Walkabout at Burning Man 2012

Burning Man is crammed with interesting people. Getting to know your neighbors is an adventure. Panzachual lived next door to us in the Dharma Dinosaur Camp and would stop by frequently to chat. One night he joined us for dinner. His group came from New Orleans and his costume was created by a prominent New Orleans clothes designer.

The thing about Black Rock City is it is big and bursting with creative energy. There is no way a person can see or do everything. Art is missed, lectures skipped, and late night performances slept through.

The Greeters handed Peggy and me a 160-page events catalogue and a map when we entered Burning Man on Tuesday. I checked out the day’s activities we were invited to attend. There were 360. That’s right… three hundred and sixty! It would take an hour just to skim through what we might do.

For example, I could go to the Moroccan Tent and energize myself with “some endorphin boosting exercise.” Or I could visit The Children of Chaos and obtain “Jewish Motherly Advice.”  Both sounded like things I needed.

Most great adventures involve moving beyond your comfort zone. I found this sign on a sculpture out in the Playa. It definitely applies to the majority of people who visit Burning Man for their first time.

I could learn to belly dance, make necklaces, twirl fire, pole dance, spin hula-hoops, create balloon hats and juggle balls. If I were shy, an alcoholic or had Bi-polar disease, there were caring people ready to help. I was invited to eat popsicles, spaghetti, hot dogs, pancakes, and Miso soup or do beer tasting, wine tasting, whiskey tasting and tea tasting.

Was I up for a naked pub-crawl? Did I need a lesson in bondage?  I had my choice of several types of meditation and yoga. Would I go to the prom, a popcorn feast or a lecture on unified physics? Maybe I should dress up in pink and pop over to the Pink, Pink, Pink Party.

You get the point. The number of choices is overwhelming. There is something for everyone at Burning Man. You are invited to be yourself or someone you have always fantasized being.

As an introduction to Burning Man, I advise newcomers to go on a Walkabout or Bikeabout and simply absorb the atmosphere… and then jump in.

Journey out into the Playa or down any road. While-away an hour… or four, at Center Camp. Poke your head into an interesting tent. Become involved in an animated conversation with a stranger. Go out at 2 PM and 2 AM. Climb to the top of a sculpture. Pick an event you couldn’t imagine going to and go to it. Allow your imagination to run wild. Maybe you will even find something that changes the way you perceive the world.

Today’s photos include a potpourri of things Peggy and I found amusing at Burning Man 2012 in our camp or on our walkabouts and didn’t include in previous posts.

My next blog will focus on the burning of the Man and be the last in this series.

Every street, in fact almost every block, contains something of interest. Peggy found this display of Mr. Potato Heads when she was on a walkabout. There must have been at least a hundred of them. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)

Center Camp is much more than a place to buy coffee and iced tea. Expect performances of some type almost any time of the day. Or just go to people watch, to see and be seen. Here Punkin and Luna relax in their formal evening attire after a busy night on the Playa.

Most Burners enjoy having their picture taken. They have gone to a lot of work on costumes, bikes, mutant vehicles, performances and art. A photograph is a form of recognition. For individual shots, it is proper to ask first. Often a fun conversation will take place. I loved this bike.

We came across this wonderful creation by Steve Blake out near the Temple. I dubbed it the Bauble Bike.

I was photographing a tall llama mutant vehicle when this six-foot-six guy jumped into the scene. I think he may have been the llama’s creator. Anyway, I found him as interesting as the llama.

This attractive, pregnant gal with pasties and a DNA model outside of Silicon Village invites people into the camp. All large camps offer events for Burners to attend. Among Tuesday’s Silicon village offerings was an opportunity to learn how to build yurts. Another was on sensuality. BTW, most Silicon Villagers come from the Silicon Valley. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)

This is here because it has to go somewhere. Radical Self-Reliance, one of the Ten Principles of Burning Man, requires that Burners bring their own food. We are always amused that Don, AKA Scout, a retired judge and member of the Horse-Bone Tribe, considers this a gourmet lunch. The sun is serving as his oven. He eats right out of the can. “Why waste dishes?” (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)

I’ll conclude with this little desert fish because it says to me you never know what you will find at Burning Man. (Photo by Beth Lovering) Next blog: The Man Burns.

11 comments on “Walkabout at Burning Man 2012

  1. Oh the bike is to-die-for cool.. I want that bike!!!..i have so enjoyed your sharing BM with us all.. Visually, I was sort of there:-)
    In reading your note up there, do Grand Canyon next.. I have always wanted to go there..

  2. Pingback: Auggernaut – Cheshire Cat Tricycle Redux

    • Just now catching up, Augustin. It’s been a crazy summer topped off by Burning Man. Sorry I didn’t see your comment earlier. I am jumping over now to check out your link. I posted my first post Burning Man 2014 blog yesterday. What a trip… as always. –Curt

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