Burn (Continued)

3 tickets- If all goes well, I will be standing at the gates of Black Rock City in exactly 6 months, with my friend by my side, a fortune in my back pocket and an appealing rump in my palm- in order of how “well” it went (and also, likelihood).
The first hurdle was taken in an attic, with 2 people in front of 4 flickering screens on 2 different IP addresses, automatically refreshing every 30 seconds, resulting in a 10 minute emotional rollercoaster of successive hope and disappointment every 7.5 seconds on average as the website bumped us again and again. Maniacal, yes, but it is the only tactic that works.
Pro tip: If you really want those tickets to that thing you and everyone else likes, obsessive behavior will get you there- nothing less.

And thus, the madness begins, drawing faith from the idea that it is possible because countless others before us have done it. My travel pass expired, my photo lens is malfunctioning, we have no means of transportation to, in, or around the site, and I can’t figure out if I want to take my traveller’s hat or my London bowler.

It would appear that we are expected to bring our own food and water. For 10 days in the desert under normal conditions, this would imply: 10 days*2.5 liters*2ppl= 50 liters, plus dry food. That is insane. Also, we are supposed to bring bikes, which might (or might not) help with transportation, but where we are supposed to get those is a big fucking mystery.

Provisions: A mystery. Funding: A riddle. Accommodation: A fucking enigma. We know next to nothing. But that’s fine by me: We can make it work. We have just shy of 6 months, but there’s a buttload of stuff to do before then:

– Passport. Mine has expired. Gotta get that fixed.
– Drivers’ license. Best case scenario, we can rent/buy a car in the States but I’ll need a drivers’ license and get it internationalized or whatever.
– My camera! At the moment, it’s in no state for such a trip and about 40% of why I want to go is the taking of photos. I need to find the best lens I can get for the job- mine are so worn, they’re useless. I want to get the best gear or I’m going to miss crucial shots.
– Most of my budget will go to transportation, about 70% of it. Any way to keep those from getting out of hand, we should consider.

Next week, I’ll be doing 5 productions in 2 countries to make as much money as possible, without having to resort to jobs I know I don’t enjoy. I’m really hoping for some financial stroke of luck but so far I’ve been getting the opposite, rendering my savings from the past 2 months non-existent. So, that expensive-ass desert tent will have to fucking wait.

The disaster that is our preparation is dwarfed by one fact, however:
We’re going to Burning Man. And we’re sticking around in the US for a week or 6. And driving or being driven, we’re going to have ourselves a good old-fashioned road trip to put all other road trips to shame.

Stay tuned and if you live in the US and want to meet, know anyone worth wile in the US, know anything worth wile in the US, or know anywhere worth wile in the US, drop me a line in the comments below.
Or eastern Canada. I’m not picky.

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One response

  1. Glad you get to make the trip. I doubt you want these tips from me, but since I’ve lived in the US for a few months, and since I’ve done my own research, I’ll offer them anyways. Take them or leave them.

    Food: It’s not fucking cheap. I have a European friend living in Canada and she said she was shocked by how expensive everything is. Luckily, it’s not as costly in America, but having said that, if you are looking to survive for 10 days in a desert (nevermind anything else you want to do on top of that), you’re looking at spending probably $200, with water included. Funny enough, it would probably be cheaper to buy a ton of soda pop and survive on that. Welcome to the American Way. Everything healthy is expensive. I am, of course, overestimating the cost of things. Better safe than sorry, though.

    Car: If you’re lucky you might be able to find a broken down piece of shit car that may or may not break on you for about $300. Rentals are likely to be even more expensive, especially since they will insist on you getting insurance and the like. Also keep in mind, gas is quite pricey here as well. On a quick search it is about $3.5 per gallon, and it’s bound to go higher come summer because that’s just what happens. It would probably be more cost efficient to buy a pedal bike somewhere, although you’re going to have to keep in mind that lugging all that stuff on your back (not that you’re not used to it by now), in the desert with ten days of supplies of food and the like…it’s not going to be fun. Having said that, from what I understand there is a bus type deal where it takes you into town (for a cost) and you can buy provisions at a corner store of some kind. Keep in mind, it isn’t going to have very much as it’s not a big city they’ll be going to, especially if there is a good number of people looking to stock up. Either way, it is an option, but I wouldn’t rely on it.

    License: I really don’t know how this will work out for you. If it’s anything like getting a standard driving license, it probably takes a few weeks to get. Time that I rather doubt you have. Perhaps that isn’t the case for foreigners. I suppose I’m just warning you of the chance.

    Nights: Bring ear plugs. Just because you feel like sleeping at some point doesn’t mean the rest of the occupants do. And again, because it’s a desert, you need to pack for two different seasons. I’m not 100% sure how it is out there, but to my understanding it gets ridiculously cold at night to the point where you’ll have frost on the ground in the morning.

    Showers: Unless you feel like stinking it up the whole time, you will probably want to bring extra water for bathing purposes. I’ve heard there are porta potties out there (portable bathrooms, in case you aren’t familiar with that term). So lucky for you, you get to save on using a can. Most likely.

    I can’t remember anything else off the top of my head, and assuming you aren’t mad about this post to begin with, I suppose I can come back later and fill in any voids I may have forgotten.

    Good luck with your trip.

    15 March 2014 at 01:50

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