Have you ever bought a brand new journal for a trip, written a few things in it, and then completely abandoned it for the rest of your travels? I’m sad to say that’s exactly what happened to me at Burning Man this year. I tried so so hard those first couple of days to write descriptive accounts of everything, but there just wasn’t enough time in my day. The only chances I ever found to write were as I was laying down in bed, so all of my entries end like this:
V. tired. Going to bed. Will write more tomorrow…
I realized that the last thing I wanted to do was to sit down and journal every last detail of my day, so by Monday afternoon I’d changed my approach. Instead of attempting to write a novel of my escapades, I started a running list of what I did at the Burn. Short and sweet.
It actually ended up being a great way to keep track of everything. I didn’t ever spend too much time updating my list so I was able to go out and experience as much as possible. At the same time, I had the most important details written down to all of my adventures so that I’m able to remember them. It was the perfect combination for me, and it’s a great way to share some of the most memorable events with you. Hope you enjoy this little peek into my Burning Man 2014 journal! It’s just a very small selection of the most memorable things I did.
At Burning Man I…
* Shot carrots at a moving human target. Thank you creative people with airsoft guns and sick and twisted minds. That gave me a good laugh.
* Slept on a sculpture. After Saturday night ended up making my Burn (read more about it here), I was so blissfully content on Sunday. I walked onto the Playa to sort of say goodbye to it, found a comfortable spot to sit in the shady part of a sculpture, and watched something burn on the horizon until I fell asleep. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was such a peaceful end to the Burn for me.
* Followed fire. As I was hanging around camp one night, I heard a loud cheer from the Playa. I turned to see flames and immediately made my way to see what it was. I went out and watched the Wheels of Zoroaster spin burning logs around, and it was fascinating. Not only was it lovely to look at, but as one person standing next to me pointed out, you the sound of the logs burning away and breaking down was enchanting.
* Sacrificed myself into a volcano. Paha’oha’o was one of the coolest things I stumbled across this year. A hula dancer sculpture, drums playing, and a ten foot vertical drop? Yes yes yes! I love that the concept is people who take part are burning away their outer shell and starting anew.
* Met many Germans and practiced my Deutsch. I love meeting people from all over the world, but when I meet someone who speaks German I always get a little giddy. I’m not nearly as fluent as I used to be, but I enjoyed speaking with my campmates Connie, Misha, and other folks I met during my time there. Bis später!
* Did a wine tasting. Because I like to keep it classy, damn it.
* Rode the Discofish. Discofish was parked just a few blocks away from the camp I go with, The G Spot. I managed to snag a ride one night and enjoyed rolling out onto the Playa in style.
* Roller skated at 2am. A great reminder of how dern fun roller skating is and how weak my itty bitty ankles are. Black Rock Roller Disco 4 eva.
* Let the Mayan Warrior find me. I have no qualms with venturing out solo and seeing where it takes me, and one night I ended up at the Super Pool, a pool of hypnotizing circles on the ground that changed color (sometimes when I stepped on them, and other times on their own). As I was dancing around and looking at the ground, I suddenly felt the ground shake. An insanely deep bass thump thump thump started playing, and I turned to see what in the world it was. The Mayan Warrior. I’d never heard of this art car or seen it before, but after the fact some of my campmates told me it’s a rather elusive car and they’ve tried finding it before. Lucky me, I was completely captivated for hours. The car itself is gorgeous, and the music, while a little trance-y for my taste, was stellar.
* Got spanked with a fire whip. Spanky’s, a theme camp that is, well, super into spanking, was literally right across the street from where I was staying, so of course I had to do something weird there!
* Climbed a pyramid of lights called the Pyramid of Possibilities. This was a stunning and innovative structure on the Playa that was just as fun to look at as it was to climb.
* Watched lightning being made with Tesla coils…set to music! I didn’t play anything myself, but folks were able to go and play a song, and Tesla coils gave the illusion of lightning being played to music.
* Pimped my bike. The bike I bring to the Playa is an old mountain bike that I got when I first moved to San Francisco. I love it, but I’m not opposed to stopping by the Pimp my Bike camp, spray-painting it yellow, and designing an EL wire sun on my basket.
* Left a note in the Temple of Grace. Last year, I didn’t really know what to expect at the Temple, and when I arrived it was clear that I should have brought paper or at least a sharpie with me. People leave notes and mementos to be burned, but lots of folks also write directly on the structure with a marker. This year, I came prepared. I ripped a little paper out of my notebook, wrote a heartfelt letter, and stuck it to a small nail I saw in a corner.
* Witnessed a man riding a miniature bike down the road, saying, “Just going for a small bike ride,” to anyone he passed.
* Granted someone’s wish from a wishing well. One of the funnest things I found was a wishing well where you could leave your wish to be granted by someone else. There were rocks provided that you could write your name, camp location, and wish on and you would put it in a small well. I scoured through a bunch of the wishes (candy, some shoes, world peace) and found one that I could actually fulfill! Someone wanted some carpenter tape for their pasties, and that’s exactly what I use as well. So I stopped by his camp, and while he wasn’t home a campmate was. Some magical pink-haired girl granted his wish, and that’s pretty cool.
Side note: I wished for a ride on El Pulpo Mecanico. I know, I’m such a dorky fangirl! It wasn’t granted this year, but maybe a Burning Man to come. 🙂
Do you keep a travel journal? How do you find a balance between enjoying your adventures and taking the time to write? Do you use an old-fashioned journal, your computer, or something else to record amazing moments on the road?
Burning Man Organization