couch Potato" art car out in the playa roaming about.  You can hop aboard most of these art cars and ride around with the creator, you can see the guy in the lower right of this photo reading a book wearing a breathing mask and goggles to keep the dust from bothering him too much.


Below is a picture of an art car at night.  This is a fire engine modified to have a flame thrower on the front (and it spits flame 15 feet up and away when a guy pulls a trigger).  This type of art car is a moving party platform.  It holds 20-30 people and has a very nice sound system playing dance music, and at night it roams around with people dancing on it (the standing woman facing away in the pink hat is dancing).


The next few pictures are all of the same art piece.  The first is of it during the day (so it is "off" and not burning).  That is a pile of kindling wood in the center, and at night these vertical metal blades are all "on fire".  This is a great example of how elaborate and how much effort the artists are setting these up, just for a one week long festival.  NOTE ADDED LATER: I am told that the artists are an organization called "Flaming Lotus Girls", and here is their website that mentions this art: http://flaminglotus.com/ornith/ and also http://www.flaminglotus.com/photographs/2005/index.html 


Below is the same piece of art as above, from the same perspective, but at night.  The metal blade posts are normally on "low flame", but the artist (from the group "Flaming Lotus Girls") is somewhere around pulling triggers and any one of the posts can ERUPT into a geyser of flame like the one in the center below.  One of the funnier parts of this are all the people are sitting on the kindling.  Also, this is essentially a dance club at night, with dance music playing loudly and people can stay nice and toasty warm dancing around in between these flaming blade metal posts.  It was GORGEOUS. 


Another post erupting in flame, VERY cool, very exciting.  At night you get this burst of light, a huge wave of heat, and a big feeling of how powerful this piece of art is.


Several of the metal blade posts can erupt at once, here is one eruption I caught in a photo.


Another random photo.


Last photo of this flaming art.


Below is "Thunderdome" (built and run by the group "Death Guild"), which has been a recurring art project at Burning Man for at least the last 6 years, and one of the most famous.  It is a life-sized replica of the "Thunderdome" from the movie "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" starring Mel Gibson and Tina Turner.  In that movie, two men would battle to the death using various lethal weapons inside the Thunderdome.  Here at Burning Man, two buddies fight with nerf bats, which is very funny, but EVERYTHING ELSE is pretty much life-size and identical to the movie.  The photo below is Thunderdome during the day, mostly abandoned.


Below is Thunderdome at night, with spectators (like myself) climbing the walls to watch, and two buddies fighting with nerf bats.  There is thunderous heavy rock and roll pounding away at all of this, with flashes from cameras and all the spectators dressed in their crazy outfits.  This is *MY* kind of frenetic art, it makes me happy to know there are artists on this earth that can actually make stuff that isn't boring and pretentious.  Van Gogh Paintings bore me, Plays by Shakespeare don't excite me, but spending a few hours watching Thunderdome is a GREAT way to spend an evening.


A picture of the outside of Thunderdome.  The spectators are climbing around to get a good view, just like in the movie "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome".


My buddy James Fleishman near the Thunderdome wall.  James is a super-star enterprise salesman at MailFrontier (the company where I work), although in the pink hair, alligator shirt, and leather pants, and glow sticks, I don't think our customers would take him very seriously.  :-)


Two women hitting each other with with nerf bats.  Notice they are suspended from the roof with bungee cords, just like the combatants in the movie "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome".


Click the player below to play the MPEG movie I recorded of two people battling it out inside Thunderdome, 2005 at Burning Man.  (MAKE SURE YOU TURN ON YOUR AUDIO so you can hear the audio).

Or click here to watch the same movie of Burning Man's Thunderdome (MAKE SURE YOU TURN ON YOUR AUDIO so you can hear the audio).


The picture below is of an art project SPOOFING the above "Thunderdome".  It is called "Thumperdome" and is a tiny little version with stuffed rabbits swinging around in it with weapons.  Very funny.  In the picture below, people are getting the bunny rabbits to fight.


