Last Stop – Lakeview, Oregon, United States

Our last day before heading to Black Rock City and we were ready. We all woke before nine so we could enjoy the natural hotsprings at the motel. As it was Sunday, we had to get our use in before they pulled the plug to do the weekly cleaning. I hopped out of the van and made my way to the pool where I found Dylan, Casey and Anna well into their bath.

I waded into the smooth hot waters keeping my sunglasses on to shield from the glaring sun reflecting of the pool. We met several others who were also on their way to Burning Man and learned some interesting facts. Tim who owns the hotel told us all about how things have changed from the days of the first burn. He was careful not to say much as he didn`t want to color our experience too much with his own opinions. After I felt I had enough of the healing soft waters, I went for a shower. I took my time as I understood this to be my last real good wash for more than a week. Better make it a good one.

I puttered around getting things ready for our departure and psyching myself up for the drive to the playa. I was grateful to have had a nice peaceful rest at Hunters Hot Springs before heading into the craziness what would be called Burning Man. It was truly an oasis in the middle of the desert.

We pushed off and made just a few short stops to load up with supplies. We shopped for snacks and food stuffs we may need at the grocery store. I began to feel the excitement welling up when I saw other burners stockpiling water, granola bars, and wet naps. We ooohed and ahhhhed at the decked out art cars making their way through. The parking lot was filled with trucks, vans and cars all packed to the tilt with gear and bikes.

We grabbed a last meal at the local Mexican restaurant which turned out to be a great idea indeed. I wasn`t really that hungry so decided to have just dessert consisting of Fried Ice Cream. Due to the oversized portions, I did end up tasting some of Anna`s food which was also quite delicious. I particularly enjoyed speaking with our server who was quite obviously new. I clattered along in my broken Spanish doing my best but still feeling like a two year old, as one does when they trying to learn a language. She seemed to understand me well enough and I was proud of myself for trying. I remember what it was like on a hard day communicating in Argentina and someone would rescue me with trying their English. No matter how bad it was, the effort meant a lot.

I drove for a little while and Joey caught some zzzz`s but jerked him into wide awakenedness when I didn`t realize how sensitive the brakes were. That was the end of my van driving career. We had noticed a high number of cops zooming around and attributed it to the fact that we were only an hour away from Black Rock City. We ended up pulling Anna into the Schwagon because it had enough seatbelts in case we got pulled over. I had secretly been hoping that we would just to add a little spice to the trip. I knew we were all legit so there was really nothing to worry about, right? Wrong.

Today I am grateful for anticipation.

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