Dusty Dirt Devils – Black Rock City, Nevada, United States

James told me about some pyramid type structure that was filled with turf. Green grass in the middle of the desert! I was all over that like white on rice. After getting a little lost, we finally found the place. True enough, as I took off my shoes and ducked into the large tent my barefeet landed upon a spongy, fresh lawn of green grass.

There were people sprawled out sleeping, reading, talking quietly, and playing guitar. I found an empty patch and laid stomach down contemplating the healthy blades of grass before me. I breathed as deeply as I could and truly, it was like a ocean wave of pure air washing over my lungs. Although I had taken to wearing a dust mask or bandana over my mouth and nose, sometimes it felt like I had inhaled half of the playa. This was a welcome relief to my respiratory system which by now was caked in the fine talc.

I wrote a little then decided I should take out my braids. I was feeling so fresh and just wanted my hair to get a little air as well. It probably wasn`t the best idea but I heard that there was a hair washing station somewhere. I resolved to find it before my hair got too tangled and nappy. I realized as I carefully untwisted my long strands that they had already begun to dread. Yes, a good washing was definitely in order.

Suddenly people started streaming into the Grass Pyramid at a quicker rate. The murmuring escalated to a more energized chatter and I wondered what it was all about. Apparently, they was a BIG dust devil on its way and headed straight for us. Oh that`s fine, I thought to myself, feeling safe and protected I settled deeper into my pillowey sodness.

A minute later as the noise of the impending storm intensified, I jumped up remembering that I had left some things in my bike basket. I had to go rescue them before they became victims of the tornado. I peeked out and my mouth dropped at the sheer size and power of what was coming for us. The thing was at least 3 times bigger than the one I had seen earlier! I didn`t even have time to put on my shoes as I scrambled over to my bike grabbing my stuff before literally diving back to shelter.

Seconds later, the whole tent flapped and rumbled being battered by the intense winds. I could see through the cracks nothing but brown wind whipping past. It really only lasted a minute or two but it was awesome. I was grateful to be inside such a relaxed and natural environment to experience my first Dust Devil.

Back at camp, fellow Cosmic Elves listened knowingly, amused at my very animated account of the Dirt Devil (I kept getting Dirt and Dust mixed up) almost sucking me up!

“And all of a sudden out of nowhere there it was! The biggest Dirt Devil in the WORLD! And it was huge and it was so loud and it almost got me but I was fast and jumped in the grass tent but it almost got me and it was so close I could even feel it on my toes and it was so powerful that it shook the whole tent and I think I even saw a cow flying by and I was lucky it didn`t take my bike and I thought it was gonna go forever and and and…”

In retrospect, now I can see why Seasoned Burners enjoy Virgin Burners so much. We are hyper stimulated and thrilled by just about everything. Like kids in a candy store, our enthusiasm is excessive. And that has to be worth something. Entertaining at least.

Grateful for Dust Devils.

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