In the picture below, this guy rolled up in the pickup truck shown below, jumped in the back where you see him, and started playing the heavy rock song "More Human Than Human" by "White Zombie" over a nice loud sound system.  At the same time, his guitar actually spits propane past the pilot light you see, making the first "flame throwing guitar" I've ever seen (play the movie a little further below).  All this was a tiny performance out in the playa area for about 7 or 8 of us that happened to be there.  That's one of the crazy things about Burning Man-> there were 35,000 people there, and only the lucky 8 of us were standing in the right place at the right time for this particular performance.  And I'm pretty sure we 8 missed a thousand other events during this 2 minute gig.  But seriously, it was worth it, this guy absolutely RULED!!  (Play the video below to see.)


Click the player below to see a movie of this guy on the back of a pickup truck with a guitar that spits propane by the lit torch you see here.  He put on this performance for the 7 or 8 people here, it was awesome!  (MAKE SURE YOU TURN ON YOUR AUDIO so you can hear the audio, it ROCKS!).

Or click here to watch the same movie above this guy playing a flame throwing guitar on the playa (MAKE SURE YOU TURN ON YOUR AUDIO so you can hear the audio).


Below is a big robot I saw parked during the day.   The next picture down is the robot spitting fire roaming around the playa at night.


Below is the same robot pictured above, but at night (which is why the photo quality is terrible) and it is spitting fire and driving around.  Below it is also fully standing up, and you can see how much height difference is possible.


Below is a picture of a "Mother and Daughter" sculpture.  At night the mother pours flames into the outstretched hands of the daughter (see the next picture).


Below is the same sculpture as shown above, but at night and you can see a little of the flame that is pouring out of the mother's hand down into the daughter's hand. There is a thick kerosene sort of pouring down out of the mother's hand, and it ignites and then pours into the daughter's hand.


The "Mother/Daughter" sculpture above is of a mother and daughter walking along.  Leading up to the main sculpture are "burning footprints" that the Mother and Daughter left as they walked through the desert.  The picture below was taken without a flash to capture the flaming footprints.


Same picture as above, but with a flash to see a little more detail.


One of the flaming footprints.  The artist floats some sort of burning oil on top of water to get a nice level burning effect.  He was walking around at night "feeding" the feet more water or fuel to keep them lit.


This is a picture of the street named "6:00" in Black Rock City.  The photo was taken around noon.  Because of the heat, people stay in shade and relax during the very hottest hours of the day, but a few can be seen wandering around.


Random fish like art car.


Wandering through Black Rock City almost every other "camp" has something interesting in it.  This one below is about average, and happens to include an inflatable play house.  For every photo you see on this web page, there are 50 other scenes I missed or didn't have the camera with me, or couldn't snap the photo fast enough.  Do a Google search for "Burning Man Pictures" to see a million other better photos than mine.


Random art car with an Egypt theme. 


The "Fandango Camp" is a large camp at Burning Man that is here every year.  I know Melissa Criqui and her husband Steve Jankowski that are part of Fandango, so I was here visiting them.


Below is a picture of Steve and Melissa I shamelessly stole from their Burning Man photos.


Melissa and Steve told me where to find "Therapy Camp" where some of my friends and co-workers from MailFrontier were camping.  Below is a picture of Therapy camp, with Emil on the left and Christine on the right.


Below is a picture of Gleb Budman and Emil at their Therapy Camp.


An art car of a big spider.


Art car with an orange octopus.


I'm not sure what this art car is.


Inside the "Black Rock City" as I was bicycling by I saw this dance party.  The music comes from the big black speakers on the left of the picture.  All the people were dancing.  Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.  This kind of a party just sort of breaks out, you can find 20 of these going at any one time, and you just have to stumble across them.  You can see the interesting costumes of people in the picture below.


Below is a picture of an interactive piece of art.  People sit and "swing" in this Ferris Wheel which then drives it slowly across the playa under human swinging power.


Random churchy clock tower.  Later I saw this structure burn at night, it was beautiful.


Random little art car which is a life-raft-type thing.


The next two pictures are of a hanging box with a creature/man imprisoned in it.  At night it would light up.


Close up of the imprisoned creature/man.


Random "Bring out your dead" art car.  Has a skeleton hanging from a noose on top.


