This strange buzzard created by Kathy D’Onofrio greeted me out near the fence on the edge of Burning Man. “Cross over the fence,” he urged in a raspy, secretive voice that only I could hear. (Move the buzzard up and down with your cursor and the evil bird will wink at you.)
There is a fence on the outer edge of Burning Man that separates Black Rock City from the vast emptiness of the Black Rock Desert. Few people and fewer artists make the trek out that far but I felt compelled to. Wide-open spaces call to me and lure me on. This time they lured me right over the fence, but I am getting ahead of myself.
This photo of our journey outward toward the fence across the open Playa provides one perspective on the distance and isolation. A desert oasis awaits us on the right.
Looking back toward Black Rock City from the fence provides a different perspective. The Man is right center, a mere dot in the distance set off by an impending dust storm.
Peggy and Adios went with me on the journey. First we came to the oasis and then the alien village filled with cats and buzzards. Afterwards we found the gypsy wagon where our fortune awaited us. It is a tale best told in pictures…
Peggy stopped to rest at a desert oasis on our way out. It was the last stop before the alien village. Would it be our last stop ever?
“Come this way,” the alien woman with reddish-orange boobs beckoned us toward the family pod.
Her unplucked eyebrows bore a strange resemblance to a plucked bird. Had it been lunch?
Inside the pod, a blue, alien furtively showed us her fine collection of rocks. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)
Meanwhile, outside two male aliens discussed what to do with us while the fence looms ominously behind them. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)
They soon had Peggy dancing their twisted dance to unheard music. But my fate would be different. (Photo by Tom Lovering, AKA Adios.)
A bright green cat with glowing red eyes caught my attention as I exited the pod.
“Come closer,” his companion urged in an irresistible purr, “and look into my eyes.”
“You are as alien as we are,” she purred. “Cross over the fence. It’s what aliens do.”
I couldn’t help myself. Once again I was caught straddling the fence as I had on previous years at Burning Man. This time I went over…
And immediately discovered my mistake. Would I be able to get back across. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
“Help me Peggy,” I pleaded, assuming my best begging position. “Run Curt!” she yelled, as always helpful. The dreaded BRC Border Patrol was rushing toward me at 100 miles per hour and I was over the fence without a ticket. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
It was the feared R 15, the truck with the skull and crossbones. A prodigious leap took me back across the fence. Who says white boys can’t jump… even 70-year-old white boys. “Hey, you can’t do that.” the voice of the law called after me. “You’re too late,” I called back. “I have already been out and beyond and back.” (Photo by Tom Lovering.)
Our adventure wasn’t over, however. We decided to visit with another denizen of the lonely desert, the infamous fortune-teller, Gypsy Rose. Could she tell me whether I would become possessed by the aliens or captured by the BRC Border Patrol? And which would be the worse fate?
Gypsy Rose’s lonely camp.
Her horse was getting old.
Rose offered the services we wanted but I wasn’t sure about the belly dancing or pick pocket lessons. Maybe the latter– after all, my Burning Man name is Outlaw and I had been over the fence.
Unfortunately, Rose wasn’t home. Peggy, who has been known to dabble in I-Ching, offered to fill in. “You will meet a woman dressed in blue with a tie-die neckerchief and white hat and become her slave,” she predicted. Thus ended our adventure for the day. (Photo by Tom Lovering.)
NEXT BLOG: We will visit a seven-ton coyote and check out some of the other intriguing art of Burning Man 2013.