A different year for us this time around. We've decided to host a theme camp (Santa's Summer Sleigh)so, among other reasons, Mrs. Claus can give out over 2,000 objet d'art. Santa's sleigh is getting a retrofit, too. Touch up paint and, most importantly, a 150W solar panel on the roof to charge the battery that powers the front wheel. YeaHaa!
Pre-Playa prep is a real part of Burning Man . . . ask any Burner. It's starts for us, in earnest, early January. Planning, for sure, and Diana starts production of over 2,000 pieces of art, mostly in the form of necklaces. This is our gift and participation in the Burning Man experience. This year we decided to host a theme camp, too. Santa's Summer Sleigh camp is two dozen "elves", led by SantaMan and Mrs. Claus (Noel and Diana).
August 23, 24, 25- Hot but cooler than previous years. Less eventful, too. Left Greeley at 430p, after Diana's work day, US85 to I80 and straight west to Fernley, NV. Night stops in WY truck pull over about exit 140 and NV rest area exit 187. Friday we started at sunrise (6a) and drove until after sunset (9p) Fuel stop in Lake Point, UT, exit 99. Really lousy meal at Denny's. Great timing for lunch but need to try a different restaurant at this exit. Wow! Diesel in over $.40 per gallon more west of WY than in CO. Glad we started with 100 gallons. Walmart for fruit and showers at Desert Rose RV park on Saturday to turn in early and start early tomorrow.
Sunday, 26th- Easy, joyful entry! We had an EA (Early Arrive) pass so arrived about 8a and it was sooooo great. Fast and WONDERFUL greeters. They loved Mrs. Claus' Bacon necklaces and they all went to them : We found our location easily, BlackJack (a beautiful lady) described our layout and we got started. Beautiful cool, calm, morning. Blustery afternoon. Set up the solar powered sleigh then emptied the gear from bus rear and holds. Up top next, Diana did a great job cutting away the shredded tarp then Noel attached the crane and started throwing down carpet. A wonderful gentleman from an adjacent camp noticed our slow progress and enlisted some 20-somethings to finish unloading 10 times quicker than we could. Thanks! Then various guys helped throughout the after and most of framework was erected. Diana and Noel crashed about sunset . . . a good days work. Bernard, a wayward elf, joined in to help and camp about 3p and three more elves joined the camp about 11p and rested for a busy next day.
|Time lapse of Sunday setup|
Monday 27th- All attacked the final details of the camp bright and early. Finished the framework and covered it with Aluminet. Elf One, Two and Three took on the duties of decorating and signage. Another long day but great results even in a strong afternoon dust storm. 4p Santa Sno went well too! And, as always, Mrs. Claus' creations are enjoyed by all. She out did herself yet again this year . . . making ONLY 1,700 pieces. Oh, Santa's Summer Solar Sleigh works well, so far, but we haven't taken a looonnng trip yet. The playa is very soft so get bogged down easily.
|Time lapse of Monday setup|
Tuesday 28th- Shade/chill space not doing well. 8+ hours of 20+kt winds with gusts to 60+ is tough on all BRC structures but this one is very flexible but not connected well. Well, so far, it provides good shade and dust abatement and hasn't crashed completely. Shower is up but unused as yet.
Brittany/Sarah and Bernard did the Santa Sno (Cones)at 4p and did a great job. NV Dept. of Health stopped by and passed us quickly. Yeah! Winds and dust lessened at sunset again . . . but we turned in early : Still missing seven of our expected campmates . . .
Wednesday 29th- Quiet morning. "Watermelon Wednesday" Santa Sno went well at 4p. Diana and Noel drove the sleigh to the Man that evening and it crashed her off the back along a bumpy return. Good fortune is all that kept her from major injury. Trike still functioned with a single person, after some adjustment, and dragging it several blocks back to camp. Guess I spoke/wrote too soon . . .Thursday 30th- "Meltdown Mango Thursday" was a hit with Santa Sno. Continue to secure the shade structure in high winds. The 3 elves move to other quarters so camp was smaller and we gift some space to adjacent camps. Now on bike and trike, we trekked to the Temple, dropped off Dad's ashes and other memorabilia. Also, wrote the names of some fallen friends on the Temple.
Next was the simultaneous burning of the 40 CORE (Regional BMs) projects. Mighty cool! We stayed mostly by the Colorado project - a dragon and lotus flower - that burned beautifully. Rain in the night . . . light but NEVER experienced it here before.
|Time lapse of Thursday along 4:10 and Dandelion|
Friday 31st- Nasty winds and dust storm day. We did get to the 3:00 plaza in the morning and gave hundreds of Mrs. Claus' wonderful necklaces out to the line of folks waiting to buy ice. Burner's love them! The afternoon's "Fertility Friday" Santa SnoCones - Passion Fruit flavored - went well despite the wind and near collapse of the chill space. We pulled the Aluminet from the structure just before dark. Burning of Wall Street cancelled due to winds.
Saturday 1st- A breezy morning and looked to be another day like yesterday. However, it improved and was a great day - weather and otherwise. Suicide Saturday Santa SnoCones a hit (three past flavors available - mix 'em all for "suicide"). Mrs. Claus and Santa rode to center camp and gave out all but a few of the last hundred or so of Diana's great art pieces. Fun to talk with such appreciative Burners.
We got help from some great Burners - Jason, Lucas and April - to tear down and hoist to the bus roof. What great neighbors. I sure hope we hear from them this winter . . . Also, Linda and Brittany couldn't have helped more . . . what great camp mates. Our two newest elves, Bernard and Ray also pitched in as they could. Thanks all!
The Man Burn was fabulous! Took dinner snacks at sunset and got a front row seat. Great new friends around us and the hottest burn ever! Wow! Long day and long walk back on twisted knee but all worth it.
|Wall Street Burn video by another burner.|
Sunday 2nd- Finished packing odds and ends and left by 11a. Long drive out but no backup delays. Got to Fernley by 2p, trash dumped at Love's Truck Stop, vacuumed the front 1/3 of bus, showered at Desert Rose, ate at Black Bear, did laundry and crashed.
September 3 & 4- Uneventful . . . that's a good thing!
Great time had by all . . . High for the week was 103*F and low of 40*F. Everyone was an asset to the camp and added to the others enjoyment. Bus ran great, Santa SnoCones a hit, Diana's art was great and appreciated by over 1,700 Burners. It may be the dustiest year in several but mostly great weather. Shared a lot, hugged a lot, laughed and was amazed a lot. Made a lot of new friends and enjoyed old acquaintances. Just a week in the desert . . .
Post Playa odds and ends . . links to various images and videos discovered after the event.Satelite Image (Santa's Summer Sleigh Camp circled in red at 4:10 and Dandelion) take August 30th at 1140a PST