Lay of the Land – Black Rock City, Nevada, United States

Monday was a long day, my first real day on the playa, and seemed like 48 rather than 24 hours. People were arriving throughout the day so there was still a feeling of unsettledness. I rode around on my bike a little bit scoping out the lay of the land. I was still in wonderment of the desert floor. The rough hardened earth cracked into an neverending maze was so foreign to me. I stared at the ground for sometime enthralled by the sheer beauty of its nature. I could already tell that the immaculate patterns would not last long after the thousands of burners trampled over them. Already the roads separating the sectioned streets were pounded down by the vehicles. The fine powdery dust would hang in the air creating a hazy cloud as a bike zoomed by.

Black Rock City is organized into a semi-circle with eight curved streets named according to that year`s theme. 2006 was that of “Hope and Fear” with streets called Anxious, Brave, Chance, Destiny, Eager, Fate, Guess, and Hope. There were camps set up from 2:00 all the way to 10:00 and art spotted around in 10-2 sandy baron desert. The Man, a giant neon electric blue glowing structure stood over 20 meters above the ground in the middle of it all.

Every block has several camps, many of them being highly interactive theme camps. The are no vehicles allowed except for art cars approved by the DMV (Dept of Mutant Vehicles). Most people drive around on bicycles in every shape size and color. The time and effort put into decorating some of these bikes was incredible.

At night, it was imperative that one be lit up as well as their bike with some lights or glow. This would distinguish burners from the darkness of the deep playa. I didn`t understand the importance of this rule until I actually almost ran over people who were walking, sleeping or erm… exercising in the middle of the playa. When there are no other lights around, the density of the blackness is like the deepness of the ocean floor.

Grateful for order.

This entry was posted in North America. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply