Burning Man 2009 – Part VII – Exodus

After the man burned there really wasn’t much more we wanted to see. Yes they do burn the temple but did seeing it burn outweigh the dirt, dust, sunburn, and longing for plumbing. No it did not. So on Sunday morning we set about striking camp as quickly as possible and leaving.

Leaving Burning Man is called “Exodus”. More playa-lingo. It involves driving for a few miles in dust storms, frequent stops, and finally getting into a monstrous line that must merge down to a single back highway in Nevada. This was trying, but not all that bad. Spirits were high to be heading back to “reality”.

In Gerlach, the closest town to BRC, we found a group of kids doing a car wash for their school. It was 10 bucks and one of the wisest investments we made. These folks were overjoyed to be doing what they were doing. They probably raise most of the money for their year in this one car wash. Dani bought some krispie treats from some older ladies selling them beside the road. We pondered stopping to buy an “Indian Taco” whatever that was, but we never did. We found a guy taking trash though and paid him like 7 bucks to haul all our trash off.

Finally the highlight of the road back to Reno was passing Pyramid lake. Its a huge salt water lake with an island shaped like a pyramid in the middle. It was really beautiful and amazing when we saw it flying over. I didn’t really pay it attention on the way since I was so focused on driving and pregnant with anxiety of the unknown. I was more at peace now and had a-LOT of time to spare.

Dani snapped this one and only photo we took of it. Not so good.

But here is a real photo of it.

We made it back to Reno in short order after the lake and hit up a Denny’s after getting lost like six times and heading to what the GPS told us was an IHOP but had been turned into some sort of strange biker bar. We spent like 3 hours there, I ate four tons of food, and we marveled at indoor plumbing.

After that Dani punched in “parks” in the GPS and it led us to some sort of park in the beaner ghetto of Reno. And let me tell you, Reno is a creepy ass city. But the park itself was nice. We sat outside a picnic table while dogs played, little kids ran around, and we shivered! Yes it was cold. The sun was setting. After we were done relaxing in the park we went to find Mr. Magic Bubble and we cleaned the inside of the car with the vacuum and tried to whip down everything.

You would be amazed by how much dust was in this car. Tons! So we spent a fair amount of time getting it in order to hopefully avoid getting charged for cleaning when we returned it. When done with that chore it was about 10pm. We had a 6:40am flight. A vote was struck and we decided not to get a room and to just stay up all night. We’re all poor.

While hoping around town, Dani got this shot.

Off to the movies! We went to see District 9. All I’ll say is that you shouldn’t go see it. The movie sucked. I had a giant thing of popcorn and Dani snuck the last bottle of booze that I brought to burning man but didn’t drink into the theater. It was a bottle of port wine. So after about 20 minutes, Dani passed out in the movie, which had about six people in the theater. So there I was, almost alone, in the middle of a giant theater with six pounds of popcorn and a bottle of port. =) We were a sorry looking bunch running on only fumes.

We were in poor shape at this point but made it to the airport to drop our rental car. The rental car companies had posted signs EVERYWHERE, which were not there at pickup, that all said, “NO BURNING MAN, YOU WILL BE CHARGED!” Hopefully we won’t be charged. We’ll deny we ever took the car off road. We also cleaned it quite vigorously.

Dani and Michele slept for a long time in the airport while I stayed up watching the luggage and reading “Master and Commander” by Patrick O’Brien. Which is an amazing read. It was tough staying awake for so long. I was moderately amused by all the other “burners” sleeping everywhere in the airport. So easy to spot. Just look at their shoes, are they dusty? Also the fact that most of them have orange or purple hair, piercings, and Mohawks and shit.

Finally six am rolled around and we were off. Back to Dallas and finally back to LA. We arrived at 3:30. Paige was good enough to bring us home. I was showered and in bed by 4:29pm and asleep by 4:30pm.

I slept through two alarms and didn’t wake up until 9:10am the next day. Late for work!

The next day I still wore a necklace around my neck made by Pat and Sherrie. It has a cast copper trilobyte on it. Trilobytes being symbolic of the Evolution theme of BM. And I still wore a had made beaded bracelet given to me by a nice person while I was bartending. They were the only two pieces of swag that Dani and Ireally brought back with us. We liked our necklaces (she got one too) because they matched and were very cool.

I’ve since taken them off. However, I keep them on my desk at work and probably will for a bit to remind me of the trip. And what a trip it was.

I hope you all have enjoyed my account of Burning Man – Evolution – 2009.