From Kayaking the Cool Pacific to Bicycling the Hot Desert of Burning Man

One of our guides leads the way as we make our way between islands off the we make our way off the northwest coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

One of our guides, Julia, leads the way as we make our way between islands off the northwest coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Peggy and I just came off our kayaking adventure out of Fort McNeil on northwestern Vancouver Island. It was a great trip, complete with Orca Whales, good folks, and great food. I am sure there will be several blogs on the experience (grin). But now we are madly preparing for Burning Man. We take off today. Imagine jumping from kayaking in the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean to bicycling in the hot desert of Northern Nevada. Woohoo!

The burning of the Man gives Burning Man its name.

The burning of the Man gives Burning Man its name.

The annual event held in the Black Rock Desert of Northern Nevada ranges from wonderfully whacky to….  (Photo by Tom Lovering)

The art at  Burning Man ranges from wonderfully whacky…. (Photo by Tom Lovering)

…to magnificent.

…to magnificent.

To fill in on the missed blogs, I thought I would repost some stories on Bone. He is going with us to Burning Man. I suspect many of you have yet to meet him even though he figured prominently in my early posts.

Bone hitches a ride on a willing horse at Burning Man.

Bone hitches a ride on a willing horse at Burning Man.

Bone is a diminutive character four inches high and two inches across. Once he was part of a horse, just above the hoof. Now he is free and has an attitude.

Tom Lovering and I found him lounging in a mountain meadow above Lake Tahoe when we were backpacking the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail in 1977. He has been wandering the world ever since. He began his travels with Tom on a two-year exploration of Asia, Africa and Europe in the early 80s and then joined me on my six month 10,000 mile solo bicycle trip around North America.

And that’s just the beginning.

In 1990 the International Society of the Bone was created in Mazatlan, Mexico and Bone began wandering with others. He traveled with a women’s group to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and the base of Mt. Everest in Nepal, went deep-sea diving in the Pacific and Caribbean, attended a Presidential Press Conference with Bill Clinton (Is that a bone in your pocket?) and was blessed by the Pope in St. Peter’s Square. He had a close encounter with Piranhas on the Amazon, was kidnapped in Mexico and was seized by a custom agent in New Zealand. He has been to Burning Man 9 times.

Bone looks out on Mt. Everest in Nepal.

Bone looks out on Mt. Everest in Nepal.

And poses perilously on the railing of a boat traveling up the Amazon River. I caught him just as he was about to fall into the Piranhnah infested waters.

And poses perilously on the railing of a boat traveling up the Amazon River. I caught him just as he was about to fall into the Piranha infested waters.

Traveling to Mexico, Bone takes a break by resting on Chacmool, where hearts were once offered up as sacrifices.

Traveling to Mexico, Bone takes a break by resting on Chacmool, where hearts were once offered up as sacrifices.

Checking out the rapids of the Little Colorado River as part of an 18 day trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon, Bone wears his life vest for safety.

Checking out the rapids of the Little Colorado River as part of an 18 day trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon, Bone wears his life vest for safety.

Tom Lovering goes native and wears Bone in his hair on the Colorado River trip.

Tom Lovering goes native and wears Bone in his hair on the Colorado River trip.

The Bone stories I will blog about this week are about how Tom and I found him. I wasn’t into photography at the time, so sorry, no photos.

29 comments on “From Kayaking the Cool Pacific to Bicycling the Hot Desert of Burning Man

  1. I hadn’t heard the tale of bone Curt. For you and your traveling friends, it’s a good thing you didn’t find a skull. Is bone an bone or is bone a fossil? It’s not easy to tell from the photos. Have a great time at BM. ~James

    • Bone is a real bone, James. He has little teeth marks on hime where he was gnawed on before I ‘rescued’ him from the Sierras. Sorry I took this long to get back to you. Burning Man has a way of stopping time and throwing you into another realm. –Curt

  2. The conjugation of fun: had fun, having fun, will have fun. Bone, too! Reminds me of that terribly sophisticated and cutting edge song from several years decades ago: “with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes and a bone in her nose, YoHo!”

  3. I’m back on the circuit. Phew! Very happy to be reminded of my kayaking childhood and to catch up with adventures of Bone (Pope’s blessing? Really?). Look forward to more Burning Man pics (I enjoy all of them except the Burning Man – fire makes me very uncomfortable, especially with the image of a human in it). The galleon is superb.

  4. Of course it must have been such a contrast to pass from the cool waters of the Pacific to the furnace of Nevada. But this Bone character is the most intriguing since I am one of your recent readers. His adventures are quite something! As always your photos are top and your descriptions of your trips filled with vivid details. Thank you for sharing while we sit reading you.

    • Bone is quite the character Evelyne. He was married at Burning Man last year to Bonette. 🙂 Would you believe there is an 80 plus year old in Kansas that makes clothes for him. –Curt

  5. I should mention that Bone was present….on the altar of the unique church where Curt and I married. He sort of comes with the territory…..grin! Peggy

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