A small ship party bus art car type of thing.


I think this is "The Dreamer" by Pepe Ozan.  At night it would glow from inside.


Panorama of "The Temple" at Burning Man.  This structure has been rebuilt every year for the last 5 years, and it burns on Sunday night.  Up until this year it was always designed and built by the artist David Best, but this year for some reason David allowed others to build it but did not participate.  During the week, people can walk up, take a piece of wood, write a dead person's name on it (somebody they loved that they want to let go), and toss it on the pile.  By Sunday night, it's one humongous pile of kindling, and really burns well.  Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.  During the day (like seen below) this temple is very quiet (like a library) and a few people are sobbing and crying while writing notes to loved ones that have passed on. 


Art car with grapes.


This is "El Diablo" which is a jet engine powered flame thrower built by Jack Schroll from Oakland, California.  I *really* wanted to see this thing fire up, it is supposed to be spectacular.  However, I did not see it fire up (much to my disappointment).  It was supposed to light up at 10pm every night, but I just never saw it.


Below is a picture of an art car about Star Wars.  Notice the guys all dressed up with light sabers on it, very funny.


Another Star Wars art car.  If you look closely (click on the photo below) see the little kid dressed up like a Jedi, I think he's supposed to be Yoda.


Random art car.


Sort of tree looking art exhibit.  Don't really know what it does.  Must light up at night?


This big structure could be climbed up inside (see all the people on the top).


Random temple kind of thing.


There were a bunch of people out on the playa with these wind surfer on wheels rigs.


Out on the playa during the day I saw this life-size chess set.  Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.  At night this kind of sculpture is on fire or spitting flame.


Random playa art, probably lights up at night.  Wire horses.


That's a black crow hanging in a box.  Not sure what the point here is, this was *WAAAY* out in the playa.


As two people see saw on this device it moves across the desert. 


Grass hut art car.


Big 6 foot tall boots with an inscription.  At night this had a pretty simple light shining on it.


The inscription at the bottom of the boots says: "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings, Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair."  This explains the piece of art.  The inscription is from a famous poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley written in 1817.  Ozymandias refers to Ramesses the Great (Ramesses II), here is that poem:

"I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And Wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, 
     king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing besides remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."  --
1817, Percy Bysshe Shelly.

The double meaning of the poem is that when Ozymandias built the great works it would have impressed anybody, no matter "how mighty" and made them despair at how they will never achieve as much.  And now, centuries later, anybody who thinks they are mighty and their legacy will last "despairs" as they see how even the great Ozymandias's works fall down and decay.  His inscription has an unintended message for an unintended audience centuries after he wrote it.

Here is a close up of the base of this piece of art.


Picture of a trampoline (my sister-in-law Ramey remembers these).  Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.  On the right is a lifeguard tower.


This guy had sort of big roller skates and this big airfoil/kite/parachute dragging him across the desert at a HIGH rate of speed.


Completely random camp inside Black Rock City with a big smiley face on it.


I climbed up on one of the tall 3 story platforms that somebody built and took this panorama of the whole Black Rock City camp.   Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.  It was kind of funny, nobody stopped me from climbing up on their platform, and it was kind of rickety.


This is an industrial size cherry picker dressed up as a flower.  At night, the owner would give "rides" to people and take them really high up so they could see out over the playa.  It drives around.


Below is a guy with blue skin.  The funny thing is that he actually fits in pretty well at Burning Man, he hardly turned any heads.


Party bus art car.  At night this kind of thing was blaring music, roaming around, then stopping and letting some people off and others on the bus.  Sort of a roving dance party.  Notice the "slide" on the lower left if somebody wants to disembark.


An approved "fire barrel" to burn anything you like.


This was an art car or project of some kind.  They guy was loading it up with kindling wood.


"Barbie Death Camp", found inside Black Rock City, Burning Man, 2005.  Random camp.  Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.  This thing was NUTTY, I'll let you decide if it makes any sense to you.


