Reporting from Black Rock City

Greetings from the Playa.

We’re on Day 4 of our 2018 adventure, hard at work on our camp build while acclimating to life in the desert. We’re thrilled to be here once again and very excited about the new ideas we’ve brought to camp this year.

Our camp serves as headquarters for the Temple Guardians and the site of Guardian training. This year’s Temple (Galaxia) is the biggest ever at 30,000 square feet and the build looks like a major construction project in some business park. As usual at this point in Playa prep there are rumors about whether the Temple will be completed on time, but such talk by individuals not involved in the build is mostly unreliable. Projects like the Temple look very incomplete until the final touches so there’s no way to judge the progress based on what we’ve seen so far.

Part of the Temple build site.

There are now five of us at the campsite and we’re making major strides quickly. However, arriving early presents an intimidating series of challenges. There’s not much to look at when you get here and it can be tough to find your way around with so few landmarks and no road signs. But as raw as everything looks, Black Rock City is already well developed, with streets and infrastructure in

How our campsite looked when we first arrived. Our RV looks pretty lonely out there all by itself. But things are improving quickly.

place and major art installations under construction. The DPW equipment yard is filled with an array of serious gear including forklifts, bucket trucks, cherry pickers, etc. The workers all seem cheerful and excited to be doing their jobs. No surliness among these men and women. One thing that’s notable out here is the sense of equality between the sexes. Women handle the same work as the men and are often in charge of major projects (for example, the head of the Man build team is a woman that we know from our years at Lamplighters).

It’s hard, hot work here and we tend to work early and late, taking siesta time in the heat of the day.  We don’t know what to expect beyond our own planned activities at this year’s Burn (which include the wedding of our son and future daughter-in-law).  When we arrived, there were not yet any Greeters to hand out the What When Where guides, and we’ll have to wait until around opening day on the 26th to get one.  We’ve already heard about the complete Boeing 747 that’s been transported to the Playa and is open for viewing and exploring.

The challenges of working in the Black Rock Desert: wind, dust, heat.

Had my first “trouble in paradise” experience yesterday when I put on our two sets of bike lights.  Turned out mine looked “better” according to Lashes, so I have to pull off the ones installed on her bike and put on new ones that match or exceed mine.  I simply cannot be better decorated than Lashes.

If I can remain connected on the web, I’ll report more over the time we’re here.  Meanwhile, we’re thrilled to be back “home” in Black Rock City.  Hope some of you can make it here as well!