Travelogue: The Bus Goes to Burning Man

After hundreds of miles of traveling the West Coast, we  capped off our exciting summer by fulfilling a long-standing desire to attend Burning Man!

What the Heck is Burning Man?

For anyone unfamiliar with this unique event, it’s hard to capture its essence in words, but I’ll do my best to give you the most basic overview:

Burning man is an annual gathering that takes place in a remote corner of the NW Nevada desert at a place called Black Rock City. The “city” is a temporary metropolis that is created entirely by participants of the event and completely disappears after the festival ends. There are a number of distinct principles that serve as guidance for participants. Some things that make this event stand out are it’s commitment to non-consumerism and the requirement that each participant practice “radical self reliance”. It’s also an amazing playground filled with creative art, costumes, structures, music, workshops, and things to interest people of just about any persuasion, age, or background. In short – its fantastic!

Our First Burn Experience

As part of the whole self-reliance thing, we had to show up completely prepared to survive 10 days off-grid in one of the harshest camping environments we’ve yet to experience. Fortunately, we’ve passed a good deal of time boondocking in our bus, so we weren’t the least-prepared first-time Burners. Still though, there’s a lot we could’ve done better. The good news is that we toughed it out and came away with plenty of notes on how to make our camp better next time.

Driving through the salt flats of Utah.

Heading into Black Rock City. The dust caused near white-out conditions.

Daytime Camp Set-Up – Unfortunately, we had to pack the shade sail away each night since it didn’t stand-up well to wind.

Dust storm in BRC.

Justine, resting under our tiny shade sail. With day-time temps in the 100’s, this was barely enough to keep us from frying in the sun.

Biking the Playa – glad that we didn’t have any break downs like this guy!

Ryan, cruising the Playa during the day.

This swing set was a welcome place to stop and rest after crossing the Playa at high noon.

Justine at the Man.

The Man. (He’s at least two stories tall.)

LOVED the Dough Boy shrine at the Man!

The Temple, with an art car parked out front. Art cars were one of the things we loved the most about the experience.

Ryan, biking to one of our favorite art structures. The quality and scale of the artwork really blew us away!

So disappointed that we didn’t get to see this robot in action!

Our neighborhood – we were on the outer edges at 4:30 & K. As sunset approaches, new aspects of BRC are revealed.

This giant victriola was hand painted with panels reminiscent of Alphonse Mucha’s style. Oh yeah, it was also concert venue too!

Deep Playa – we found a lot of very interesting art along the trash fence at the outer reaches of BRC.

There’s that tower again – P.S. The top shoots flames every half hour!

Ryan, enjoying the artwork. Every leaf on the tree in the background was individually fabricated and wired with color-changing LED lights.

Victriola at Night.

Playa at Night. It’s all LED’s all the time.

The Man on Burn Night.

The Burn.

Post Burning Man

Though we tried to keep it out, by the end of the week the Playa dust covered every surface of our bus. After Burning Man, we spent over an hour at a car wash in Reno power washing all of the dust off the bus’ exterior. Cleaning the interior was another beast, and took us about 12 hours to wash everything inside the bus with a white vinegar solution. Four loads of laundry later and all traces of the Playa were gone.

Snapped while driving out of Black Rock City- the bus immediately after Burning Man.

Taking the bus to the car wash.

After 10 days in the desert, we were very ready for a chance of pace. So, after picking up our pets from their boarding facilities in Reno, we headed to Lake Tahoe and spent a week enjoying the cool, clear waters, and lush forests.

The perfect antidote to the desert.

Would we Go back?

Despite all of the prep work required and the harsh conditions, the answer to this question is a resounding HECK YES! We’re already excited about next year’s theme...




3 thoughts on “Travelogue: The Bus Goes to Burning Man

  1. John and Verla says:

    We went many times while you two lovelies were at Burning Man, to U-Tube to watch many videos about it. Hoping each time we would we would spot you. Ha, no such luck!!! Actually we found ourselves considering attending Burning Man also, sometime soon, Thank you for the pictures. Love to both, John and Verla


  2. Pops says:

    I CAN SEE WHY YOU WENT, AS ARTISTS IT MUST HAVE BEEN VERY INSPIRING AND AMAZING. Your G Ma would be prou of your adventures spirits. What a long strange trip it’s been.


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