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Wednesday, August 27
Day 7 - night
4:00 and Jeep
Black Rock City

Last night I strolled through the lights and parties, and contrarily made my way out into the deep playa - dark, quiet, and alone. Once I got out there, I had to go all the way, so I went out to the trash fence, which was kind of scary - the whole "touching the border" thing - but it was amazing. Looking back at the city all aglow, with music in the distant background - it was spiritual. And the stars were gorgeous! I could actually see the Milky Way for once!

This morning warmed up a lot quicker than yesterday. I tried fixing my hair to no avail. While in line at the gate on Monday, I pulled my hair back into a pony tail, split the tail in half, and then braided the two halves for a two-tail braid sort of concoction. It worked well, so I just kept it that way for Tuesday, but today it was getting worn out. I tried to wash it with that No Rinse stuff, but I can't get out the tangles! It's ridiculous!

It was getting late (towards 11am), and there was an event I read in the booklet that I wanted to check out. It was a group bike ride to various art installations on the playa. By coincidence, it took us out to the deep playa - it was cool to see during the day - though not quite as scary or magnificent. Afterward, on the way back, I climbed up the Babylon Tower for a nice view of the surrounding playa. I got back to camp hot and exhausted in the early afternoon. And then I made an error of judgement.

I was quite in need of an ice cold drink, but having no unmelted, cool ice, I had to look elsewhere. I read in the book about free ice cold lemonade, but I made the mistake of setting out to get it on foot. My legs were tired, and I wanted to put the bike down, but I either underestimated the walk, or overestimated my abilities. Once I started, I had to keep going - I needed that lemonade.

Well, walking there, I was about reaching my limit (or so I thought), and starting to think I'd collapse, when, by the magic of the playa, I came to a corner camp giving away free snow cones - I can't tell you how much of a relief that was. And as if that wasn't enough (it never is), one or two camps down there sat two girls with super soakers filled with ice cold water. It was heaven. That refresher gave me the strength to get to the free lemonade camp, and I downed my mug full of it like a sponge to water. Time for the walk back...

As much as the lemonade refreshed me, I did not have the strength to walk back to camp. Still, I trudged on. Passing Center Camp on the way, I stopped in at the happening Center Camp Cafe and bought myself another lemonade, this time for $3. Though no less thirsty, I took my time with this lemonade and took advantage of the shade to sit and rest for awhile.

Having discovered the power of ice cold drinks in the desert heat, I decided to buy a bag of ice since I was right there at Center Camp. It partially melted and leaked on the way back - though the leaking was a bit refreshing on its own. I trekked across the central open playa - after getting a cool misting from a random stranger, and my picture taken for some reason (full frontal nudity) - but my strength was rapidly fading - and according to my meter, it was already supposed to be empty.

I made it to camp, but I was heat exhausted, so I shut down for a while, and drank a ton of ice water, while I waited for the sun to set. Happily, tonight is a little more mild and less cool than last night. Still, I am exhausted, so I think I'll be going to sleep rather than exploring tonight...

Oh, I also spent - literally - hours trying to get the knots and tangles out of my hair (I'm not exaggerating), and right now it's in bad shape - it's like Doug's hair but longer. It's driving me insane, but I don't know what to do about it. I forgot to mention that today I just tucked it up under my hat. But now, even just touching it discourages me...