Black Rock City 2011, August 26 – September 6 (satellite photo)

This documentary starts weeks before our annual trek to the dry lake bed of northern Nevada. While the preparation is no greater this year than in past but, as I'll illustrate, early documentation became necessary.

Annually the first preparation for Burning Man is Diana's art contribution to hundreds of burners. These gifts start in January and continues enroute and, to some degree, during our time in Black Rock City.

Bacon! . . . as a necklace

Themematic medallion that will have a necklace cord added

Obverse side

A pair of medallions, among dozens

Two another designs awaiting cords

Diana at her drill press

Drilling holes for a cord

Some of the hundreds of creations

A new playa vehicle is also in order. Electric power front wheel is added the day before we leave.

Our extra heavy duty trike. Made for factory transport of materials.

Alignment of chains - one of several adjustments needed.

The beginning of the second seat addition

2nd seat added and undercoated. Note addition of second set of wheels.

Diana paintin' it red

Friday, 8/26 – A VERY busy prep day, but made it in time to leave Windsor Town Hall at 5p. Took mom’s car back to her, with Harry’s help; built and mounted a rack to the front of the bus to carry the trike and prepped food and pack clothing into the bus. Whew! Made it to Ft. Bridger, WY Rest Area for a dinner and a good night’s rest.

Saturday, 8/27 – Discovered a small coolant leak on the morning’s walk-in. Trying to tighten the hose clamp but not much luck. Just adding as we go . . . Very hot day but only one overheat alarm as we just reach the pass on I-80 over the Watsach’s. Super! Lunch at Flying J at Lake Point, UT (the unofficial half-way point between Johnstown, CO and Fernley, NV) then nearly to Battle Mountain, NV for a cool evening’s sleep.

The Bus at fueling stop on I80

Side view . . .

Sunday, 8/28 – Nice and early start, stop at Winnemucca WalMart for last minute fresh veggies and bread, then to Desert Rose RV Park early afternoon. Some rest, showers and prep for a 6a start to the playa. Yay!

Monday, 8/29 – Off we go at 6a, as planned, with a quick stop at Love’s then north to BRC. We turned off the pavement about 9a and slowly moved to the greeter’s station until about 11a. A drive around the city hoping to find a spot as close to Center Camp as possible end us back at 455 o’clock and Hajj – same as last year. One of our next door neighbors is the same too. We were pretty settled in by 1230p – a new record. Weather is wonderful, in the low 90s and calm (for BRC, where there is always at least a light breeze). We took a ride on our new trike; the electric assist from the front wheel is super! We found a few friends from previous years; also one we’ve only IM’d. An employee of Noel’s, from 10 years ago, saw us riding the playa and we chatted for a while. Dinner and early to bed, preparing for a new day.

Noel driving

Line up into Empire

Passing through Empire

Store in Empire

More vehicles along roadside in Empire

Bruno's in Gerlach

BRC entry

Road in

Art car in line

Solar panelled truck in line

There really is a Black Rock High School in Gerlach . . .

Our "camp"

Santa's Summer Sleigh ready to go

Gifts to go

Back side of our "camp"

Our "neighborhood"

Looking up 5 o'clock to the Man

Tuesday, 8/30 – Let the gifting begin! We can barely go 100yds without a crowd gathering behind Santa’s Summer Sleigh. We do find a camp to make Pan-like horns’ of Polymer Clay but class was waaayyyyyy full. Ditto at the Tutu making camp (for Tutu Tuesday).  After lunch and a nap (yeah propane generator! Very small but enough and no stink!) in the A/C cooled bedroom, we have a dinner/snack and head for the open playa to see the man and other bright colored night treasures. This was a rather dusty night and we got turned around and saw a different set of art and missed the Temple but had fun. Santa’s Summer Sleigh is great with the “jeto-assist” electric front wheel. We get around now!

A bike repair camp (but no valve stem remover)

Group of admirers

This "Junk" crossed the Pacific

Art car

Piece infront of Center Camp

Hoola Hoop Camp

Extra large VW van

Circles of life

Art car

Trojan Horse will burn Friday

Costume Camp fashion show

Art car

Art car

Art car

Roller Disco - Roller Derby later

Willow tree

The Man

. . . striding accross the gap

Art car

Art car

The Trojan horse at night

Fire spinner along our road . . .

