As we roll into Black Rock City, we quickly figure out the best way to deposit everyone in the right spot. Finding people on the Playa can be almost impossible, but this is the possible burn. As we drive on the outer rim, Mia spots her camps bus almost immediately. We quickly turn in, deposit her and her things, bid her well and seek out the next camp...mine.
I'm supposed to camp with Camp Radom, but the address my friend gave me is not the same as what is on the map. I go with what's on the map. After a bit of searching we find it, Camp Random and Unncessary, except they haven't heard of my friend. "Hmmm...well," I say, "I guess I should go look for them in the first spot they said they'd be at."
"Or you can just stay here," a lovely faced woman tells me. "It's called 'Camp Random,' come be our random camper." I thought about it, and decided it wasn't a bad idea. So I pull in and get a hug from new friends who offer food and drink. Amy wastes no time getting her stuff together on her bike. She's late for a meeting at Fire Conclave, which manages the actual burning of the man. She gives me a quick hug and she's off.
A lot is happening. I have to make camp and get geared up for the Playa, but I also want to go see the Billion Bunny March as they take control of the Man. I decide to do the latter first while I still have some light. I use my bike racks and a tarp to make a lean to on the side of the van. This allows me a space to put my bike and shower. Then, inside the van, I pull out the back seat making a bed, and stow things in sensible places. Out of one bag I pull out pieces of a torn sheet that I use as make shift curtains so I have privacy. Then, finally, I'm ready to don my Playa pack with everything I would need for a quick journey out. I get on my bike, put on a glow light, head lamp, and bandanna to use as a face mask in case of dust, and I'm off.
First, I stop at Kidsville to let my sister know I arrived. She's not there, so I leave word. Next, I stop at Center Camp. I walk in to the usual mayhem of drum circles and random performance, and look around for a place to chill for a moment. I sit beside an older gentleman, who seemed to be looking for company. "Well I need to go pay my respects to the Man" I tell him. "Mind some company he asks?" "No not at all I say." It turns out our bikes are literally parked right next to each other.
After a brief stop at "Fire Idol" which is a fire dancing version of American Idol on the Playa, we head to the Man. As we approach I see the giant floating eyes looking out at me just below the Man, and I realize I forgot my camera in the van! Argh!
I spent a good amount of time at the Man, and then rode along one half of the esplanade which offered the "spank-o-matic," an amazing dance troupe party, and a rave in one of the giant domes. Then I headed across the Playa again, and saw art cars, and exhibits of all kinds. I finally ended up at my default position which is Jazz Cafe, back in Center Camp, and just in time to see the naked saxophonist. He was actually quite good. It was then, that I realized that I'd already been up since 5:30AM, and it was going on 2AM, so I headed back to my van, which was ready for me to curl up on my Hello Kitty pillow. In one night, I had seen more of the Playa than I had in just about all the other years combined. I fell asleep listening to the thumpa-thumpa of a rave spot just two camps down. It felt so good to be home.