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Monday, August 25
Day 5 - night
4:00 and Jeep
Black Rock City

Wow, what a day. We got up and gradually made our way to Burning Man, after a couple last minute stops and a ridiculous search for a brothel. Our last stop in "civilization" was a store called "Nowhere" in Empire, Nevada. It was a Burner haven. I finally got some cool goggles there, and something in the way of a dust mask - and a hat, too - all of which became mandatory quite quickly.

Driving those last miles to the Black Rock Desert was exciting - the reality of the event and my participation in it finally hit home. But that excitement quickly turned to boredom when the line took forever to get into Burning Man. A really bad dust/wind storm descended and reduced the desert to a brownout condition, causing BM to shut down the gates until it cleared up. So we sat in line for hours. It was both terribly exciting - a trial by fire - er, dust - in the extremes of Black Rock Desert storminess - it was like a raging blizzard but with dust instead of snow - at times you couldn't even see the car in front of you - and terribly boring/frustrating, especially when we didn't understand why the line wasn't moving.

Welcome to "The Line"
visibility: 10 feet, at best
estimated wait time: 6 hours, give or take

I wanted to get into BM during the day to pick a spot and set up camp in daylight, but the hazy orb of the sun set over the mountains while we sat in line waiting for the dust storm to clear. It eventually did - though barely - and we finally got into BM just after it got too dark to see. The actual procession from the gates to the main area was kind of spiritual, with the philosophical quotes posted by the side of the path. We meandered through the camps in the dark before pulling into a quiet, empty spot near the corner of 4:00 and Jeep, to set up camp (in the dark, and raging wind). It will be exciting in the morning to see the expanse of the city and the majesty of the surrounding desert/mountains, which has thus far been covered by dust and dark. The city wakes still, with endless parties, and music, and people setting up camp, but I am utterly exhausted, and must get some sleep.