Wednesday, 8/31 – Headed for Center Camp, never made it inside for the throng of gift receivers. That’s fine with us! Got a block of ice (the one of two items sold on the playa) for cooling our drinks. A young lady that loooovvvveed Diana’s work, told us of a camp making metal and resin pieces so we had an intro to the lead artist and Diana made one (that “disappeared” by Friday when we tried to get the set piece). In the evening we found the Temple, left the names of family and friends that passed on the past year, and climbed to its heights. This year’s Temple, for us, is the most stunning and beautiful of all the seven we’ve seen. Marvelous! Next, visits to other art pieces and then to the Utah Fire Conclaves Fire Spinner’s show. Bedtime about 10p . . .

The bus comes alive . . .

Tall VW bus near Center Camp

Art car

Art car

Stilt walker in Center Camp

Onion top tent

Art car

Silver items . . .

Group of Lamplighters

Art car

Art car

Art car

Fire spinner

Coool trike

Giant speaker setup

Art piece

Large stage structure

Sculpture in the Temple

Stained glass in Temple

Looking across the playa from the Temple

The Man from the Temple

Looking up the Temple

Across the Temple

CORE project from AZ

Another CORE project

another CORE project

CORE from Ireland

another CORE

and another . . .

A pair of snakes

Art car

Thursday, 9/1 - Meltdown

Friday, 9/2 – One of the small rear wheels on Santa’s Summer Sleigh broke the valve stem so it won’t support both of us. We brought back up tubes for 24” and 26” bike tires but not for 7”. We did bring a backup bike, too, so we ride separate but close. Stove stopped working, too, but also have propane backup so got along fine . . . Back to get ice (to melt for water for the radiator, if need be) again, and was able to give out many more necklaces. After our usual lunch/nap/dinner routine we headed to watch the giant Pez dispenser burn. Not bad for a smaller piece (only 20ft tall) and had a fire spinner show first.  Next is the Flaming Lotus Girls' roller coaster (a.k.a Tympani Lambada) fireworks show. Spectacular! They have this about 30degree angle into the sky shooters that are amazing. Also, they use several different gasses to ignite into the air for brilliant color effect (propane, methane, argon . . . ) Back to our own bed . . . a verrry cold night (45*F) and bus has no heat (well, not easily – have a very hot propane heater that’s hard to control).

Corn palace in the inner circle

Awaiting the Burning Man winner

Here she comes . . .

The winner!

Trophy and all . . .

Art car

Jesus made it too . . .saw him on bike and her pulling the cross later

Up, up and away

Opening into the onion

The onion of solitude

Art car

Diana and Noel (Santa and Mrs. Claus)

. . . more admirers

The Temple


Some spiritual followers with Temple in the back

Art car

Thunderdome . . . sign says, "Days since last injury - 0"

Diana in Center Camp

Band in Center Camp

Another band . . .

The Man being prepped for the burn

Moon over the horizon

Fire spinners before PEZ burns

Pex begins to burn

Up in flame

Up in flames

Art car

Tympani Lambada of the Flaming Lotus Girls's

The fireworks begin


More fireworks

. . . and more . . .

. . .

Saturday, 9/3 – We trike to the ‘burbs and score! The outer folks loved Mrs. Claus’ gifts. They gifted back in spades! Five gallons of water (for radiator), 5lbs. of Red Vines, four coconut micro-beers, dozens of  other drinks, See’s candy and more, more, more. The last of over a thousand necklace gifted; over 2% of Black Rock City has one of Diana’s gifts.

In the trip to the 'burbs . . . pedaling to make water

Dope a Pope

Murals of the "Pope"

Seed of Life under the arm . . .

Lamplighters march

Sunset by the Man

Art car

Lamplighters march on . . .

Hanging the lamps

Practicing before the burn

Art car

Sunsetting as the Man plans to burn

. . . comes the Man

Spinners before the burn - about 2:30 o'clock - if you want to see more spinner pics, let me know

The spinners sitting to watch the burn too

The Man's arms are raised

Real burning Men!

The flames begin . . .

Fireworks first


Still standing . . .

. . . and down he comes

. . . as the flame retards

Puffers in the distance

The crowd rushes in!

The throng closes in!

The pinnacle of the day is the burning of the Man . . . we arrived way early. Sunset or so would have been soon enough. Great day with a great ending.

Sunday, 9/4 – Pack and off by noon. Minimal exodus wait (yay!) Stop for evening shower and rest before the three day (uneventful) trek to Colorado . . .

Sunset over the Bonneville Salt Flats

Sat photo the night of August 31, 2011