Entering the Gates – Black Rock City, Nevada, United States

We arrived to the outer limits of the line shortly after midnight when the gates opened. All I could think about was going to the bathroom after the couple of beers we had during the last rest stop. Just when I thought my bladder would burst, we pulled up to the porta potties. I have never been so relieved in my life.

I went to the ticket pick up window and the kind man who sorted me out, gave me my first gift. He had made a laminated card with a coded map of the playa which would be very handy for someone like me. I thanked him then proceeded through the gates where I got to ring the virgin bell. Security checked out our van (I was now riding with Dylan and Casey) and waved us through.

Shattered from the intense dramas of that day, I could only think about finding somewhere to sleep. The air was cool and I could see the dust illuminated by the lights people had set up here and there. I couldn`t really make out the direction of things or what was where through the darkness. I sensed that not alot was going on but that most people were just working on building their camps. Though I was curious as to my new surroundings, I was feeling emotionally raw so I chose rest first. It was about 2am and I opted not to attempt tent set up in my current state.

I found my sleeping stuff then crawled into a big white dome I was told I could sleep in. I was careful to be quiet as I spread out my bag next to the 10 or so sleeping people. Although I didn`t know anyone here yet, I exhaled and noticed that I was feeling strange. I was experiencing a feeling I hadn`t felt in a while. It felt peaceful. I felt safe.

Today I am grateful for fortitude.

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