This was my 4th Burn and my favorite year yet. I've always heard the wow factor goes away and you become jaded. But that is so not the case for me. I see it in some of my friends for sure, even those who got me into Burning Man.
However at year 4 it was so amazing that I can't wait for next year and will do my best to make it better for me. You make your Burn, and I don't mean how prepared you are or what you bring. I am so minimal out there. Cliff bars, tuna, crackers and baby wipes. I mean the mentality you bring and what you do with your time. That's how to better your Burn. Don't blame the art or the music, blame yourself.
So where do we start?
The Weather. This was obviously the best this year. I wasn't even aware it was possible to have a Burning Man without dust storms. I assumed that was every year forever. But after the Monday Tuesday entrance dust went away it was perfect all week. I mean wow! Not that hot, clear, calm and not to mention the hardest Playa I have ever walked upon making it the easiest to bike on as well. My first year in 2008 it was just piles of mush and riding a bike was almost stupid.
I also enjoyed that we had no moon at night, that brought out more stars.
Rites of Passage. For me that was kind of a big one. I wasn't so excited when it was announced but I never got to go to my Dad's funeral and during the course of the year leading up to Burning Man I came across my dad's ashes for the first time. So I did it myself, alone, at the Temple of Transition amongst a sea of people on their own personal journeys. It was beautiful. I waited till sunrise after being up all night and having one of the best nights ever. Seriously.
I buried him in the center and wrote on the Temple for him. "Dad, you don't know it but you're at Burning Man." And I must say this was the best Temple I have seen out of all 4 years so it was a perfect place for me to burry him. After that I took this video(watch it), was pretty down, depressed, had been crying quite a while, even after the amazing night I had. So I picked happy looking people to talk to and they were more than willing to cheer me up after that. people are so nice, all you have to do is say I need a friend and they're there.
Anti-Sound Camp. Ok, yay massive concerts on the desert floor surrounded by fire shooting structures. I get it. But to make that your only journey every night is a Burn Kill if you ask me. I went a few times to see Infected Mushroom and Beats Antique because that is what others wanted to do. But after that I avoided them unless it was like sunrise and I was on the way home or something. Otherwise I explored the playa, art, avenues, open bars, small clubs and just met a lot of people. So many awesome people that you would never meet at a sound camp.
Art Car Parties. Seriously if you just havvve to have a sound camp but want something better, go to an art car party on the Playa. Very good for sunrises after The Temple. Robot Heart was amazing this year.
Photos. In case you haven't guessed I like to take photos and this year I was having so much phone it somehow encouraged me to take more photos. I am pretty happy with them and hope you liked them too.
People! I mean if you don't just go out and meet people you're missing out on what you're surrounded by and who's bringing it out to the Playa. People are bringing it! I heard people complaining that there are "too many virgins". Really? So what, it sold the fuck out and everyone showed up on Monday and left after the Temple on Monday. Virgins are doing it right you jaded Burners that leave after The Man. I met a lot of really awesome virgins from local and all over the world. I asked them all the same question, "So are you coming next year?", and they all said yes no way would I miss this. I admire them. But seriously, wasn't this the crackingest Monday you ever had? Like the city was built in a day, not Monday-Thursday like my last 3 years.
Gifting. I love the reactions you get when you gift people. Everyone loved my gifts and they were so thankful and happy to have something so bright. They were very practical, if you got one you know.
I also bring a shit ton of Capri Suns along just to hand out when it's super hot out and they're ice cold. People love that.
Exploring. Staying away from camp. This year I camped at Bonetone with all of my homies(17 of us?) but I was never there. I would come home for naps, cleaning, making gifts to take out that night, eating, switching clothes and such. But other than that I spent as much time out as possible. And away from the sound camps. Doing things in the day can be just as fun as at night. As long as you don't drink too much in the sun and get that evening nap in, you can do both.
Actually, I'm looking to camp with new people in 2012 instead of the friends I have camped with the last 4 years. I know them all and see them all in the Bay year round. Burning Man is a great place to meet new people so I'm up for that. If you think I would be a good addition to your camp then please contact me.
Anyways, I'm gonna cut this short because I'm over typing and I doubt anyone is even reading this. If you are, awesome, hope you enjoyed the photos. I may add more to it later. I have left out all the more personal experirncses and stories because those are mne and who I decide to share them with face to face. But you get the idea, Burning Man was amazing.
I'll see you guys in 2012! And if we met in 2011 please feel free to add me on facebook.
Thanks for enjoying,
You should watch the Temple video below. I took it right after I buried my Dad downstairs in the center.
And while we're at it, here's Infected Mushroom Live at Opulent Temple, Burning Man 2011, Rites of Passage.
Hot Shot the talking robot.
Dr. Seuss's last book Oh, the Places You'll Go at Burning Man 2011
This video was taken by someone else but it's a great little candid journey into Burning Man. It shows the Temple Bells, Earth Harp sunset set and much much more.