Apologies, Guests, Burning Man, Exit Planet Dust
Tina and I went to Indiana in August to work GenCon Indy. Things went well financially and logistically for both Hero Games and the GPA. When the convention concluded, Belgian novelist Dirk Vandereyken returned to Gerlach with us for a brief vacation in the desert. We had a very strange, very amusing time that included cooking, watching movies, and drinking at Joe's Gerlach Club. As soon as Dirk left, my former business partner Dominic Lawrence came out to go rattlesnake hunting and fishing. The snake hunting didn't go so well, but our afternoon spent fishing on Pyramid Lake went (if you'll forgive the expression) swimmingly. Though we had to catch and release, we pulled up dozens of cutthroat trout. They put up a real fight, providing terrific sport that was worth more than even a nice meal. The day after Dominic returned to San Francisco, Tina's old friend Max arrived for Burning Man. The two of them went out to the Playa and set up camp on Thursday, but I stayed behind to do ranch work until Friday, at which point I entered the festival by motorcycle.
In spite of the fact that it was a particularly hot (90 to 100 degrees), crowded (est. 48 - 65 thousand people), and dangerous year (three deaths, one child abandonment), I enjoyed Burning Man 07 greatly. In retrospect I think that there are several reasons for this. The first is that I was uniformly sober. Oh, I tried to get drunk one night, but there were just too many interesting and strange things to see, so I simply gave up on drinking. Plus a belly full of beer doesn't go well with jumping on trampolines, spinning about on giant merry-go-rounds, and watching heavily pierced punks fighting it out in a Tina Turner/Mad Mel inspired Thunderdome. Another reason I enjoyed this particular Burning Man is because I left a couple of times to go home, take a shower, use a real bathroom, and cook myself a meal. Being a local comes with some real perks. Finally, I spent the actual evening of the Burn riding around on a modified German Unimog, which gave me an entirely different perspective on the entire event. Since I'm getting a little old for "partying," and am definitely far too married for chasing skirt, I think an art car would be a nice thing to make for this event - especially since I have the space and workshop to create one.
Finally, although as I write this I'm suffering an allergic reaction brought on by the enormous cloud of smoke blown into the Hualapai Valley by a fire near Susanville (where they have - or at least had- trees I hear), last week saw the first rains in the Black Rock Desert in 84 days! Yes, it's been an outstandingly dry year. Northwestern Nevada has suffered one of the worst draughts in recent (and possibly recorded) history. Our neighbors the Jacksons, who have lived their entire lives in this valley, have never seen it this dry. But the other day it rained for almost ten whole minutes, briefly forcing me to go in search of a rain jacket. Consequently, it has been a lot less dusty around here. Good times, good times!