Burning Man would be easy if it only took up one's time and resources during the 7 days it's officially running. And for some people that is exactly the case. Some people invest even less time and energy than that. But for most, Burning Man starts long before the gates open and continues on long after exodus.
Even though I was uncertain that I was going to attend this year, I was still going to try to get my hands on a ticket or two just in case. I missed out on directed ticket sales, by an hour or so. General sales had me by my computer for a couple of hours, all to no avail. Then somehow I was given an opportunity to buy one single ticket through a second and unannounced round of ticket availability to theme camps through the directed ticket sales.
Let the Planning Begin
There were numerous Funk Pirate camp meetings, on-line co-ordinations and discussions and then of course there was my own levels of preparation, which included the typical, I'm going to camp out in a desert for a week type preparations as well as trying to get in shape for a 50K, raising the level of my juggling and fire-spinning skills as well as costuming; etc, etc.
Then there was the loading and packing. Keep in mind, I had just come off a few days on the Appalachian Trail and before that a road-trip and 2 week car-camping excursion in Mammoth Lakes, California.
It seems I'm in a perpetual state of packing and unpacking, going and coming, coming and going.
I had just driven back and forth across the country a few weeks prior. In fact, at one point, I was only a couple of hours away from Black Rock City, just a couple of months early.
So, I wasn't particularly excited about getting back in the saddle. But, "in for a penny, in for a pound" or so the expression goes.
We made good time and didn't have any of the mechanical issues we had the year past. We drove the exact route that I had taken a few weeks before, until we hit Neveda at which point we continued on a northern course, while I had taken a southern turn to get over to Mammoth Lakes.
August 22 at 11:39am · Atlanta, GA ·
Getting ready for another road trip; leaving in less than 24 hrsJon Danniells
August 23 at 1:34pm · Hillsboro, TN ·
On the road.....again
Jon Danniells was at Acapulco Burrito.August 23 at 2:54pm ·
Jon DanniellsAugust 24 at 10:51am · Houstonia, MO ·
Chasing a pirate ship across Missouri
Jon DanniellsAugust 25 at 6:44pm · McKinnon, WY ·
First other Burner sighting; middle of Wyoming
Jon Danniells added a new photo.August 25 at 12:20pm · Pine Bluffs, WY ·
Jon Danniells was at Quality Inn & Convention Center.August 25 at 1:45am ·
- Jon DanniellsAugust 27 at 2:23pm · Fernley, NV ·
Off the grid soon
Jon DanniellsAugust 27 at 8:27am · Fallon, NV ·
Pondering my "second act"; personal trainer, carny performer, documentary film-maker, writer, perhaps step up the set decorator role and go for an Academy nomination, or a super hyphenated mix of the above; I might get some inspiration/motivation in the desert
Jon Danniells shared Burning Man: The Musical's video.August 27 at 7:37am ·
Burning Man: The Musical uploaded a new video from August to their timeline.Watch the first 5-minutes of Burning Man: The Musical, a new musical about Silicon Valley & Burning Man.
Please help us create the full musical! Support our next 2 videos on Indiegogo: http://igg.me/at/bmthemusical/x/271680
Jon Danniells at PizzaBarn BarnAugust 26 at 11:31pm ·
Jon Danniells at Ramada Salt Lake City Airport HotelAugust 26 at 8:12am ·
Up too early; still on East Coast time? Nah just my typical inability to get enough sleep and rest
Ramada Salt Lake City Airport HotelHotel · Salt Lake City, UT
Jon DanniellsAugust 26 at 12:20am · Salt Lake City, UT ·
What happens on the road stays on the road
Jon Danniells at Wasatch Brew PubAugust 25 at 10:40pm ·
Refueling in Salt Lake City; when in Rome....
Jon Danniells at Black Rock City GateAugust 27 at 6:05pm ·
I was granted early entry last year for my first time. I've only been four times now, so half of my times in now have been a few days before the "official" gates open and I struggle thinking of not getting in early, even though it takes a bit more effort, in regards to costs, logistics, etc.
But you get to see the Playa a bit more empty and raw.
The camps that are there are working to really help build the community, the city.
There fewer folk, which can make for a deeper richer connection, although some of the deepest connections come in the middle and end of this journey when you're spent and frail, so I kind of take that back, kind of.
When you come in early, you're responsible for setting up camp, unloading the truck and getting things ready for the people who couldn't or wouldn't make their time on the Playa longer than a weak.
One big plus is the time it takes to get in. Even if you're waiting for two or three hours, which at this point I haven't had to, it's still so much better than the possibilities of hours upon hours I've heard of.
This year the Cherry Bomb, the organizer of the Burning Man Ultra-marathon was in line next to us. I recognized her by her pink hair, only to be reminded of how much pink hair I would be seeing. When her boyfriend got out of the truck, I had confirmation that the pink I had seen was in fact out of the Pink Lightning camp and was indeed Cherry Bomb.
It's a small world after all.
After a week plus of this thing they call Burning Man which ran the gamut of activities, emotions, social interactions, what have you; then figuring out how to pack up and get out whilst leaving no-trace, while dealing with a variety of departure schedules and energy out-puts, on top of breaking down my own tent which I not-so-affectionately named The Albatros, was a bit beyond any challenge I needed, but again, "in for a penny, in for a pound"
Jon Danniells at Sanford's Grub & PubSeptember 9 at 11:23pm · Edited ·
Last year, here at Ryan's Wyoming joint we agreed not to go as big as we did in 2014. That was a good decision. This year several of us, myself included decided to skip 2016. I have a feeling we may have been less than completely ernest on that one.
- Jon Danniells at Kimball Chinese BuffetSeptember 11 at 5:06pm ·
Last feeding before home
Kimball Chinese BuffetChinese Restaurant · Jasper, TN
Jon Danniells was at Interstate 24 Eastbound.September 11 at 2:47pm ·
Jon DanniellsSeptember 11 at 9:46am · Richview, IL ·
Following the pirate ship home through stormy weather on our last leg towards Atlanta
I started this drive across the country with this guy Taki AKA Peter or Peter AKA Taki. We camped together a couple of years ago and bonded over an appreciation for micro-brews and being a couple of the older gents in the camp.
This year we learned a lot about one another, for better and for worse as is always the case. But we came through it stronger and more bonded than ever.
We did a lot more than drive together. We set-up camp and continued an experiment with non-conventional refrigeration , actually Taki had already done it before, we just made it a little bigger in a hotter climate and it worked like a charm.
He came up with my Playa name of Gonzo, which I'm not so thrilled with but I probably earned it.
Yo ho ho, a pirate's life for me.
We finally returned home.
I'm still unloading, blowing and sweeping away playa dust.
I suppose I'll be at that for a while.
And when I finally finish, I'll probably be thinking about getting back there, even though I have decided not to go next year.