Entering the Playa with amazing ease seemed almost too good to be true. There was no car search, no tickets were needed. Playa name “Jesus”, Swedypie donned me, “What you just did is a miracle, I have been coming to Burning Man for 14 years and this doesn’t happen”.
“Well, today you experience something new”, I said.
I did my homework, I reviewed as much information online as I could to prepare me for the adventure I was about to take on, all the people I chatted with gave me a new piece of knowledge I yearned to obtain. While I was going alone, I knew I would not be alone. My ability as a connector continues to shine in my life and I do all I can to foster those who cross my path.
Continuing to ask myself, how can I help those around me?
Tuesday, Sept 27th, 2018, early in the morning I caught a cheap $40 flight from Denver, Colorado to Reno, Nevada in search of a Burning Man ticket. Tips shared by friends, I made my way to the Wal-Mart on 2nd Street in Reno. After enjoying the day connecting with every person who crossed my path, a friendship started to form, Marcel, from Berlin, Germany.
Wednesday night we camped near the river outside the Wal-Mart turning in shortly after sunset. I was looking forward to a good nights sleep as I knew something was going to happen, I was going to make it happen. All my life I have been continuously rewarded by good intentions and making shit happen. Plans don’t always work out, let’s continue to keep this in mind. As I setup my hammock and Marcel setup his tent, I noticed a little movement in the rock bed along the river. It was a skunk, I will admit, this could be a drastic change. Everything happens for a reason!
Getting sprayed by a skunk would have meant a change of plans in every way possible. I played cool, hopped in my hammock, and took a deep breath. The furry creature simply wanted to forge around and be left alone, we agreed to a peace treaty.
As Thursday started, I rose early with the sun to enjoy coffee and a few delicious budget items at Wal-Mart. It was becoming clear to me that the big rush to Burning Man was reducing as the mass arrival to the playa was drawing to a close. There were far fewer travelers stocking up for their Burning Man Adventure.
I was not interested in spending another night at Wal-Mart. I thought to myself, people still need rides from the airport to the Playa. I’m going to rent a vehicle and support those in need, bringing them into Burning Man as a delivery driver. In total there were 5 in transport including myself. 2 had tickets and 3 did not.
My idea was to leave around 3pm taking the 3 hour journey from Reno to Black Rock City arriving in the evening. By arriving in the evening this gave the best chance to have a reduced entry staff. The temperature in the desert drastically reduces once the sun goes down. After putting in a long day I also figured the staff would be hungry and managing a shift change.
Putting “Burning Man” into Google Maps we were on our way. Enjoying the beautiful views, managing the speed limit against all the opposing police forces. We made it!
What I didn’t know was that the route Google Maps had presented was the vendor entrance. The White Tahoe XL was not only selected for its size and space inside but also for it’s dominating appearance on the exterior. This is the same vehicle, event security will typically use. The one lonely soul managing the gate seemed to be asleep, somewhat in the distance. I followed the signs and proceeded at 20 mph. The next thing you know we were entering Burning Main around 10:30 & J.
Laughter, smiles and high fives were given. My 1st Burning Man experience is unique, the Playa provides, are you going take a risk and make things happen.
If none of this worked out, the idea was to take the vehicle and explore. I explored Burning Man with open arms and endless energy.