And yes it's true: it's so much better than Burning Man. Like Burning Man used to be when I started going in the mid-90s. I described it as living in a rural environment and driving from farm to farm as opposed to being in a big city with your neighbors on top of you in houses with way too thin walls.
We rented a van, and it was a great way to go. Nice to have everything with us and mobile. We could easily have been polycamporous if we wanted to, but we stuck close with our friends in Codgerville.
One of the big highlights of the trip was learning to ride a quad, and taking it all the way out to the Black Rock. After going to the desert all that time, I've never been out there. The hot springs there are extremely hot, and there is a decaying covered wagon from pioneer times. (If you've never read the stories of the pioneers taking the "alternate" Oregon Trail across the Black Rock Desert, check 'em out. I can't even imagine.
Dismal's firework burn was so-so, and about 3.5 hours late. We were lazy and sat in the van to watch it. The whole thing took about an hour to complete, way too long. Much better was the Mini-Man burn: our friends' kids decorated a small man, laced it up with fireworks and set it on fire at a reasonable hour. (We fell asleep shortly thereafter.)
The cutest thing ever: watching two three-legged dogs play together. How sweet is that?
Saw our friend Amy from Houston. She hooked up with a fellow on Memorial Day weekend when we took her to Camp and Sons, and she is now on vacation with him before she starts grad school later this month. They are very cute together.
Also, a weird sychronicity: I was thinking about Bruce VanDyke on the airplane on Thursday, wondering if I would see him. BVD was the biggest morning DJ in Reno when I was growing up; I listened to him all through high school. We went to see a lot of the same bands over the year, and both worked for the Reno News & Review at the same time. I ran into him in the grocery store out at Spanish Springs, where he lives. Not sure if he made it out for Juplaya, but it was great to see him and I planted a bug in his head.
The drama in our group was non-existent, but I did spend some time on Sunday morning doing some healing work on a woman who was caught up in a real-world meltdown that was splitting her attention. I also ended up doing some work on a woman on Monday morning at the hotel who was having some serious breakup trauma. Poor little sweetie. Not sure if I helped - those are the sorts of wounds that only time will heal - but I was glad to be there for her.
We decided to rent a suite at the Peppermill on Sunday night to see more of our friends, and watched the fireworks from our room. Chris stayed out late with a friend who was drinking and gambling, but I got 10+ glorious hours of sleep. Monday morning, we played in the pool with the kids for a little while longer. They all started their looong drive back to the city while we powered everything from my Mom's office into the van and moved it to another building. Not too much fun, but we finished it in record time!
Today we are trying to get down to the Yuba River, but rental cars are proving to be cost-prohibitive. :( We'll see what we can do.
We went to a li'l campout on the Black Rock Desert this weekend known as Fourth of Juplaya. It was wonderful all the way around. We got to spend time with many of our favorite people, soak in the hot springs, blow stuff up, soak in the hot springs, play with our friends' kids, wear silly clothes and chill the f*%^ out. It was epically fun, and I'm so glad I made it out for this excursion!