2023: In Spite of Mud and Rain

Despite what you may have read in the news, Burning Man 2024 was actually pretty fun. We didn’t get to do as much as usual, thanks to the flooding. But it was still as unique a Burn as any other. This is a more accurate summary of MudBurn 2023.

The journey to Black Rock City was as complex as always. A flight to San Francisco, only this time from Dublin rather than Shanghai. One night in the city where we gather last minute supplies. Then, a bus from San Francisco over to Nevada, through the desert. I was used to the journey by now, and recognised a lot of the landmarks. The final landmark was a sight to behold, as always.

Black Rock City was in the final stages of being built. We were nearly home.

Once we got into the city, we planned to get the Burner Express buses so we were close to our camp. Unfortunately, our bus broke down and we were forced to try and walk. Black Rock City is bigger than you expect, and since you need to bring everything to survive for the week, we had a lot of luggage. Eventually a passing DPW volunteer saw us struggling and gave us (and others from the same bus) a ride to our camp.

During the Burn, we decided to experience food as much as possible. One camp was gifting ramen every morning, and we were lucky enough to catch it. Having lived in Asia for a long time I’ve eaten a lot of ramen, but it’s a wholly different experience finding some out here in the middle of an American desert.

Exploring the Deep Playa, we got to experience several art pieces that had been brought to the Burn. Despite the dust storm, we were able to interact with several pieces in the middle of nowhere. The storm only increased the atmosphere, isolating you in a smaller world where only you and the art exist.

Of course, later in the week the rain started. On the first night, several Burners ended up taking shelter in our D2D tent. We hosted them with food, tea, and whisky. We learned that night that whisky and chai was a great combination, so we may be having some dirty chai again next year.

The next day as the rain receded, we saw the hint of a gift.

Crawling out of the tent through the mud, we were able to get some beautiful shots of the rainbow.

The gifts kept on coming, as we found that the more artistic Burners had taken the opportunity to create some unique pieces of art. This one was entitled Erection after the Storm.

Leaving the Playa was a bit more involved. They didn’t want to bring the buses into the city due to the muddy conditions, so we had to take a minibus further out of the desert. Still, they had adapted pretty quickly to the new plan, and we were able to get off the Playa with only a 3 hour delay.

As we left I watched the queue that I always skip thanks to getting the Burner Express. As I left home once more I only have one thought. I can’t wait to be back.

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