Tales From The Playa – Adventures At Burning Man




(Cover photo credit:

We’re back from Burning Man- a festival in the middle of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada- with wonderful memories and about 12 pounds of Playa dust in my hair. The concept of Burning Man is a wonderful one- in a temporary city of 65,000 people, no one buys or sells- gifts are exchanged. If you’re setting up camp or a wheel comes off your bicycle, there’s always an immediate offer of assistance. Strangers hug you, shouting joyfully “Welcome Home!” because for most Burners, this is home- at least the idealized one we wish we could take into the real world.



The first reason to visit the Playa (the vast stretch of dust where the Man and most of the art and sculpture is placed) is for a visit to the Man, who’s burned at the end of the festival. He wasn’t up yet, so we hit the Temple, a beautiful space filled with tens of thousands of wishes, hopes, mourning those passed and resolutions for the future. It’s an extremely emotional moment, and strangers (including us) find themselves hugging other strangers to offer comfort.





Then, there’s the art! My favorite installation this year was The Lighthouse- a wildly off-kilter display of gravity defying lighthouses filled with incredible notes, pictures and artifacts during the day, and then the sucker sends up huge gouts of flame at night!

Some other favorites…


The Pyramid: with many, many tiny little steep steps. Many. You’ll note by my head gear that this is a bright moment in between two massive 40 mph windstorms.




Some other favorites…


This is a two-story wildebeest. That’s a lot of wildebeest.



The Love Dragonflies. Note The Todd standing under the right-hand one for scale. These suckers were gigantic.


Sigh…and yes, even in the middle of the freaking desert, my violent clown phobia is stoked once again. (shudder) Clowns. They ruin everything!


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