The sign outside of Barbie Death Camp reads: "The Mattel Co. & Auschwitz Inc. 'Purveyors of Fine Lampshades and Soap Products Since 1939' Presents Barbie Death Camp & Wine Bistro, Arbeit Macht Plastique Frei".  The last German phrase is a play on the notorious WWII sign outside of some German concentration camps "Arbeit Macht Frei" which means "Work makes you free".  Click here to see a photo I took of the front gate at Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany in 2004 which shows ironwork with this phrase embedded.


A closeup of the Barbie collection.


The Barbie Deathcamp had their own small art car shown here.


Radio station "Radio Free Burning Man 99.5 FM".


Below is Chris Pirazzi relaxing in the afternoon in his camp "Nose Fish".  (Notice the ski goggles around his neck, they help keep out the dust).  Chris was in a camp with James Fleishman, Tom Davis, and a few others.  I worked with Chris at Silicon Graphics in the digital media group.  Chris contributes an "interactive video wall" called "MEZ: Real-Time Impressionistic Video" at Burning Man where it streams live video of anybody or anything standing in front of the wall (see below) and then changes and modifies it in an impressionistic way in real time.  For example, your face and body might be recognizable, but be made up of little triangles or little George Bush heads as you dance around.  Very high tech stuff, Chris is one of the smartest guys I've ever had the pleasure to work with.  Chris wrote all the software himself just for amusement.  To see what he's done as a professional video engineer and programmer, check out his work on the "Lurker's Guide".  For one tiny example, read: "Fields: Why Video Is Crucially Different from Graphics" as a sample.


Below is the MEZ video wall at Burning Man 2005.  Here it is during the day for a clear photo.  The truck behind it has the projector in it (it shines through the passenger side window to protect the expensive projection unit in the harsh desert dusty environment).  Click here to see a technical description and videos of this.


Below is a photo taken by James Fleishman of people enjoying MEZ at night at Burning Man.  Click here to see a lot more photos and QuickTime videos of what this looks like in action.


The "Black Rock City Rangers" drove around in official vehicles like the one below.  There were also real live Sheriff police cars driving around, but much fewer, and they didn't really have much to do or hassle people much.  It's a pretty peaceful crowd at Burning Man.


There were a few of these Burning Man Hospitals around, like the one shown below.


A random street corner in Black Rock city of "Delirium and 3:00", just to show you what the street signs looked like when you were trying to find some specific place or address. 


A roving party bus art car.


I think this is a piranha art car.


In a corner of a random camp, Kermit the Frog was being crucified.  Stuff like this is ALL OVER, you can't open your eyes without seeing something funny, interesting, or unique.


Very busy looking art car.


Mouthy kind of random art car.


This robot was in one camp.


Art car made out of a VW Bug.


Some random interesting camp structures.  Use your horizontal scrollbar to see the whole panorama.


Since the above photo was kind of washed out, here is the right hand side of it as a stand alone picture so you can see the spider-web type construction thingy.


Rhino art car.


I have no idea what this pointy art car thing is supposed to be.  Wait, maybe a scorpion?


This was one of the MOST IMPRESSIVE art cars found at Burning Man.  It is an ENORMOUS two mast sailing ship party bus art car.  Notice it is only inches off the ground for the best effect of looking like it is sailing through the playa.  People would be dancing and hanging out on this monstrous piece of beautiful art all day and night as it sailed from one event to another, or just sailed across the playa.  Also notice the guy in the aft crow's nest.  Click on the photo below for a much larger zoomed in version.


I like this picture, it is very "Burning Man".  This woman has her white face mask to keep from breathing dust, she has her goggles, and she didn't forget her purse or dress, although she also has enormous playa boots on.


Notice the big speakers on the party bus below.  This is not really an art car or party bus, it actually are just self-transporting speaker systems so they could setup a dance party quickly in the desert, then move it around at a whim.  Update 2010 - I'm told this is built by a group called "Space Cowboys" and you can find more info here: http://www.spacecowboys.org/ 


Picnic table art car with coolers.


Deer head mounted on the main street as you left Black Rock City to walk out onto the "Playa" where all the burning art was at.


This "Water Taxi" boat pulled the high platform behind it, but later I saw the platform roving under it's own power.


In the picture below is a very tall swing with a woman in it.  The swing was open to anybody who wanted to play in it.


Hula hoops in this camp, 4 or 5 people were dancing and hula hooping to music.


Very colorful art car.


Here is that thing being towed earlier by the "water taxi" art car.  In this picture it was cruising around the playa under its own power.


At night video was projected out of the booth on the left onto the blank face on the right.  Usually a full face video, which was very spooky.  You could see and hear any random person in 3D talking.


Boat thingy art car sort of.


This large pink evil bunny art car was parked in the corner of somebody's camp when I walked by.


Below is a picture of "Black Rock Roller Disco", these people were all roller skating around in circles.  You could "rent" skates here (for free actually).


Cuddle Princess Island, just a random camp I walked by.


Pink looking art car.


Party bus art car thingy.


To the right of center in the photo is a "brain" art car.  On the left notice the woman are wearing high boots with big 1960s looking fake fur.  These were VERY popular on attractive woman at Burning Man, which really bothers me.  I don't like the idea that there are "style trends for attractive hip people" forming at Burning Man, it is SUPPOSED to be about being artsy and wacky, not "fitting into the fashion forward style trends".  Next year I'll probably hear somebody remark "Did you see those furry boots that person was wearing?  That is soooo 'last year' it is embarrassing."


Colorful art car.


Scorpion art car.


This RV pulled in with this enormous inflatable cow on the roof.  The cow is about 3/4 full of air, so it was bending and swaying in the wind, very very funny.


Giraffe with pink lipstick art car.


I laughed as these two matching "Bee-Girl" women bicycled by in their costumes.

Wow, I can't believe you made it this far, and are actually reading this!  Well, that's it, that's everything I have.  Just as a quick list to remind myself if I go to Burning Man again, here is a useful list of random things to bring:

List of Things to Bring To Burning Man

  1. Glow Sticks!! - VERY IMPORTANT - for safety at night so inebriated bicyclists can see you

  2. Flashlights - I like the little LED keychain ones, convenient, bright, long lasting

  3. Eye Goggles - clear glass color for night time use when the dust storms come up

  4. White Breathing Face Mask - not totally necessary, you can also use a scarf to breathe through.

  5. Sunglasses - the sun is very bright

  6. Camelback or water bottles - dehydration is your enemy in the desert

  7. Poncho - freak showers come and go, some years are wet, you don't want to get soaked

  8. Backpack - you take long 3 or even 5 hour excursions away from camp, you need to bring the goggles, masks, water, poncho, extra warmth layer, etc along with you in case you need it.

  9. Sun block / Sun screen - Burning Man is at 4,000 feet elevation, and the sun is alarmingly strong

  10. *cheap* sleeping bag - you will probably have to throw it away afterwards because of the dust and dirt

  11. Painter Plastic - put down on the floor of the RV or tent to preserve it.  The dust and mud get into everything.

  12. Bicycle - absolutely necessary to get around at all quickly

  13. Earplugs - the dance/rave/parties go all night, it's nice to be able to sleep

  14. Baby Wipes - quickly get clean of the dust before bedtime

  15. FRS radio - so you and your friends can find each other, CELL PHONES DO NOT WORK (no signal)

  16. Lawn Chairs - in the afternoons everybody just hangs out, you might as well be comfortable

  17. Throw Rugs/Cheap Carpets - keep the dust down in camp, bathroom mats work well

  18. Battery operated fans - hard to stay cool, these are cheap, run a long time, work well.

  19. Handheld GPS - to mark friend's camps, find your camp quickly, etc.  Click here for a Garmin compatible GPS map of the 2005 Black Rock City Burning Man Camp layout.  Some people laugh at this, but I was caught in a whiteout sandstorm at 2am on the playa, nobody could see 4 feet in any direction, and there are no landmarks and you are a full mile away from camp.  Some people around me were even panicked, I just pulled out my GPS and started walking calmly back to camp wearing my goggles and mask.  For $99, get a Garmin Rino which combines an FRS and GMRS radio with a GPS in a tiny package the size of a cell phone.  These are wonderful, for bonus points when your buddy talks to you his location appears on the display with his name and a little smiley face, just walk right to him.



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(Read a personal description of Backblaze here.)



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